17 Children's Books about Stepfamilies.

17 Children's Books about Stepfamilies.

Navigating the world of stepfamilies can be challenging for adults and children.

There are many ways to help your child understand their experiences, thoughts and feelings around a much loved parent re-partnering and their becoming a part of a stepfamily. One simple yet incredibly powerful approach is through books and stories.

Reading books with your child about stepfamilies and all the tangled branches present in a stepfamily tree can help improve a child’s emotional expression as well as their adjustment to their changing family circumstances. It can help make a child or young person feel less alone, open up communication between parent and child and give children the words and language to talk about their feelings and their experiences.

So, I’ve put together a list of children’s books about stepfamilies that might be suitable to your family’s circumstances and help your children/stepchildren navigate the changes and feelings that can happen when a stepfamily forms.


  1. Harriet’s Expanding Heart by Rachel Brace, illustrated by Angela Perrini.  This story follows Harriet and shares her emotional experiences of her father remarrying, her gaining a stepbrother and stepmother and her stepfamily beginnings. A charmingly illustrated book that is also a lovely tool to help kids name and process the various emotions they might feel when becoming a part of a stepfamily. (Ages 4-8).
  2. Family Forest by Kim Kane, illustrated by Lucia Masciullo. While some kids have a family tree, We have a family forest! Do you have half-sisters, big brothers, stepparents? The modern family comes in all shapes and sizes.This gentle and witty picture book looks at one such family. (Ages 4-7 years).
  3. Florence and Her Fantastic Family Tree by Judy Gilliam. Florence has to do a family tree for a class project. However, she does not have a typical family. You see her family is big, with six parents and children. A lovely book for children that explores stepfamilies and how wonderful having a big family can be. (Ages 5-8).
  4. More People to Love Me by Mo O’Hara, illustrated by Ada Grey. This little girl’s family is huge! The only way to show how huge would be to draw a family tree. With a step-mum, a stepdad, four brothers and sisters, and a whole lot of grandparents, her family tree has a lot of branches – and a lot of people to love her. A book which shows that families come in all shapes and sizes and speaks to children with a large extended family. (Ages 3+).
  5. Cat Dog Dog by Nelly Buchet, illustrated by Andrea Zuill. When their parents move in together, Cat, Dog, and Dog will have to adjust to their new blended family. Just when they get used to each other, along comes a baby. Using a few words, this story is told from the pets point of view about the challenges and joys that come with combining two different families into one. (Ages 3–6 years).
  6. Life With My Family by Renee Hooker and Karl Jones, illustrated by Kathryn Durst. Life in this family can be chaotic. When a little girl gets tired of the noise, she imagines what things would be like if her family members were birds, insects, rodents, jellyfish, and lions. With a blended family at the centre, this silly story celebrates the chaos that comes with family life. (Ages 4–7).
  7. Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four by Maria Ashworth, illustrated by Andrea Chele. A rhyming story that focuses on a little girl who isn’t happy about her mother’s upcoming wedding. She likes having her mum all to herself, and she doesn’t look forward to sharing him with her new stepfather or her four new stepbrothers. She tries her hardest to keep the wedding from happening, but she ends up learning that having a stepfamily has a lot of benefits. (Ages 4-5+).
  8. My Blended Family by Claudia Herrington, illustrated by Zoe Persico. Olivia invites her friend Lenny over after school. Lenny is overwhelmed by Olivia’s stepfamily. As Lenny asks questions about how the household operates with all these kids, he starts to see what holds a family together. The most important element in any family is love, no matter the combination of people and backgrounds. (Ages 4+).
  9. My Bonus Mom! Taking Step out of Stepmom by Tami Butcher. In rhythmic verse, this story shows children of divorced families that a positive attitude can lead to a happy outcome and springs open their hearts and minds to accept their own bonus mums. It captures the mixed emotions that surge through young children as they deal with divorce and adjust to remarriage. (Ages 4-10).
  10. Daddy’s Getting Married by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos. In this story a little girl lives primarily with her mum and visits her dad for holidays. It explores a child’s feelings and fears when her father remarries and offer reassures that despite the new marriage her father will continue to love her and look after her. (Ages 4-6).
  11. My Mom’s Wedding by Eve Bunting. Pinky is both excited and conflicted about her mum’s upcoming wedding. She really likes the man her mom is marrying, but she also feels guilty, as if loving her stepfather will make her disloyal to her father. Deep down inside, what Pinky really wants is for her parents to get back together. It takes an important conversation with her father for Pinky to realize that her parents are just friends now, and that she can love her father and her stepfather at the same time. (Ages 4+).


  1. The Thing About Leftovers by C.C. Payne. Fizzy wants to win the Southern Living cook-o", but she has a lot on her plate with her parents’ divorce, a suspiciously flawless stepmom, her mom’s rude boyfriend, and feeling like she just doesn’t fit anywhere in her family. Trying to be a good kid in the midst of it all is exhausting. At turns funny and poignant, The Thing About Leftovers gracefully handles the angst of both middle school and stepfamilies. (Ages 10+).
  2. The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead. Bea felt like her life turned upside down when her parents divorced. Now, her dad is getting married to his boyfriend, and Bea can’t wait to meet her new stepsister. But creating a new family isn’t always easy, and she’ll learn that the process comes with plenty of ups and downs. This hopeful and heartfelt story is perfect for kids that have experienced a significant change in their family. (Ages 8–12).
  3. Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley. Jen isn’t thrilled about moving to live on a farm with her mom’s new boyfriend. And when she meets her two new stepsisters, she knows that things will never be the same. Adjusting to life on the farm is di#cult for Jen, and she isn’t sure how she fits into her new family. This is a graphic novel that captures the complex emotions that come with blending families. (Ages 8– 12).
  4. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. At first glance, this book looks like your typical YA rom-com, but it’s much more than that. When her father elopes with a woman he met online, Jessie finds herself in a new home, school, and family. She has to navigate new relationships with her stepmother and stepbrother while trying to fit in at an upscale prep school. With themes of family, friendship, and first love, this YA novel explores the turmoil and joy that comes with starting over in a new place. (Ages 13+).
  5. Love Like Sky Paperback by Leslie C. YoungbloodThis story tackles the subject of a new blended family and having to move to a new home. Two sisters are unsure about their new stepfamily. But then the youngest sister, Peaches, gets really sick. Mom and dad start fighting again and it is up to G-Baby to make things right so Peaches can get better! (Ages 8-12).
  6. Like Jake and Me by Mavis Jukes. A book that tells about a common stepfamily challenge – trying to relate to a stepparent. Alex feels like he has nothing in common with his stepdad and they just can’t seem to build a relationship. But then there is a spider and they both take some basic steps toward understanding one another. This story celebrates differences between stepson and stepfather as well as taking heart in their similarities. (Ages 6-9).

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