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Blended Families: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about blended families?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to blended families. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about blended families.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about blended families, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Two Naomis to popular sellers like Sarah, Plain and Tall.

We hope this list of kids books about blended families can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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The Willoughbys Return
Written by Lois Lowry
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

It’s been 30 years and with rising temperatures melting icy mountain tops the previously frozen Willoughbys have thawed out and are about to return! From living legend and Newbery medalist Lois Lowry comes a hilarious sequel to New York Times bestseller The Willoughbys – soon to be an animated film starring Ricky Gervais, Maya Rudolph, Terry Crews, Martin Short, Jane Krakowski, and Sean Cullen on Netflix!
 Although they grew up as wretched orphans, the Willoughby siblings also became heirs to the the Melanoff candy company fortune. Everything has turned out just splendidly, except for one problem: Richie Willoughby, son of Timothy Willoughby, is an only child and is quite lonely.

Winifred and Winston Poore have long admired the toys of their neighbor Richie Willoughby and finally befriend the mysterious boy next door. But just as Richie finally begins to make friends, selling sweets is made illegal, and the family’s fortune is put in jeopardy. To make matters worse, Richie’s horrible Willoughby grandparents—frozen atop a Swiss mountain thirty years ago—have thawed, remain in perfect health, and are making their way home again. 

What is the point of being the reclusive son of a billionaire when your father is no longer a billionaire? What is the future without candy in it? And is there any escaping the odiousness of the Willoughbys? These are the profound questions with which Newbery medalist and ignominious author Lois Lowry grapples in The Willoughbys Return.

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A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Written & illustrated by Joy McCullough
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A girl with a passion for science and a boy who dreams of writing fantasy novels must figure out how to get along now that their parents are dating in this lively, endearing novel.

Sutton is having robot problems. Her mini-bot is supposed to be able to get through a maze in under a minute, but she must have gotten something wrong in the coding. Which is frustrating for a science-minded girl like Sutton—almost as frustrating as the fact that her mother probably won’t be home in time for Sutton’s tenth birthday.

Luis spends his days writing thrilling stories about brave kids, but there’s only so much inspiration you can find when you’re stuck inside all day. He’s allergic to bees, afraid of dogs, and has an overprotective mom to boot. So Luis can only dream of daring adventures in the wild.

Sutton and Luis couldn’t be more different from each other. Except now that their parents are dating, these two have to find some common ground. Will they be able to navigate their way down a path they never planned on exploring?

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Marianna May and Nursey
Written & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this reissue of Tomie dePaola’s charming 1983 classic Marianna May and Nursey, a family works together to make sure Marianna May can make the most of her summer.

Marianna May’s Nursey likes to dress her in white, which means Marianna May isn’t allowed to roll in the grass, or make mud pies, or eat orange ice and strawberry ice cream, or paint pictures because her clothes could get messy. But Marianna May doesn’t want to waste her summer staying clean on the porch.

Can she and her family figure out a way for her to have fun without worrying about her clothes?

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Family is ...
Written by Clever Publishing
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Celebrate loved ones with this delightful story. Family**is made of the people you love: mom, dad, foster parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, grandparents, and even friends! Little ones will enjoy exploring these colorful pages** filled with diverse family scenarios; and discovering that families come in all shapes and sizes - no one family is alike - and that’s what makes us special.

  • Celebrates diverse family situations.
  • Sweet illustrations, simple text, and sturdy board book format is perfect for toddlers.
  • A lovely gift for any occasion.
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Closer to Nowhere
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13
#1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins's poignant middle grade novel in verse about coming to terms with indelible truths of family and belonging.
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  • All the Ways Home - Sometimes, home isn’t where you expect to find it. After losing his mom in a fatal car crash, Kaede Hirano–now living with a grandfather who is more stranger than family–developed anger issues and spent his last year of middle school acting out. Best-friendless and critically in danger repeating the seventh grade, Kaede is given a summer assignment: write an essay about what home means to him, which will be even tougher now that he’s on his way to Japan to reconnect with his estranged father and older half-brother. Still, if there’s a chance Kaede can finally build a new family from an old one, he’s willing to try. But building new relationships isn’t as easy as destroying his old ones, and one last desperate act will change the way Kaede sees everyone–including himself. This is a book about what home means to us—and that there are many different correct answers.

