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Best children's books to help talk about divorce and separation

Love and Chicken Nuggets (Pippa Morgan's Diary 2)

Family break-ups are a sad and delicate time for everyone involved.

Sometimes a book can help parents and carers explain the situation to children and encourage them to share their feelings.

Here are some of our favourite children's books to ease those difficult conversations and show that families can come in all shapes and sizes – suitable for a range of ages.

  • My Family's Changing

    Author: Pat Thomas Illustrator: Lesley Harker
    Publisher: Hachette

    The issue of divorce is presented here in a simple and straightforward way, supported by colourful illustrations.

  • The Suitcase Kid

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

    Distraught at her parents' divorce, Andy cannot decide who she wants to live with. She spends one week at Mum's house, the next at Dad's, but never really feels that she belongs anywhere.

  • Step by Wicked Step

    Author: Anne Fine
    Publisher: Penguin

    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.

  • The Mum Hunt

    Author: Gwyneth Rees Illustrator: Chlo March
    Publisher: Macmillan

    When Esmie is 11, she decides it’s about time her dad got himself a new girlfriend and is convinced that her French au pair Juliette is the perfect choice.

  • My Daddy is a Silly Monkey

    Author: Dianne Hofmeyr Illustrator: Carol Thompson
    Publisher: Otter-Barry Books

    A little girl imagines her busy Daddy as all sorts of animals during their packed day in a playful, warm story about a single father and his daughter.

  • The Lottie Project

    Author: Jaqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt
    Publisher: Yearling

    At odds with her strict new teacher, and concerned that her unmarried mother is falling for the divorced father of the little boy she childminds, Charlie's life becomes increasingly stressful.

  • Love and Chicken Nuggets (Pippa Morgan's Diary 2)

    Author: Annie Kelsey
    Publisher: Scholastic

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

  • Storm Hound

    Author: Claire Fayers
    Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

    Fast-paced and funny, this otherworldly adventure is a heartwarming tale of friendship and loyalty. With entertaining characters and a clever plot, it explores big issues with humour, sensitivity and a touch of magic.

  • The Wild Book

    Author: Juan Villoro Translator: Lawrence Schimel
    Publisher: Restless Books

    When Juan goes to spend the summer with his strange uncle Tito, the last thing he expects is to be sent on a quest in his labyrinthine library. This quirky, magical adventure is a must for book-lovers everywhere.

  • Booked

    Author: Kwame Alexander
    Publisher: Andersen Press

    From fast-paced football matches to school and family drama, this novel written in verse has something for everyone and will grip reluctant readers from page one.

  • Last Stop on the Reindeer Express

    Author: Maudie Powell-Tuck Illustrator: Karl James Mountford
    Publisher: Little Tiger Press

    Mia is transported into the Reindeer Express, a magical sorting office, as she tries to get her Christmas card to Daddy in time. A sweet and heartfelt story about Christmas for a child whose parents are separated.

  • We Are All Made of Molecules

    Author: Susin Nielsen
    Publisher: Andersen Press

    High-functioning Stewart is happy at Genius Academy but his life is shattered when his Mum dies from cancer. Ashley is obsessed with her social standing at her own school, devastated by her dad moving out because he's gay.  They become unwilling siblings when their parents start a relationship.