Books about family members in prison

Rat

Many books are pure entertainment, but sometimes it's important to read stories that reflect reality.

These books are set in the real world, and the main characters have a family member in prison. They are aimed at a variety of age groups, and all are fiction.

I Send You a Hug is the exception to this, as it's more general. It's about loving someone even when you're far away, which might be useful to read with young children.

  • I Send You a Hug

    Author: Anne Booth Illustrator: Åsa Gilland

    Interest level: 4-5

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  • I Send You a Hug

    Author: Anne Booth Illustrator: Åsa Gilland

    Interest level: 4-5

    Reading age:

    A heart-warming, uplifting picture book about the connection between you and someone you love, even if they’re far away.  

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  • When Dad Was Away

    Author: Liz Weir Illustrator: Karin Littlewood

    Interest level: 4+

    Reading age: 7+

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  • When Dad Was Away

    Author: Liz Weir Illustrator: Karin Littlewood

    Interest level: 4+

    Reading age: 7+

    Milly thinks her dad is away working, but after she is teased by children in the playground her mum admits that dad is in prison.

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  • Milo Imagines The World

    Author: Matt de la Peña Illustrator: Christian Robinson

    Interest level: 6-8

    Reading age: 6+

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  • Milo Imagines The World

    Author: Matt de la Peña Illustrator: Christian Robinson

    Interest level: 6-8

    Reading age: 6+

    Milo and his big sister are on their way to visit their mum in prison. On the way, Milo imagines all the different lives of the pe…

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  • Ella on the Outside

    Author: Cath Howe

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Ella on the Outside

    Author: Cath Howe

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

    Ella's going through a lot of changes - a new home, a new school, and a big family secret to keep under wraps. But how f…

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  • The Faraway Truth

    Author: Janae Marks

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • The Faraway Truth

    Author: Janae Marks

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 8+

    Zoe has never met her father, who is in prison for life. But what if he was innocent? When a letter arrives, she sets out on a que…

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  • Cowgirl

    Author: GR Gemin

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  • Cowgirl

    Author: GR Gemin

    Interest level:

    Reading age:

    Gemma's father is in prison, she is fighting constantly with her mother and brother, she's fallen in with the wrong crowd at schoo…

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  • Rat

    Author: Patrice Lawrence

    Interest level: 9-14

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Rat

    Author: Patrice Lawrence

    Interest level: 9-14

    Reading age: 10+

    Al's mum is back in prison again - and Al thinks it's their neighbour's fault, so he plots revenge with his beloved pet rats, Veno…

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  • Flush

    Author: Carl Hiaasen

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Flush

    Author: Carl Hiaasen

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 9+

    This is an engaging and light-hearted thriller about issues that matter - justice, family and the environment.

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  • Opal Plumstead

    Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Opal Plumstead

    Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 8+

    Fourteen-year-old Opal's family falls on hard times when her accountant father foolishly forges a cheque to support his family.

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  • Ghost

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Selom Sunu

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Ghost

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Selom Sunu

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

    Three years ago Ghost’s dad chased him and his mum down the road with a gun. His dad got ten years in prison, and Ghost learned ho…

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  • Speed of Light

    Author: Joy Cowley

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Speed of Light

    Author: Joy Cowley

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Cowley's writing is a delight to read and this family drama is engrossing and endearing.

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  • Bog Child

    Author: Siobhan Dowd

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Bog Child

    Author: Siobhan Dowd

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    This is a beautifully written coming-of-age tale, which deals with themes of mortality, peace and sacrifice.

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  • Moonrise

    Author: Sarah Crossan

    Interest level: 14-18

    Reading age: 14+

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  • Moonrise

    Author: Sarah Crossan

    Interest level: 14-18

    Reading age: 14+

    Moonrise is the story of teenager Joe and his brother Ed on death row. Written in Sarah Crossan’s pioneering (and now tradema…

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