This webpage has been put together as a helping hand to children, young people, parents, carers, and contact centres. When family life changes beyond all recognition this can be scary, sad, worrying, lonely and lots of other emotions that no one really likes. However, sometimes people also feel excited, relieved, overjoyed, safe, and lots of other emotions that we like a little more. Just to confuse things even more sometimes we can feel all of these things at once.

By offering this information, we hope to offer a ‘helping hand’ to any child, (or adult supporting a child) to understand the changes in their world and to make sense of what might be coming in the future.

These stories are available from a variety of good booksellers. We are hoping that the items on this page will help children to understand the changes that are happening in their lives and to make sense of the difficult emotions that these changes might provoke.

Family Break-Ups are a sad and delicate time for all involved. Sometimes a book can help parents and carers to explain the situation to children and encourage them to share their feelings.

The Book Trust (2019)

Before checking out these stories don’t forget that NACCC has a great range of content for children and young people. Much of this can be accessed free of charge and on the internet.

Important note

The appearance of these resources on this page is not an endorsement of the resource, the author, publisher, or the quality of the content. Some of these books will not have been read by NACCC Staff so we strongly encourage parents and carers to check the appropriateness prior to purchasing.

The Suitcase Kid

Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt Publisher: Random House

An excellent children’s story here. Great for older children, from the creator of Tracy Beaker.

Finding change difficult and struggling with her parent’s divorce, Andy cannot decide who she wants to live with. She spends time living with both parents separately, but never really feels that she belongs anywhere.

The only thing that could make Andy’s situation worse would be the complication that occurs when she begins to experience stepfamilies.

Approached with humour and understanding, this is a very readable tale of confusion, guilt, and ultimately optimism, with which many children (and adults) will identify.

I, Cosmo

Author – Charlie Sorosiak
Publisher – Nosy Crow

The story of one dog’s attempt to save his family, become a star, and eat a lot of bacon. Cosmo’s family is falling apart. And it’s up to Cosmo to keep them together. He knows exactly what to do. There’s only one problem. Cosmo is a Golden Retriever. Wise, funny, and filled with warmth and heart.

This story brings together the fun of canine freestyle dance and the heartbreak of divorce into a single, moving story about families, and what happens when no amount of effort and love is enough to keep them together.

The story is suitable for readers aged 8 and above, but the kind of vocabulary used means the book may challenge less-confident readers.

Love and Chicken Nuggets (Pippa Morgans Diary 2)

Author: Annie Kelsey
 Publisher: Scholastic

Pippa Morgan is a girl on a mission! With Valentine’s Day drawing nearer, and Mr Bacon has asked his class to write about three things they love. Pippa has loads of exciting ideas and can’t choose between detectives, dogs, astronauts, popstar Tiffany J and chicken nuggets.

Pippa then makes the startling discovery that Saint Valentine married lots of couples in secret, so the Roman Emperor couldn’t send the husbands away to war.

This becomes the inspiration for a plan of her own . . . . Pippa dreams up another Valentine project: to make Mr Bacon fall in love with her newly divorced mum.

When her plan doesn’t work, Pippa decides she’ll be very naughty in class. Then Mr Bacon will have to summon her mum…

A humour filled story about an endearing heroine whose misguided intentions result in numerous entertaining escapades.

My Daddy’s Going Away

Author: Christopher MacGregor Illustrator: Emma Yarlett
 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

When Daddy goes away the rest of the family feels sad and misses him terribly. But they soon find ways to feel better as each day passes and the time for Daddy to come home gets nearer.

This is an engaging and comforting story of children coping with a father’s absence from home. With rhyming text and appealing, fun illustrations, it cleverly and subtly helps children to understand and find ways to cope with separation.

My Family is Changing

Author – Pat Thomas
Illustrator – Lesley Harker

This book takes the form of an illustrated picture book to support children through divorce or separation. The fears, worries, and questions surrounding this difficult experience are made accessible and approachable.

Step by Wicked Step

Author: Anne Fine
 Publisher: Penguin

A miserable school trip to Harwick Hall is livened up for five students by the discovery of a secret turret room and a young boy’s diary. As they read his story of suffering at the hands of his cruel stepfather, their own tales of life with step-parents, step-siblings, half-brothers and sisters seep out.

This positive look at life in extended families is encouraging for those children who have coped with similar upheavals and informative for those who have not.

All five young people have faced the strains of torn loyalty, had to accommodate new partners in their parents’ lives and had to work out resolutions to parents childish quarrels.

Anne Fine does not shy away from the fact that separation and divorce are painful, but she does have an uplifting message about the power of honesty and compromise.

This book is likely to be most accessible to young teenagers.

This webpage has been created using information from the Book Trust Website.

The Book Trust is the UK’s largest reading charity and they reach millions of children every year with books, resources, and support to get every child reading, regularly and by choice.

The Book Trust is national in scale and operate in every region in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. They work through every local authority, via children’s centres, schools, libraries, and health professionals, to reach the families who need them most.

From running the Children’s Laureate to giving out books to families and schools, running exciting reading campaigns, or celebrating the very best children’s books with our prizes, everything they do aims to inspire children – from babies to teenagers – to get started on their reading journeys.

For more information, to look at information about books, or to make a donation, click the logo above.