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Issue: 8.2: Spring 2010
Guest Edited by Megan Sullivan, Tanya Krupat and Venezia Michalsen
Children of Incarcerated Parents

Recommended Reading

Venezia Michalsen

As the number of people in American prisons grows, so too does the number of children affected by their parents' absence. In an ideal world, we would halt the incarceration of our citizens in ineffective prisons which are often distant from the families and communities that people in prison leave behind. In the meantime, this book list compiles the many books for and about children of incarcerated parents. These books serve many purposes: they show children with parents in prison that they are not alone, they educate policy makers about effective practices, they act as a resource for caretakers coping with extra responsibilities, and they focus the research and teaching efforts of scholars and students.

There are many books about related topics such as parental absence and loss, foster care, parental mental illness and addiction, shelter living and witnessing trauma. In order to focus specifically on the topic of children of incarcerated parents, this list does not include those books, although they would undoubtedly be beneficial to children of incarcerated parents and the people who care for and about them. This list is also limited to books, and therefore does not contain any of the many high-quality booklets, reports, program evaluations and journal articles that exist that address the topic of children of incarcerated parents. Please see the Online Resources page for those other resources.

For Younger Children:

Beal, Janice M. & Gilmore, Vanessa. 2008. A Boy Named Rocky: A Coloring book for the Children of Incarcerated Parents. Available at: www.4theloveofkids.com.

Bender, Janet M. My Daddy is in Jail: Story, Discussion Guide, and Small Group Activities for Grades K-5. Chapin, S.C.: YouthLight, Inc.

Bergen, Suzanne & Hodgkins, Kathleen. 1997. My Mom Went to Jail. Madison, WI: The Rainbow Project, Inc.

Brisson, Pat & Caple, Laurie (Illustrator). 2004. Mama Loves Me from Away. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.

Burch, Robert. 1999. Queenie Peavy. London: Puffin Books.

Butterworth, Oliver & Avishai, Susan (Illustrator). 1993. A Visit to the Big House. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cain, Sandra, Speed, Margaret & Mukhida, Zul (Photographer). 1999. Dad's in Prison. London: A&C Black.

Crane, J. and Short, B. nd. Two in Every Hundred: Workbook for Older (school-age) children. Nashville, TN: Reconciliation. Order from: Reconciliation, 702 51st Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37209, (615) 292-6371.

Gesme, Carole, Kodpfmann, Michele & Schmoker, Lisa. 1993. Help for Kids! Understanding Your Feelings About Having A Parent in Prison or Jail For Kids Ages Six and Older. Minneapolis, MN: Pine Tree Press.

Hayes, Margaret, Witherill, Jill & Pergrim, Lois A. 1989. My Daddy is in Prison. Johnstown, PA: Cambria County Community Action Council.

Hickman, Martha Whitmore. 1983. When Can Daddy Come Home? Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.

Hickman, Martha Whitmore & Raymond, Larry (Illustrator). 1990. When Andy's Father Went to Prison. Niles, IL: Albert Whitman and Company.

Jones, Donna. nd. Joey's Visit. Syracuse, NY: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County.

Kerniski, Ann. nd. Keeping in Touch by Long Distance. Syracuse, NY: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County.

Maury, Inez. 2002. My Mother and I Are Growing Stronger. Berkeley, CA: New Seed Press.

Roznowski, Fran. and Toyoshima, Tak (Illustrator). nd. Time to Go. Order a copy by sending $7 (includes postage) to: Fran Roznowski, 11 Cottage St., Chelsea, MA. 02150

St. Pierre, Stephanie. 1994. Everything You Need to Know When a Parent is in Jail. New York: Rosen Publishing Group.

Stanglin, Jackie A. and McGuckie, Cierra Jade. 2007. Mami, Qué es una Carcel? Centennial, CO: Lifevest Publishing, Inc.

Stanglin, Jackie A. and McGuckie, Cierra Jade. 2006. What is Jail, Mommy? Centennial, CO: Lifevest Publishing, Inc.

Testa, Maria & Amanda Schaffer (Illustrator). 1996. Nine Candles. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books.