  • Apple Pie Promises - Lily has lived with her mom since her parents got divorced several years ago, and her dad has recently remarried to a woman with a daughter her age named Hannah. But now, Lily’s mom has gotten a once-in-a-lifetime work opportunity in Morocco and will be gone for a year, so Lily is moving in with her dad–and new stepmom and stepsister. It’ll be as easy as apple pie, right?

  • Every Missing Piece - A stunning voice-driven novel about grief, family, and putting the pieces back together for "fans of Rebecca Stead and Erin Entrada Kelly" (BCCB) and "readers who enjoyed The Thing About Jellyfish (Booklist).

  • Violet Mackerel's Personal Space - Is it possible to leave a piece of you wherever you go? Violet Mackerel thinks so in this fourth illustrated chapter book of a charming series.</b> <p/>Violet Mackerel believes that wherever you leave something small, a tiny part of you gets to stay too–like how the little piece of green sea glass under the mattress at the beach house means that a little piece of Violet gets to stay on summer holiday. <p/>Violet’s theory is put to the test when Mama and Vincent announce some very special news: They are going to get married. And they are all going to move. Violet is excited for the wedding, but Dylan is angry about the move. Normally, it is nice to be inside with your family when there is a big noisy storm outside and there is pumpkin soup for dinner and something on TV about penguins. But it is hard to enjoy it when your brother is outside in the garden in a leaky tent. <p/>When Dylan won’t budge, the wedding preparations feel a bit sad. But just in time, Violet thinks of the perfect way to help Dylan feel better about moving. And her Theory of Leaving Small Things Behind is going to come in handy!

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Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Winner of the 2018 ALA Schneider Family Book Award, Middle Grade Books category

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Blue Skies
Written by Anne Bustard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
For fans of Kate DiCamillo's Louisiana's Way Home, this heartwarming novel tells the story of ten-year-old Glory Bea as she prepares for a miracle of her very own--her father's return home.
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Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas
Written & illustrated by Juana Medina
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When her mami meets someone new, Juana worries that everything will change in a humorous, heartwarming follow-up to the Pura Belpré Award-winning Juana & Lucas. Juana’s life is just about perfect. She lives in the beautiful city of Bogotá with her two most favorite people in the world: her mami and her dog, Lucas. Lately, though, things have become a little less perfect. Mami has a new hairdo and a new amigo named Luis with whom she has been spending a LOT of time. He is kind and teaches Juana about things like photography and jazz music, but sometimes Juana can’t help wishing things would go back to the way they were before. When Mami announces that she and Luis are getting married and that they will all be moving to a new casa, Juana is quite distraught. Lucky for her, though, some things will never change – like how much Mami loves her. Based on author-illustrator Juana Medina’s own childhood in Colombia, this joyful series is sure to resonate with readers of all ages.

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Love Like Sky
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"Brims with charm and compassion." -- Vashti Harrison, New York Times best-selling author of Little Leaders

"Love ain't like that."
"How is it then?" Peaches asked, turning on her stomach to face me.
"It's like sky. If you keep driving and driving, gas will run out, right?"
"That's why we gotta go to the gas station."
"Yep. But have you ever seen the sky run out? No matter how far we go?"
"No, when we look up, there it is."
"Well that's the kind of love Daddy and Mama got for us, Peaches -- love like sky."
"It never ends?"
"Never."

G-baby and her younger sister, Peaches, are still getting used to their "blended-up" family. They live with Mama and Frank out in the suburbs, and they haven't seen their real daddy much since he married Millicent. G-baby misses her best friend back in Atlanta, and is crushed that her glamorous new stepsister, Tangie, wants nothing to do with her.

G-baby is so preoccupied with earning Tangie's approval that she isn't there for her own little sister when she needs her most. Peaches gets sick-really sick. Suddenly, Mama and Daddy are arguing like they did before the divorce, and even the doctors at the hospital don't know how to help Peaches get better.

It's up to G-baby to put things right. She knows Peaches can be strong again if she can only see that their family's love for her really is like sky.

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What If a Fish
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A whimsical and unflinchingly honest generational story of family and identity where hats turn into leeches, ghosts blow kisses from lemon trees, and the things you find at the end of your fishing line might not be a fish at all.
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  • To Night Owl from Dogfish - Unhappy about being sent to the same summer camp after their fathers start dating, Bett and Avery, eleven, eventually begin scheming to get the couple back together after a break-up. Told entirely through text messages.

