Kids With Parents In Jail Series: Books for Kids

Children whose parent(s) are in jail need to know they are not alone. One way to accomplish this is to provide books that relate to the child's situation. Here are five books specifically for the child, and three that might help the caregiver help the child.

A Visit to the Big House by Oliver Butterworth was published in 1993. It tells the story of a brother and sister who are worried about visiting their father in jail until they see him.

Mama Loves Me From Away by Pat Brisson was published in 2004. It tells the story of a girl, and her mother and how they maintain their relationship while Mom is in prison.

Kofi's Mom by Richard Dyches was published in 2010. This is a story about a little boy whose Mom goes to prison. Lonely and confused, Kofi doesn't know how to express his feelings until his friends help him open up. 

Doogie's Dad is by the same author as Kofi's Mom, Richard Dyches, and was published in 2010 as well. It is on the same order as Kofi, but instead of talking to friends at school, Doogie and his sister finally get all their questions answered when Mom takes them to visit Dad in jail.

Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson was published in 2002. This is my favorite book. It shows that "love knows no bounds" as a little girl and her grandmother prepare for their visit with the little girl's Dad, and he prepares for their long awaited visit.

The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail by Melissa Higgins was published in 2011. It is a book for the caregiver and the child. It's a heartwarming story that might help ease a child's feelings of loss, fear, and anger.

My Daddy Is In Jail by Janet Bender was published in 2003. It is a resource book designed to help children cope with their feelings when a parent goes to jail. It includes a story, discussion guide, and activities.

Next week, we'll take a look at a few programs designed to help the incarcerated parent learn the skills needed to be better parents.

Kids--all kids--are our future, and it's up to us to determine what that future will be. 

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