Kids Reading Outdoor

RESOURCES FOR KIDS & YOUTH

The Night Dad Went to Jail

When someone you love goes to jail, you might feel lost, scared, and even mad. What do you do? No matter who your loved one is, this story can help you through the tough times.

What is Incarceration?

By Sesame Street

Finding the Right Spot

Written for children who are living with anyone other than their parents, this story is narrated by a spirited young girl who is living with Aunt Dane (not her real aunt) for a while, until her mother is able to care for her again.

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Mama Loves Me from Away

My Daddy's In Jail

When Mama has to go away to prison, Sugar is left feeling alone and sad until her birthday comes around and Sugar gets a special, handcrafted gift that reassures her that her Mama is in her life even though they have been separated for the moment.

There are nearly three million adults in the U.S. alone that are in prison or jail. Many of these people are parents, who leave behind children unanswered questions — What is jail? Why did this happen? Is it my fault? Is my daddy (or mommy) bad? Do they love me?

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Visiting Day

Doogie's Dad

The moving story of a young girl and her grandmother preparing for their monthly trip to visit the girl’s father in prison. Award-winning and gorgeously illustrated.

This story is about Doogie, a young boy, and his sister whose father is sent to prison. It explores their feelings of loss, fear and frustration at not being told what's going on until their mother finally takes them to visit their dad in prison.

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Kenny's Big Visit

Daddy's Big House

 Little Kennedy is so excited to visit her father again. After she tries on her princess dress and a tutu, Kennedy's mother finds something pretty for her to wear. Finally, they are ready to take the long car ride to visit her daddy!

 Little Jo Jo is your typical, fun-loving kid. He loves basketball, earns good grades and has plenty of friends in his Washington, D.C. neighborhood. Little Jo Jo's life, however, has changed tremendously since his father, Big Jo, moved away. To make matters worse, Little Jo Jo has no clue about his father's whereabouts.

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When Dad Was Away

What Do I Say About That?

 This is a gentle and sensitive story showing how one family comes through a difficult time of separation, by an author and illustrator who have extensive experience of working with prisoners and their families.

 When a loved one is sentenced to prison, the emotional turmoil is difficult for everyone to handle. Children of incarcerated parents often suffer the heaviest burden of all and pay the price of hardship. As a result, they often develop mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and feelings of abandonment and grief.

The Same Stuff

As Stars

Ruby On The Outside

 Abandoned by her unstable mother and incarcerated father, eleven-year-old Angel finds herself living with her oblivious great-grandmother, which leaves the care of her little brother entirely on Angel’s shoulders. A moving story about family and friendship and perseverance in the face of life’s greatest challenges. 

 Eleven-year-old Ruby doesn’t tell anyone her deepest, darkest secret: her mother is in jail. When she makes a new friend, Ruby struggles with the decision of whether or not to tell her the truth—only to discover that her new friend might be entangled in Ruby’s family’s past in a deeper way than she ever expected. 

Wish You Were Here

What Will Happen To Me?

 These stories describe how teens kept in touch with their parents (or didn't) and the complicated feelings that come with reunification.

What is life like for a child who has a parent in prison? This book brings together photographic portraits of 30 children whose parents are incarcerated, along with their thoughts and reflections, in their own words.