  • Double Play - Allie loves baseball. It’s the one thing that has been consistent in her lately complicated life. Allie’s father left recently, and now Allie has a new family – her mother’s new girlfriend, Phyllis, and son Miles have moved in. It’s taking some adjustment, mostly because Miles seems determined to get under her skin. Things start looking up when Allie gets invited to join the boy’s baseball team as their new pitcher. But then Miles announces he’s quitting the boy’s team and tries out for Allie’s old team – a girl’s team! Allie is sure he’s doing it just to annoy her, but Miles insists that he just likes the girl’s style of play better. As Allie struggles to find her place on the boy’s team, she starts to see that Miles is just trying to fit in as well, and that it may be even harder for him than it has been for her.

  • A Field Guide to Getting Lost - "A cozy and enjoyable read." --Kirkus Reviews

  • Ella's Big Chance: A Jazz-Age Cinderella - The classic story of Cinderella gains even more charm in this glamorous retelling by world-famous picture book writer and illustrator Shirley Hughes. Ella Cinders loves helping her father in his dress shop and laughing with her friend Buttons, the store’s delivery boy. Then comes the terrible day when her father remarries and everything changes. Her stepmother makes her sew in the dreary basement. Her stepsisters mock her shabby dress. And to top it off, the new Mrs. Cinders forbids Ella to attend the duke’s grand ball. Heartbroken, Ella is sure that her life will never be what she dreamed. But with the help of a fairy godmother and some sparkling courage of her own, this Cinderella discovers that dreams can come true in the most unexpected of ways. Join Ella amidst the dazzle and fashion of the roaring twenties as she takes happily ever after into her own hands!

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End of the Wild
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
This timely coming of age novel takes on the controversial issues of fracking and environmental protection.
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Center of Gravity
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In Shaunta Grimes' middle-grade novel Center of Gravity, a girl loses her mom, and her dad remarries quickly, so she must rebuild her life and friendships.

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Blended
Written by Sharon Draper
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Eleven-year-old Isabella’s blended family is more divided than ever in this thoughtful story about divorce and racial identity from the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Out of My Mind, Sharon M. Draper. Eleven-year-old Isabella’s parents are divorced, so she has to switch lives every week: One week she’s Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son Darren living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she’s Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend John-Mark in a small, not-so-fancy house that she loves. Because of this, Isabella has always felt pulled between two worlds. And now that her parents are divorced, it seems their fights are even worse, and they’re always about HER. Isabella feels even more stuck in the middle, split and divided between them than ever. And she’s is beginning to realize that being split between Mom and Dad is more than switching houses, switching nicknames, switching backpacks: it’s also about switching identities. Her dad is black, her mom is white, and strangers are always commenting: “You’re so exotic!” “You look so unusual.” “But what are you really?” She knows what they’re really saying: “You don’t look like your parents.” “You’re different.” “What race are you really?” And when her parents, who both get engaged at the same time, get in their biggest fight ever, Isabella doesn’t just feel divided, she feels ripped in two. What does it mean to be half white or half black? To belong to half mom and half dad? And if you’re only seen as half of this and half of that, how can you ever feel whole? It seems like nothing can bring Isabella’s family together again—until the worst happens. Isabella and Darren are stopped by the police. A cell phone is mistaken for a gun. And shots are fired.

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The Black Heart Crypt
Written by Chris Grabenstein
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Perfect for Halloween! From the New York Times bestselling author of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library and coauthor of I Funny and Treasure Hunters, comes a series of spine-tingling mysteries to keep you up long after the lights go out.
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The Time of Green Magic
Written by Hilary McKay
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"Possibly the finest writer of our time." --Elizabeth Wein, New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Verity
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  • Once Upon a Toad - A girl gets into a mouthful of trouble in this modern fractured fairy tale, from the author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club.

  • Two Naomis - A realistic contemporary story of two girls whose divorced parents begin to date—perfect for fans of Lisa Graff, Sara Pennypacker, and Rita Williams-Garcia. Other than their first names, Naomi Marie and Naomi Edith are sure they have nothing in common, and they wouldn’t mind keeping it that way.

  • The Ring Bearer - Mama’s getting married, and Jackson has an important job to do! A story about love, weddings, and the special joy that is a blended family. Jackson’s mama is getting married, and he gets to be the ring bearer. But Jackson is worried . . . What if he trips? Or walks too slowly? Or drops the rings? And what about his new stepsister, Sophie? She’s supposed to be the flower girl, but Jackson’s not sure she’s taking her job as seriously as she should. In a celebration of blended families, this heartwarming story, stunningly illustrated by the award-winning Floyd Cooper, is a perfect gift for any child who’s nervous to walk down the aisle at a wedding, and shows kids that they can handle life’s big changes.

