Fathers, grandfathers, and parents who may be gender fluid come in wonderfully expressive forms. Celebrate and honor them with books about diverse families.
Something Happened to My Dad: A Story About Immigration and Family Separation by Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP and Vivianne Aponte Rivera, MD is a realistic and empowering tale in which Carmen learns that through community and love, she can find strength in herself and maintain her connection with her Papi, who has been detained because of his immigration status.
That Missing Feeling by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater explores adjusting to divorce. Mia’s life feels split in two after her parents get divorced. When Mia visits her Grandpa, he gives her a little blue notebook saying, “When I write about Grandma, I am sad but I am happy too. She is gone, but you are here. Life changes, and writing helps me think about these changes. My notebook is a home for my heart.”
My Maddy by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD explores what it’s like to have a gender-nonconforming parent from a child’s perspective.
“Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are like my Maddy.
My Maddy has hazel eyes which are not brown or green. And my Maddy likes sporks because they are not quite a spoon or a fork.
The best things in the world are not one thing or the other. They are something in between and entirely their own.”
Pockets Full of Rocks by Yair Engelberg presents a young daughter’s questions to her depressed father. He offers direct answers and promotes the hope that he will become his old self again. This gentle, hopeful book will help kids cope with a parent’s mental illness.
Papa, Daddy, & Riley by Seamus Kirst explores Riley’s experience when one of her schoolmates asks which one of her dads is her real father. It celebrates the special, unique relationships children have with each of their parents and the love that makes a family.
Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart, PhD, tells the story of two musical grandfathers and a boy who uses their shared love of accordions to help them connect, even though they don’t speak the same language. It explores families’ rich cultural diversity and how, while we may be different, we all have much in common as well.