Children’s Books About Separation and Divorce
Children’s Books About Separation and Divorce
Families come in all forms and, over the years, I’ve shared so many books which encompass all sorts of family’s experiences including; adoption; same-sex parents and grief. Today I’m adding to these books with a selection of books which deal with separation/divorce and children living in two homes. It is also worth looking at my books on diversity and my books on feelings – as all these books will be of benefit.
Books give us, and our children, the words when we have none. When parents separate, children experience a range of emotions that they may never have had to deal with before; to be able to seek solace in a book that reflects their circumstances is powerful indeed. A carefully gifted book can provide young minds with words which give names to their own feelings and help them to navigate their way through murky waters to a place of acceptance and understanding. Reading these books with your children may initiate some of the most important conversations you ever have with your child.
The books below are those which I most often recommend to friends or blog readers who contact me. I believe there is a gap in the middle age range (around middle primary reading age) which needs filling with some quality titles; lots of books for the young, and plenty of YA books which deal with the angst of family breakdown but a bit of a gap in the middle. Do let me know if you can recommend some titles for this middle age range!
Two little birds build a nest together, and the female lays an egg. Out hatches baby bird, and they are all as happy as can be. Until they start to squabble and argue, and the nest is not so happy after all. The solution is for the birds to build another nest in the tree, one for Mummy Bird and one for Daddy Bird and Baby Bird can live in both nests and go between the two as often as he wishes. Written in rhyme, and with great sensitivity, this is a lovely story to help explain to very young children why family separation is sometimes necessary – and to show that it can lead to happiness for everyone. A unique story about family separation, for very young children.
A powerful book about a boy coming to terms with his parents divorce. A little boy tries to find a pot of parent glue to stick his mum and dad back together. His parents have come undone and he wants to mend their marriage, stick their smiles back on and make them better. The central message is that even though his parents may be broken, their love for him is not.
‘Just the Way We Are’ (family diversity). A brand new title by Jessica Shirvington and Claire Robertson, this one is a beauty for looking at diversity among families! The book takes us through a number of different characters and their family form; mum and dad; several generations under one roof; parents who work or don’t work; two dads; single parents; guardians. Each story of a family ends with beautiful lines such as, ‘we might be different from your family, buts that nothing to be worried about. You see, all families aren’t the same and I think mine might be perfect…JUST THE WAY WE ARE’. Going straight to my favourites pile!
‘Was It the Chocolate Pudding?’ tells the story of divorce in a typical family from the point of view of an engaging young narrator. Readers learn about divorce, and receive age-appropriate explanations of what is happening regarding such issues as single-family homes and joint custody. But most importantly, the narrator explains that divorce is not the child’s fault – it is a grown-up problem. The story emphasizes the need for communication between parent and child and provides an age-appropriate explanation of what is really happening. Includes a ‘Note to Parents’ by psychologist and author Jane Annunziata.
Not specicifically about divocre, “The Invisible String’ can be used to deal with all sorts of family separation.A story that teaches of the tie that really binds. Mums (and Dads) feel the tug whenever kids give it; and kids feel the tug that comes right back: the Invisible String reaches from heart to heart. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach, anyway? Read all about it! Whether it’s a loved one far away, or a parent in the next room, this delightful book illustrates a new way to cope with something all children and parents confront sooner or later; a child’s fear of loneliness and separation. Mum and Dad don’t live together any more, so sometimes this little girl lives with her mum and her cat, and sometimes she lives with her dad. She has two bedrooms and two sets of toys, but she takes her favourite toys with her wherever she goes. This simple, warm, lift-the-flap book with bold and colourful illustrations is a reassuring representation of separation for the youngest children. Melanie Walsh is sympathetically alive to the changes in routine that are familiar to many children who live with separate parents and are loved by both. The author of this book is a psychotherapist and counselor and helps children to face their fears, worries and questions when their family is going through a break-up. A special feature, “What About You?” sidebars appear frequently with questions directed at the child reading the book. The questions encourage children to explore their own feeling about the situation. Full color illustrations throughout.
Demetrius and Paula Ogglebutt are two perfectly beautiful children, but they have a pair of parents who do nothing but argue, bicker and clash. In fact, Demetrius and Paula begin to worry that it’s all their fault, which leaves them feeling very sad and confused. So they call a meeting at school to see if anyone else is in the same parental predicament – and it turns out they’re not alone! The result is a decision that has everyone in agreement – an ‘un-wedding’!
At Mommy’s house, Alex has a soft chair. At Daddy’s house, Alex has a rocking chair. In each home, Alex also has a special bedroom and lots of friends to play with. But whether Alex is with Mommy or with Daddy, one thing always stays the same – Alex is loved. The gently reassuring text focuses on what is gained rather than what is lost when parents divorce, while the sensitive illustrations, depicting two unique homes in all their small details, firmly establish Alex’s place in both of them. TWO HOMES will help children – and parents – embrace even the most difficult of changes with an open and optimistic heart.
Zoe and Evan Stern know firsthand how it feels when your parents divorce. When their parents split they knew their lives would change but they didn’t know how. A few years later, when they were 15 and 13 years old, they decided to share their experience in this positive and practical guide for kids. With some help from their mom, Zoe and Evan write about topics like guilt, anger, fear, adjusting to different rules in different houses, dealing with special occasions like birthdays, adapting to stepparents and blended families, and much more. Including updates from grown-up Zoe and Evan 10 years later, this honest guide will reassure children of divorce that, though it may seem it sometimes, it’s not the end of the world.
parents have always argued, and lately they’ve been getting worse. But when her father announces that they’re going to get divorced, it seems as if Karen’s whole world will fall apart. Her brother, Jeff, blames their mum. Her kid sister, Amy, asks impossible questions and is scared that everyone she loves is going to leave. Karen just wants her parents to get back together. Gradually, she learns that this isn’t going to happen — and realizes that divorce is not the end of the world.
To produce one long thread of silk, a weaver must never allow the silkworm to fully transform or ever emerge from the cocoon into the light. Ruby and Sally Moon are twins, cut from the same cloth but as different as night and day. While Sally is bold and adventurous, Ruby is quiet and creative. When divorce splits their family in two, and Sally moves with their mother to the Northern Territory, Ruby holds on to the thought that one day her family will be complete again. But when tragedy strikes, wrapping Sally in a cocoon from which she might never escape, Ruby learns that love is never simple but one of the many tangled branches in her family tree.