Kid make sense of their world through storytelling. And in the case of blended families, it’s important to give kids a narrative of what is going on. It helps them to feel grounded, like they can intuit and understand how the future of their own lives is going to play out.
Here are 10 books that feature stepparents or blended families, for every age.
A bouncing picture book about diversity in families. The Family Book reassures kids that families come in all shapes and sizes (including long-distance and LGBTQ families) and should be celebrated for their loving uniqueness.
A sweet story told from the perspective of a little boy who has questions about his new family dynamics. It’s a terrific book to give kids the answers to questions they may be too anxious to ask outright.
For kids experiencing the rollercoaster of emotions that come with a new blended family, this book presents all the positive outcomes of a blended family, like double the birthday parties and double the attention from their new “bonus mom.”
For kids struggling with an upcoming wedding, Mountain Wedding tells the story of both sides of a big soon-to-be blended family fighting against the odds to come together as a family in time for the big day.
Little Amelia is having a hard time adjusting to life in two households. She’s scared to travel in the dark. Her stepmother emerges as the book’s hero, helping her to find her light.
Not to be confused with the Gossip Girl novel of the same name, Katy Birchall’s The It Girl is a hilarious story of a painfully shy teenager who must suddenly adjust to life in the spotlight when her dad marries a famous actress.
Older kids appreciate being given practical resiliency tools and Ricci’s book is a classic for advice on handling the new challenges that come with divorced and blended families.
It’s harder to find books about blended families that would be of interest to a pre-teen boy. Lord of the Deep is a coming-of-age novel about a boy who gets the chance to bond with his stepfather over the summer by being a deckhand on his deep-sea charter boat.
Teens and Tweens:
With quizzes, illustrations, advice from other kids, and a tween sense of humor, the Survival Guide acknowledges the growing pains of being a tween in a newly blended family in an upbeat, frank way.
Rather than try to convince a teen that you understand his or her concerns, let other teens guide the way. In this anthology, thirty writers share their stories of real life in a blended family.