Divorce and Stepfamilies: Breaking Apart, Coming Together

All families are works in progress...

Description | More From the Teens
Recommended Reads
Transcript | Order Videotape

Recommended Reads

Sometimes it helps to dig into a good story or advice book about divorce and stepfamilies. Here are some books-- some new, some old-- that are worth checking out. For additional resources and organizitions, check out our 411 page.

Fiction Books

Broken Hearts...Healing: Young Poets Speak out on Divorce
by Tom Worthen (Editor), Kyle Hernandez (Illustrator)
An anthology of poetry written by children ages 8-17 from across the United States who have experienced divorce.

Dive
by Adele Griffin
Eleven-year-old Ben's relationship with his family is strained. He and his stepbrother Dustin are complete opposites and don’t get along, his mother seems to be growing distant, and his stepfather Lyle is never there for any of them. When Dustin becomes involved in a life-changing accident, Ben finds he must be there for him and try to bring together a family that’s on the brink of breaking apart.

The Hatchet, Noguer y Caralt Editores
by Gary Paulsen
After a plane crash, thirteen-year old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.

Hard Love
by Ellen Wittlinger
Years after his parents' divorce, John is still tied in knots. Trying to learn to communicate again, he enters the "zine" world, producing his own personal little literary magazine. He's drawn deeper into this world by meeting Marisol, a free spirit and self-professed lesbian teenager.

It's Not the End of the World
by Judy Blume
This one's a classic! After her parents separate, Karen is concerned about how the family will manage financially and who will take care of them, and both her brother and sister have trouble coping. Things get better when she meets another girl whose parents are divorced, and learns some new ways of dealing with the whole thing.

The Divorce Express
by Paula Danziger
Phoebe Brooks has shuttled between her divorced parents' homes for some time now. "Joint custody" wasn't so bad when both her mother and father lived in the city. But ever since her father moved to a house in the country, Phoebe has had to ride the "Divorce Express."

Lord of the Deep
by Graham Salisbury
Thirteen-year-old Mikey still can’t believe he’s the deckhand on the best deep-sea charter boat around, captained by Mikey’s stepfather Bill. In one summer, Mikey not only learns fishing secrets from a master, but also what it's like to live and work with new family members.

The Queen of Everything
by Deb Caletti
In the San Juan Islands in Washington State, high school junior Jordan MacKenzie learns about different kinds of love as her divorced father's troubling affair with a married woman ends in tragedy, and she tries to fit into her hippie mother's new family while halfheartedly dating the popular boy at school.

Stetson
By S.L. Rottman
Stetson’s car, his art, and an education are his tickets out of his small hometown. When his father brings home a sister he never knew he had, Stetson begins to doubt if he can find anything in common with her or try to build any kind of relationship.

That Summer
by Sarah Dessen
For fifteen-year-old Haven, there's too much going on, with her father’s wedding to Lorna Queen, her sister’s wedding to her boring fiancé, and the fact that she’s six feet tall and still growing! Then her sister’s old boyfriend shows up and causes Haven to flash back to a past summer when everything was perfect...or so it seemed.

Where in the World
By Simon French
Nothing seems to stay constant for Ari, an ordinary boy with a special gift for music. His mother has re-married, he must get to know his new stepfather, and to top it all off, they’re all moving to an unfamiliar country. However, with the help of his new parent, Ari learns to see his extraordinary talent in a new light.

 

Non-Fiction Books

Divorce Is Not the End of the World: Zoe's and Evan's Coping Guide for Kids
by Ellen Sue Stern, With Evan Stern
A teenage brother and sister whose parents are divorced discuss topics relating to this situation, respond to letters from other children, and offer tips based on their experience. Includes insights from their mother.


How to Survive Your Parents' Divorce
by Kimball, Gayle, Ph.D.
268 young people share how they coped with their parents' divorce. Includes comments from 20 counselors who work with youth whose parents are divorcing. Illustrations, bibliography and resource lists.

Finding Your Place: A Teen Guide to Life in a Blended Family
by Julie Leibowitz
Leibowitz points out in this book that while all blended families can't be like the ideal Brady Bunch, they can be positive and healthy. She suggests ways to help kids and teens deal with stepparents, stepsiblings, and even their own parents.

Split Ends: Teenage Stepchildren
by Ruth Webber
There are no simple solutions for helping young people understand stepfamily life, but there are a range of options that other teens have tried and found to have worked for them

Stepliving for Teens: Getting along with Stepparents and Siblings
by Joel D. Block, Jane O'Connor (Editor), Susan S. Bartell
Is there life after your parents’ divorce? This book covers a wide range of actual stepfamily concerns, such as what to do if you get conflicting messages from parents and how to handle new siblings sharing your room. Not only will teens get honest answers from psychologists who specialize in teenagers and stepfamilies, but they will also read advice from other teens who have been through the change. .

Stepmother & Stepdaughters: Relationships of Chance, Friendships for a Lifetime
By Karen L. Annarino
Annarino relates the trials and tribulations of maintaining a relationship with a stepdaughter. She also shares the accounts of other young women and the unexpected friendships they formed with their stepmothers

When Your Parents Split Up..How To Keep Yourself Together
by Alys Swan-Jackson,
Children of divorced parents offer strategies for coping.