My Daddy is in Jail is a resource for helping children cope with the incarceration of a loved one. It includes a read-aloud story, discussion guide, caregiver suggestions and optional small group counseling activities. With this book, helping professionals, and other caring adults, will find themselves better equipped to provide information and support to these vulnerable children and their families.
Visiting Day Author: Jacqueline Woodson (Scholastic Press, 2002) Age Range: 4 - 8 years
A little girl and her grandmother get ready for visiting day. As they make their preparations, the girl’s father–who adores her–is getting ready too.
The Girl in the Well is Me Author: Karen Rivers (Algonquin Young Readers) Age Range_ 10 -13 years
Newcomer Kammie Summers has fallen into a well during a (fake) initiation into a club whose members have no intention of letting her join. Now Kammie’s trapped in the dark, growing increasingly claustrophobic, and waiting to be rescued—or possibly not.
This book was inspired by a five year old whose father had been incarcerated most of her life. One day after visiting with friends who have both devoted parents in the home, this little girl blurted out to her mother in frustration, “What is jail anyway, and why can’t Daddy be home with us?” She needed answers! When the truth is withheld from children they tend to blame themselves for other’s mistakes and short-comings. Also in Spanish.
A factual yet sensitive picture book about a boy’s father being sent to prison. The black-and-white illustrations of predominately white characters match the detailed story of the sobering event. One feels the quiet sadness Andy experiences in first discovering his father is guilty of a crime, and then the harder task of facing the day-to-day changes this fact has made in his life.
Harry Sue Author: Sue Stauffacher (Yearling, 2007) Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Eleven-year-old Harry Sue Clotkin is the only child of convicted felons. She has been sentenced to live with her abusive Granny who runs a squalid in-home daycare center. When she’s not protecting the “crumb-snatchers” from her cruel Granny, visiting her best friend who is a quadriplegic or maintaining her tough-girl image at school, Harry Sue dreams of becoming a “conette” and joining her mother in prison. But as hard as she tries to be tough, Harry Sue cannot ignore the suffering of those around her, nor can she deny that throbbing in her chest—her heart.
With her signature insight and grace, two-time Newbery Medalist Katherine Paterson tells the compassionate, moving story of one girl’s struggle to hold her family together. Eleven-year-old Angel Morgan, despite her youth, is the head of her family. With a father in jail for robbery and murder, and Verna, her mother, too preoccupied with herself to care for anyone else, Angel looks out for her seven-year-old brother. She keeps a house key around her neck and taxi money in her sock, “just in case.”
When his 9th grade language arts teacher tells him to pay attention to the poetry assignment or take a hike, Romar opts for the hike, walks out of Roseburg Oregon High School and embarks on a journey to find his mother. He figures that shouldn’t be too hard. She’s in prison in Washington.
Living in such a reality based world, it is difficult as educators and adult leaders to get through to some teens today. Letters from Prison is a riveting way to reach young people who are at high risk of getting into trouble or have already experienced some difficulty. These letters provide a real look at what happens when you make poor choices or act on impulses. The discussion questions that follow each letter help teens to look at the risk factors that lead to the person getting into trouble. Afterwards the teen can reflect on their own life by journaling what they learned from reading that particular letter.
All families change over time. Sometimes a baby is born, or a grown-up gets married. And sometimes a child gets a new foster parent or a new adopted mom or dad. Children need to know that when this happens, it’s not their fault. They need to understand that they can remember and value their birth family and love their new family, too. Straightforward words and full-color illustrations offer hope and support for children facing or experiencing change. Includes resources and information for birth parents, foster parents, social workers, counselors, and teachers.
Sherman Smith saw the most terrible thing happen. At first he tried to forget about it, but something inside him started to bother him. He felt nervous and had bad dreams. Then he met someone who helped him talk about the terrible thing, and made him feel better. This is a wonderful book for teachers or parents to use with younger children.
A resource for children and parents. This workbook encourages kids to answer questions by drawing pictures, writing words or talking to someone. It is designed to help children recognize that their feelings are important, to think about their feelings and decide what to do about their feelings.
Oakland Tales From Community Works and Author Summer Brenner (2014)
These narratives include local street names, local sites, and multi-cultural historical facts; it will be distributed to a multitude of low-income youth. Oakland Unified School District will be adopting the novel into their common core curriculum for 8th graders