With 50% of marriages ending in divorce, the end of their parents’ relationship is a reality very familiar for many children. Whether the process of divorce is straightforward or complicated, it’s a difficult time in a child’s life, bringing up complex feelings and often requiring a change in their day-to-day routines as a result of custody arrangements and the family finding a new normal. Fortunately, there are many good divorce books for kids that make excellent resources for younger children processing the realities of divorce and coming to terms with the changes in their circumstances.
MY FAMILY’S CHANGING: A FIRST LOOK AT FAMILY BREAK UP BY PAT THOMAS
This picture book aimed at young children is ideal for parents and kids to read together, and a great starting point for discussions about what divorce can mean for a family and ways to adapt to a new way of living. Portraying the realities of divorce frankly and simply, it’s a useful guide and will help reassure children that their experiences are shared by many others.
MUM AND DAD GLUE BY KES GRAY AND LEE WILDISH
Many children feel that it’s up to them to “fix” their parents’ relationship when they separate or divorce. Mum and Dad Glue addresses this often-seen impulse in children, emphasising for the child reader that the divorce is not their fault, that they cannot mend their parents’ relationship, and that it isn’t their responsibility to do so – but that they and their parents will be fine as life moves forwards.
DINOSAURS DIVORCE: A GUIDE FOR CHANGING FAMILIES BY LAURIE KRASNY BROWN AND MARC BROWN
With cute dinosaur characters that child readers will find fun and engaging, this book is a fantastic roadmap for the early days of divorce. It teaches a child how to talk to friends about their parents’ divorce, the practicalities of living in two different homes, and how to adapt to a blended family.
TWO HOMES BY CLAIRE MASUREL AND KADY MACDONALD DENTON
This sweet and simple story follows Alex, whose parents are recently divorced, and underlines the fact that while the two homes are very different, Alex is loved in both of them. Written by the author in response to concerns from a child she knew, this book is a sensitive and thoughtful introduction to the topic of parents living apart.
RED LEAVES BY SITA BRAHMACHARI
A chapter book focusing on three different characters dealing with various kinds of loss and upheaval, Red Leaves looks at divorce alongside other issues and explores the common ground between the three main characters. Zak, whose parents have recently divorced, moves into a new street and meets Aisha, who is in foster care, and Red, who is experiencing homelessness.
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