My Dad is Going Back to School follows the story of eight-year-old Bryce, who receives news that Dad is going back to school to finish his degree. Bryce is excited about the news and looks forward to when they can study together, share report cards, pack school lunches together and more. Bryce also understands the need to pitch in a little extra because Dad will be extra busy while in school. There is also a "Mom" version of this book available.
"Any change to a family's routine is a big deal for kids," says author Debbie Cavalier. "So with these books, I want to show that with a parent going back to school there can still be a consistent routine and things to count on."
When Cavalier wrote the books in 2019, she intended for them to help allay concerns for young children and prepare them for the changes ahead with a parent going back to school. Now in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the books take on additional significance. "I wrote the book prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I think the story is more relevant than ever," says Cavalier. "Historically, people turn to educational pursuits during economic downturns. As the parents explain in the story, they want to learn new skills, earn a degree, and get a new job one day. I admire these adult learners very much. They are managing a heavy load while trying to make a better life for their loved ones. This story pays homage to them."
"I hope that for a family that's about to embark on this big adventure together, the book provides a positive framework for what lies ahead," says Cavalier. "I hope it helps kids see that although there may be some challenges along the way, Dad going back to school can be fun and result in very positive outcomes for the whole family."
The book ends with Bryce's dad receiving his diploma at graduation and the whole family celebrating, however, there is a final surprise: Bryce's mom announces that she too is going to go back to school!