Stories help children better understand what divorce means and cope with their feelings. Age-appropriate books allow children to identify with characters in similar situations and to learn ways of thinking and talking about the change in their family. Reading also provides an opportunity for parent and child to discuss their changed family situation.

Recommended Books About Divorce for Children and Adolescents

Books for: Pre-school and early elementary school children | Elementary School Children
Late-elementary and middle-school children | Middle-school children | High school children | Non Fiction

For Pre-school and early elementary school children

Daddy Doesn’t Live Here Anymore by B. Boegehold (1985)

This story about a little girl who reacts badly when her father leaves is an excellent illustration of how children deal with trauma by doing unto others what was done to them. Our one reservation about the book is the ending unrealistically shows the girl getting over the hurt too quickly.

Loon Summer by Barbara Santucci (2001)

A story about a father and daughter spending their first summer together after the divorce.

Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce by Cornelia Maude Spelman (1998)

The message of this story is parents still love their children even though they don’t love each other any more and a child can contact the non-custodial parent at any time in any way.

Mom and Dad Don’t Live Together Any More by Kathy Stinson (1985)

This easy-to-read, “feel good” book about divorce depicts little anger between the parents. Its main value for younger children is describing divorce as final.

My Mother’s House, My Father’s House by C.B. Christiansen (1989)

A thoroughly enjoyable book about a little girl with divorced parents who lives with each parent for part of the week. The story focuses on the differences between her two living situations.

Always My Dad by Sharon Dennis Wyeth (1998)

This whimsical story depicts a divorced African-American father who doesn’t see his children often, but they know he loves them.

Bessie Bump Gets A New Family by Amberley Meredith (2010)

This book chronicles the a turtle child’s experience of the breakup of her parent’s marriage.

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For Elementary School Children

Always, Always by C. Dragonwagon (1984)

This is a charming story about a girl, age nine or ten, whose parents are divorced and live in different states. During the school year the girl lives with her mother in New York, and in the summer she stays with her father in Colorado. The story explores the girl’s curiosity about the differences between her parents.

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For Late-elementary and middle-school children

My Dad Lives in a Downtown Hotel by P. Mann (1973)

A ten-year-old boy who experiences a series of changes when his father moving out of the house. It illustrates a child’s feelings of guilt when his parents separate and his attempt to fix and control a situation over which he has no control. In spite of an unrealistic feel-good ending, this is a worthwhile story.

What Can I Do? A Book for Children of Divorce by Danielle Lowry (2001)

This story describes a young girl’s response to her parent’s divorce. It also illustrates the importance of informing a child’s teachers about divorce. An excellent book for children to read and discuss together with parents, peers or counselors.

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For Middle-school children

Loving Through Bars: Children with Parents in Prison by Cynthia Marone

This book is a wonderful compilation of narratives surrounding a child’s experience with an incarcerated parent. Each story chronicles a different perspective and emotion that a child can experience. AT the end of the book, the author, who is a school administrator gives resources and tips to help those that are working with children that are experiencing this kind of loss.

Blue Sky, Butterfly by J. Van-Leeuwen (1996)

When a father leaves, the mother becomes depressed and her daughter and son must fend for themselves. Their household gradually falls apart, and the girl becomes so angry with her father that she refuses to talk to him and her schoolwork suffers. An excellent story about the stark reality of divorce.

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For High school children

Loving Through Bars: Children with Parents in Prison by Cynthia Marone

This book is a wonderful compilation of narratives surrounding a child’s experience with an incarcerated parent. Each story chronicles a different perspective and emotion that a child can experience. AT the end of the book, the author, who is a school administrator gives resources and tips to help those that are working with children that are experiencing this kind of loss.

Yours Truly by Judie Angell (1993)

A girl struggles with growing up after her parents separate.She experiences difficulties in school, tries cigarettes and alcohol, and experiments with sex but ends up a perceptive and mature young lady. What makes this book so good is the girl’s inner self is presented in an accurate manner. One of the better books about divorce.

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For Non-Fiction

Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families by L.K. Brown & M. Brown (1986)

This is an appealing, somewhat schematic book for younger children  about the feelings a child goes through when parents get divorced and the different scenarios that can happen after the parents separate. A good starting point for parent-child discussions about divorce.

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Copyright 2012. Permission is granted to reproduce this page for nonprofit educational use, if they are cited.

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