These 12 Books Will Help You Talk with Your Kids About Divorce

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No matter how much you don’t want it to be, divorce is tough on kids. But having an open dialogue with children about the divorce process and how that can affect them helps to normalize their fears and frustrations. Whether it’s taking kids step-by-step through what happens or introducing characters that are relatable, these 12 books tackle divorce in ways that are compassionate and realistic.

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What Happens When Parents Get Divorced?

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Mom and author Sara Olsher wrote the book she wished she could have given her own daughter while they navigated her own divorce. Written with clear words and bright illustrations, this book shows kids that even though divorce is scary, it is something lots of families get through.

 


Weekends with Max and His Dad

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It’s kinda weird for Max to go to an apartment where his dad now lives, and Max isn’t shy about letting his dad know. Told from the point of view of a kid whose parents have divorced, Max it’s an honest exploration of the emotions and challenges of day-to-day life after a divorce. Max makes some new friends and starts to think the apartment might not be so bad after all. Written by Linda Urban. Ages: 7-9

 


Roadtrip with Max and His Mom

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Max and his mom are about to go on a road trip, but Max isn’t excited for it like he usually is. Because usually, his dad comes too. This adventurous book, a follow-up to Linda Urban’s Weekends with Max and His Dad, tackles the emotions a kid can feel after a divorce—like how something like a family vacation can seem less than thrilling when you are missing someone. Ages: 7-9


A Kids Book About Divorce

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A Kids Book About series tackles tough topics and puts them into books designed to help normalize discussions around things like anxiety, depression, and divorce. Divorce is tough on the parents, yes, but it can be extra tricky to navigate with the kids. Written by a parent, Ashley Simpo, who has been there, this book is meant to spark an honest discussion about the topic. Ages 3 and up.


Fox: Family Change from Slumberkins

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This plush animal and book set from Slumberkins is designed to support children through any kind of family change, divorce included. Help your littlest ones navigate big feelings as your family navigates change—Fox will help remind them it is not their fault, they are safe, loved, and their feelings are normal. Ages: 3-8


Dinosaurs Divorce

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First published over 25 years ago, this innovative book has helped generations of families learn to talk about and navigate divorce. It’s a comprehensive guide in a language parents and kids can both understand, and tackles topics like having two homes, living with one parent, holidays and special occasions, stepfamilies, and more. Ages: 4-7


Two Homes

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Claire Masurel’s little book is simple but incredibly impactful as it takes on a topic that can be very confusing to children during a divorce—living arrangements. The artwork by Kady McDonald Denton helps illustrate both the differences when Alex is at Mommy’s house and Daddy’s house, but also the similarities—in both homes Alex is loved and safe. Ages: 2-5


Divorce Is Not the End of the World: Zoe's and Evan's Coping Guide for Kids

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Written by brother and sister Zoe and Evan Stern, with a little help from their mom, Evelyn Stern, this is a first-hand account and coping guide for kids, by kids. Zoe and Evan know just how it feels when parents divorce—theirs split up when they were 15 and 13. They’ve created a positive guide for kids to explore and acknowledge the feelings that come up: guilt, anger, fear, new rules in new homes, blended families, and more. Ages: 8-12

 


Bigger Than a Bread Box

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Twelve-year-old Rebecca’s life has changed pretty quickly, almost overnight. Her parents have separated and they’ve moved suddenly to live in Atlanta with Rebecca’s grandma. In Gran’s attic, Rebecca discovers a magic bread box, and it seems to help...at first. Rebecca can get anything she wishes for, as long as it fits inside the box. But soon she discovers the consequences to her wishes, and they aren’t all good. An interesting way to view divorce and the feelings kids have along with it. Ages: 8-12


Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd)

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Nine-year-old Wren Jo Byrd’s parents separated over the summer, and now she’s starting a new school year. Wren does not want anyone to know, not even her best friend, Amber. But as the year progresses and a new girl enters the scene who wants to be friends with Wren, Wren struggles to keep her secrets—her dad lives somewhere else now, and things are not the same at her home with her mom. It’s a book about divorce, yes, but also about friendship, and trusting others with things we think should be kept secret. Ages: 7-9


The First Rule of Punk

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What’s the first rule of punk? Be yourself. On the first day of a new school, twelve-year-old Malú (María Luisa, if you want to annoy her) doesn’t exactly have a smooth day: she violates the school’s dress code with her punk rock look and upsets Posada Middle School’s queen bee. But her dad, who now lives far away because her parents have divorced, reminds her, things get better if she just remembers what being punk really is. This awesome book by Celia C. Perez gives kids encouragement to be themselves and be strong even when there are big changes at home. Ages: 10-12


The Divorce Express

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Many divorce books show kids living primarily with mom and spending time with dad on weekends, but that is not always the arrangement—and it’s not the arrangement in Paula Danziger’s book. Phoebe’s parents are divorced and now she’s living with her dad in the country, and taking the bus into the city on weekends to be with mom. Phoebe isn’t happy about it, but she’s getting used to it until her mom announces she’s getting remarried and everything changes again. Ages: 10 and up

—Amber Guetebier
Featured image courtesy of Slumberkins

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