Age Appropriate Fiction for Children of Divorce
December 30, 2017 9:50 AM   Subscribe

My sister is going through her second divorce. This is the second for my nephew (almost 10 years old) and the first for my neice (almost 7 years old). What books can I include in my monthly packages to help my nebblings through this?

My sister is going through a pretty nasty divorce from my niece's father. I need recommendations for age appropriate fiction to help my nebblings understand and hopefully bring them comfort through what I am sure is a chaotic time in their young lives.

I would like to send them books addressing the topics of divorce, parents dating and remarrying, and related issues for kids. I'd prefer fiction. Nothing too preachy and absolutely nothing religious. Humor is always appreciated.

They both love to read, and these would be in addition to the books I already send monthly.

Nephew (10) is into super heroes, space exploration, and video games. Has enjoyed Goosebumps books and the Timmy Failure series.

Neice (7) is into princessy things and animals. Has enjoyed nearly every book she can read or have read to her.
posted by MuChao to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I believe that divorce and mom remarrying are plot points in the very popular Amber Brown series by Paula Danziger. They’re written for (roughly) ages 7-10, kids usually find them funny, and I don’t remember any religious aspects at all. They’re more fun to read in order. Also—although divorce/remarriage is featured, it’s not the only plot point. There are plenty of other things going on in the books as well.
posted by bookmammal at 10:47 AM on December 30, 2017

There are a lot of good middle grade books where the characters' parents are divorced, and it's
a plot point-- Hatchet springs to mind for the boy, and all of Harriet the Spy's friends seem to have divorced parents, and of course there's It's Not the End of the World by Judy Blume. But any of these books could backfire in the sense that the kids think the book is meant as a commentary on their situation. The situation in the book may be better, or worse, or the characters may handle it better or worse.

You're already sending them books. Keep it up! I'd suggest maybe be on the lookout for books where people's lives are changing more generally than just from divorce-- Because of Winn-Dixie, and stuff like that.
posted by BibiRose at 10:56 AM on December 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yes, books that deal with big life changes in general would be great too! Books don't have to deal specifically or totally with divorce. Normalization is good! Books where the divorce is not a major plot point but just accepted as reality are good.

I don't have a lot of personal experience with kids, so I'm not sure really what I'm looking for here. I just know that I'm the "book aunt" and their sad faces broke my heart this Christmas.
posted by MuChao at 11:03 AM on December 30, 2017 [4 favorites]

If the 7 year old isn't too old for picture books Erica Jong's Megan's Two Houses/Book of Divorce.
posted by brujita at 3:22 PM on December 30, 2017

Dear Mr. Henshaw and the sequel Strider by Beverly Cleary may be appropriate for nephew. Parents of main character are divorced, and while that isn't the _only_ thing that happens to the character, it is a primary thread through the book. Wikipedia has a reasonably good plot summary:
posted by ish__ at 6:38 PM on December 30, 2017

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