Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents

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Are you looking for recommended books that show families with divorced parents?

Children’s books (picture and chapter books) with divorced parents help kids know they’re not alone; that other kids experience similar family situations as them.

Bibliotherapy!

This is a good thing. And I have lots of really good books to recommend…

Recommended Picture Books About Divorce

Thee picture books show your children what it can be like when parents divorce. You’ll see stories about kids with two parents and two homes.

 

Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
Charlie Anderson
by Barbara Abercrombie, illustrated by Mark Graham
In a situation that mirror’s the sister’s lives who live on the weekend with their dad and stepmother, they discover that their cat, Charlie, also has two homes. He, like them, has “two houses, two beds, two families who love him.”

Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
Two Homes
by Claire Masurel, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
In simple text with lovely watercolor illustrations, Alex explains who her mommy and daddy are — and the special things about each house. The love of both parents for Alex is emphasized at the end, with his family situation feeling normal and settled.

Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
Emily’s Blue Period
by Cathleen Daly, illustrations by Lisa Brown
If your child is struggling with the big feelings that come from a divorce, you’ll want to read this good picture book with them. It’s about Emily who wants to be an artist. When she learns about Pablo Picasso’s blue period, she can relate because she’s also sad and going through her own blue period because of the divorce of her mom and dad. It’s such a thoughtful and relatable book, I highly recommend it.

Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
Living with Mom and Living with Dad
by Melanie Walsh
The little girl sometimes lives with her mom and cat. Other times she lives with her dad. No matter where she lives, she has her special toys. Colorful illustrations with lift-the-flaps will appeal to young readers.

Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
Standing on My Own Two Feet
by Tamara Schmitz
Addison shows you where he lives — her town, her school, and her two homes. He explains how he has two feet just like he has two homes. I like the book’s reassuring message that although his parents don’t get along, it’s not his fault. And even though he wishes they could all live together again, it probably won’t happen.


Here and There
by Tamara Ellis Smith, illustrated by Evelyn Daviddi
This book shares a relatable, beautiful story about a boy adjusting to a divorce. It’s about Ivan, a bird lover, who wants to stay at his mama’s house, not go to his dad’s new house but finds his inner song at his dad’s house. I love how the author threads the birds throughout the story with birdseed, bird sounds, and bird imagery. The illustrations are gorgeous, inviting, textured masterpieces.


Cat Dog Dog: The Story of a Blended Family
by Nelly Buchet, illustrated by Andrea Zuill
Using the words CAT, DOG, AND DOG in a different order on each page combined with playful illustrations, we follow what happens when two families join together, one with a dog and one with a dog and a cat. When you blend together, growing pains happen as you see when one dog growls at another and one gets to sleep in bed with the parents. But there’s a turning point when they all get in trouble (and get cones of shame). The last illustration shows them all snuggled together asleep. “Dog Dog Cat.” Charming with a side of hilarious.

Recommended Chapter Books Showing Families with Divorced Parents

Here you’ll find beginning chapter books and middle-grade chapter books with divorced family situations. Some are the focus of the story, while in others, the divorce is in the background. You’ll also find other recommended stories that talk about step-siblings and blended families.


Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
A Boy Called Bat
by Elana K. Arnold
ages 6 – 8
Bat is a young boy on the autism spectrum who has divorced parents. His mom is a vet who one day, brings home an orphaned baby skunk. Bat falls in love with the skunk, hoping to keep it as a pet. The author skillfully shows Bat’s unique perspective on the skunk situation, his sister, and his weekend visits with his dad.

Weekends with Max and His Dad Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
 Weekends with Max and His Dad by Linda Urban, illustrated by Katie Kath
ages 6 – 8
This is a terrific book that captures the fun of time spent with a caring parent who is totally present for his son– I loved the short story format of adventures and that the story didn’t make a big deal of Max’s parents divorce but was simply part of the way life was. Excellent.

Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
Wedgie & Gizmo
by Suzanne Selfors
ages 7 – 10
Dog owners will nod along with the ADHD stream of conscious narration of Wedgie, a barkie dog who LOVES everything. Contrast this with the diabolical plotting narration of the evil genius guinea pig Gizmo who is horrified to be living in a Barbie house instead of his own habitat. The two pets alternatively narrate life in a newly blended family which Gizmo’s owner, Elliot, is not happy about. Selfors skillfully addresses a family in transition through the humorous eyes of the pets. Added to: Best Read Alouds for 2nd Grade

books about divorced families
Squishy Taylor and the Bonus Sisters
by Alisa Wild, illustrated by Ben Wood
ages 7 – 10
Squishy is excited to have discovered a boy hiding from the police in the basement of her apartment building. She wants to keep it a secret from her step-sisters but one thing leads to another, and the twins find out. Together, the three help feed the boy until they discover who he really is. Squishy begins to think of her sisters as bonuses, not step-sisters, which makes her feel a lot better about living with them. I really enjoyed this big-hearted mystery.


Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
Dear Mr. Henshaw
by Beverly Cleary, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
ages 7 – 10
Leigh Botts’ parents have divorced. Now he’s living in a new town with his mom. In a class assignment to write to a favorite author (who unexpectedly writes back), Leigh reveals his anger at his dad. It’s a poignant coming-of-age story that shows the real struggles kids face after a divorce.

Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
Eggs over Evie
ages 8 – 12
Evie is dealing with her parents’ divorce. She’s not feeling happy about her dad’s new family-to-be nor her mom’s first date. So, she cooks and starts every chapter with a quote from a famous chef and ends each chapter with a recipe. Yum.

chapter books about divorce
Blended
by Sharon Draper
ages 9 – 12
Isabella spends one week with her dad and his girlfriend, the next week with her mom and her boyfriend. She hates it. She really hates exchange day when she switches. She feels like nowhere is home, she’s always visiting. And her parents, one who is white and one who is black, don’t get along. Tensions between the families get worse when both parents decide to remarry — on the same date. Add to this hurtful race issues like when she and her stepbrother are pulled over because of he’s black and in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sharon Draper writes a story that captures Isabella’s feelings of division as she searches for who she is in her own story.
Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez
ages 8 – 12
A wonderful, diverse, page-turning coming-of-age story, this is about a girl with divorced parents, Mexican on her mom’s side and punk rock on her dad’s side. Malú is unhappily about her forced move to Chicago with her mother. There, she eventually finds her place after starting a Latin-flavored punk band. When their group doesn’t get into the talent show, the band decides to play anyway.–in the parking lot. (So punk!) We see Malú discover herself through life’s challenges and adventures and also learn what the first rule of punk actually is. I love how she is supported by both her parents.

The List of Things that Will Not Change
by Rebecca Stead
ages 8 – 12
This story is a beautifully written slice-of-life, growing-up story that with authentic characters and relatable themes of family and big life changes. When Bea’s parents get divorced, her dad helps her focus on the things that won’t change — like her parents love for her — even though many other things will and do change. To help her feel safe, Bea keeps a list of things that WON’T change in a special journal. (Which, by the way, is a great idea!) When she learns that her dad and his boyfriend are getting married and that she’ll get a new sister, she’s excited. But her new stepsister isn’t excited to be sisters, not at all, at least not right away. It’s a bumpy journey that shows the ups and downs of divorce and changes as well as how much easier it is when you have loving parents.
Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
Two Naomis
by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich & Audrey Vernick
ages 8 – 12
What is it like when your parents are divorced — and one finds a new partner? In this coming-of-age story written from two different points of view, Naomi’s mom is dating a man named Tom who has a daughter also named Naomi. Both parents push them to become friends. Of course, both girls feel resistant — especially when Naomi’s mom asks her to go by Naomi Marie instead of Naomi. It’s a tricky time in these kids’ lives, something the authors made relatable and enjoyable to read. The wisdom the parents give to their kids and their unwavering love of their children is inspiring. This is a story that rings true with a perfect ending.

 

Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
The Great Treehouse War
by Lisa Graff
ages 8 – 12
When Winnie’s parents divorce, they become obsessed with dividing everything up equally and outdoing each other. So, to make it fair Winnie spends three days each week with each parent. Wednesdays she spends by herself in a treehouse. And Winnie loves this break from her crazy parents. Then, when she learns she’s in danger of flunking fifth grade, she decides to stay in her treehouse until her parents stop their competing madness. Soon her school friends join her with their own parental demands. This is a fun-filled, entertaining story with heart!

 


Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
The Looney Experiment
 by Luke Reynolds
ages 8 – 12
As I read this book I kept thinking wow– another important life lesson — because they just keep coming in this story. Atticus is bullied, upset at his parents separation, and uninspired in school . . . until he meets the language arts substitute, Mr. Looney. Mr. Looney helps Atticus and his classmates find WHO THEY ARE in the company of characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. I loved Mr. Looney’s character — he is present for Atticus without giving advice, instead facilitates Atticus’ self-discovery. I also loved that the story had a realistic ending.


Stepping Stones
by Lucy Knisley
ages 8 – 12
After her parents divorce, Jen moves to a farm with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend whose kids visit on the weekends. It’s a huge transition — she doesn’t love how bossy and whiney her stepsisters are and how annoying her mom’s boyfriend is. But she loves the chicks she takes care of and the farmer’s market.  Well, she loves it until her math skills aren’t good enough to be helpful. This graphic novel story gently shows the ups and downs of living with a new family in a new place.

Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
12 Dares of Christa
by Marissa Burt
ages 10+
Christa is devastated when her parents announce their divorce. Now she’s on a European trip with her actress mother where she’ll be spending Christmas … without her dad! Christa feels so much anger at her mother. But there are many other feelings, too — awkwardness of a first crush, gradual openness to new friendships, and delight in the fun dares her travel agent father sends her throughout the trip. It’s realistic, well-written, and heartfelt.

 

Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
Stranded  by Jeff Probst and Chris Tebbetts
ages 8 – 12
This is a great adventure with real-life conflict between new step-siblings who are on a sailboat trip with their uncle. A storm sinks their ship and they barely make it to a deserted island. They’ll have to work together to survive. And hope their parents can find them. If you like fast-paced reading, this book series is for you.

 

Recommended Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents
Some Kind of Happiness
by Claire Legrand
ages 8 – 12
Everwood is an imaginary kingdom, a place Finley finds in the back of her grandparent’s house. She’s written about it forever. Now she has it. Will it help her heal? Will it help her discover why her father left? Some Kind of Happiness is a multi-layered, thought-provoking, and an exquisite story that addresses the big topics of divorce, secrets, and depression.
Recommended Children's Books for Kids About Families with Divorced Parents

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3 Responses

  1. Your list is awesome — it’s nice to connect with a fellow book blogger! Hello and nice to meet you. 🙂

  2. Sab Edwards says:

    I surround myself with books!!

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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