  • Tru & Nelle: A Christmas Tale - Young Truman Capote thought life in New York City was going to be perfect, but things didn’t work out as planned. In fact, Tru is downright miserable. So he decides to run away to Monroeville, Alabama, and the only friend he’s ever had, Nelle Harper Lee. But things don’t go well there, either. Bad things seem to happen wherever he goes. The only explanation: he must be cursed. Christmas is coming, and Tru’s only wish is to be happy. But it’ll take a miracle for that to come true. Luckily, a special feast brings the miracle he’s hoping for. Tru and Nelle: A Christmas Tale is based on the real life friendship of Truman Capote and Harper Lee.

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Katie Cox Vs. the Boy Band
Written & illustrated by Marianne Levy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Katie Cox never meant to become a pop star. And she didn’t mean to start a war with Karamel (a.k.a. the World’s Cheesiest Boy Band). Now her first concert is just days away. Cool? Maybe. But with her school friends more interested in her fame than her feelings, and an army of Karamel fans ready to take her down, this battle goes way beyond the charts.

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Maggie and the Wish Fish
Written by E.D. Baker & illustrated by Lisa Manuzak
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Maggie's adventures in the Enchanted Forest continue in the second book of a new chapter book series by E. D. Baker!

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Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella Tale
Written by Robert D. San Souci & illustrated by Sergio Martinez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Blessed Mary rewards Teresa’s good deeds with a shining gold star. Later she punishes Teresa’s unkind stepsisters, Isabel and Inez, with hideous horns and donkey’s ears that they try to hide under heavy veils! But will Teresa outshine her stepsisters at the festival? Robert D. San Souci retells this popular folktale in a lilting narrative that includes all the magic of the beloved Cinderella story and traditional elements from Spanish tales. Luminous watercolors by Sergio Martinez accentuate the beauty and goodness that radiate from Little Gold Star.

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Like Jake and Me
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

In this Newbery Honor winning story from 1984, a new family builds a relationship as a stepfather and stepson celebrate their differences and take heart in their similarities.”

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Sarah, Plain and Tall
Written by Patricia MacLachlan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

This beloved Newbery Medal–winning book is the first of five books in Patricia MacLachlan’s chapter book series about the Witting family. Set in the late nineteenth century and told from young Anna’s point of view, Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of how Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton comes from Maine to the prairie to answer Papa’s advertisement for a wife and mother. Before Sarah arrives, Anna and her younger brother Caleb wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she sing? Will she stay? This children’s literature classic is perfect for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books, historical fiction, and timeless stories using rich and beautiful language. Sarah, Plain and Tall gently explores themes of abandonment, loss and love. This anniversary edition includes author Patricia MacLachlan’s Newbery speech, a discussion guide, and a reading list. Read the rest of the Sarah books by Patricia MacLachlan: Skylark, Caleb’s Story, More Perfect than the Moon, and Grandfather’s Dance.

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  • Prince and Pirate - When two little fish with big personalities have to share the same tank, there are rough seas ahead! Prince and Pirate are proud masters of their very own fishbowls, and life goes along swimmingly—until they’re scooped up and plopped into shared waters. Prince is horrified to find this cheeky cod trespassing in his kingdom. Pirate is sure this scurvy sea slug has come to plunder his treasure. Thus, a battle of regal sneers, seaworthy stink-eyes, and off-the-hook insults begins.
    Prince and Pirate’s hilarious duel for territory will elicit gales of giggles, hearty guffaws, and heartfelt smiles. Just when it seems their struggle might end in a silly stalemate, a little surprise convinces them to find a way to get along—swimmingly.

  • Switcharound - “Lowry fans will not be disappointed.” —_School Library Journal_   Caroline and J.P.’s father has asked them to come visit him and his new wife in Des Moines, Iowa. They don’t really want to go, but they also don’t have a say in the matter. Upon arriving, they discover they each have unexpected and unpleasant responsibilites. Caroline has to babysit their baby twin sisters and J.P. is forced to coach baseball to a bunch of six-year-olds.  The two decide to call a truce in their continual sibling warfare and help each other out. They soon discover there’s strength in numbers—and a little responsibility isn’t always a bad thing.

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