Vogel, Carol Lynne & Mulhollen, Amy. 1996. My Mommy's in Prison. Pennsylvania: Southwest-South Central Pennsylvania AmeriCorps Program, The Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps

Walker, Jan & Leonhard, Herb (Illustrator). 2006. An Inmate's Daughter. Norris, MT: Raven Publishing of Montana.

Whitbold, Maureen. 2003. Let's Talk About When Your Parent is in Jail. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.

Williams, Vera B. 2001. Amber was Brave, Essie was Smart. New York: Greenwillow.

Wittbold, Maureen. 1998. Let's Talk about When Your Parent is in Jail. New York: PowerKids Press.

Woodson, Jacqueline. 2002. Our Gracie Aunt. New York: Hyperion.

Woodson, Jacqueline & Ransome, James (Illustrator). 2002. Visiting Day. New York: Scholastic Press.

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For Older Children:

Ellis, Deborah. 2007. Jakeman. Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

DeClements, Barthe. 1989. Five Finger Discount. New York: Delacorte Press for Young Readers.

DeClements, Barthe. 1991. Breaking Out. New York: Delacorte Press for Young Readers.

La Valle, John J. 1995. Coping When a Parent is in Jail. New York: Rosen Publishing Group.

Paterson, Katherine. 2002. The Same Stuff as Stars. New York: Clarion Books.

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On the Topic of Children of Incarcerated Parents:

Adalist-Estrin, Ann & Mustin, Jim. 2002. Responding to Children and Families of Prisoners: A Community Guide. Jenkintown, PA: Family and Corrections Network. Available at: www.fcnetwork.org.

Bernstein, Nell. 2007. All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated. New York: New Press.

Boswell, Gwyneth & Wedge, Peter. 2002. Imprisoned Fathers and their Children. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Boudouris, James. 1996. Parents in Prison: Addressing the Needs of Families. Lanham, MD: American Correctional Association.

Braman, Donald. 2004. Doing Time on the Outside: Incarceration and Family Life in Urban America. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Burgess, Stacey, Caselman, Tonia & Carsey, Jennifer. Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents. Chapin, SC: Youthlight.

Comfort, Megan. 2008. Doing Time Together: Love and Family in the Shadow of the Prison. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Edenfield, Ann. 2002. Family Arrested: How to Survive the Incarceration of a Loved One. Albuquerque, NM: Americana Publishing, Inc.

Enos, Sandra. 2001. Mothering from the Inside: Parenting in a Women's Prison. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Gabel, Katherine & Johnson, Denise. 1995. Children of Incarcerated Parents. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Golden, Renny. 2005. War on the Family: Mothers in Prison and the Families They Leave Behind. New York: Routledge.

Harris, Othello & Miller, R. Robin (Eds). 2003. Impacts of incarceration on the African American family. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Harris, Yvette, Graham, James A. & Carpenter, G.J. 2010. Children of Incarcerated Parents: Theoretical Development and Clinical Issues. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Martone, Cynthia. 2005. Loving Through Bars: Children with Parents in Prison. Santa Monica, CA: Santa Monica Press.

Mauer, Mark & Chesney-Lind, Meda. 2003. Invisible Punishment: The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment. New York: New Press.

Nurse, Anne M. 2002. Fatherhood Arrested: Parenting from within the Juvenile Justice System. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.

Seymour, Cynthia B & Hairston, Creasie Finney. 2000. Children with parents in prison: Child welfare policy, program, and practice issues. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Travis, Jeremy & Waul, Michelle, Eds. 2003. Prisoners Once Removed: The Impact of Incarceration and Reentry on Children, Families and Communities. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press.

Wright, Lois & Seymour, Cynthia B. 2000. Working with Children and Families Separated by Incarceration: A Handbook for Child Welfare Agencies. Washington, DC: CWLA Press.

Yaffe, Rebecca, Hoade, Lonnie & Moody, Barbara S. 2000. When a Parent Goes to Jail: A Comprehensive Guide for Counseling Children of Incarcerated Parents. Windsor, CA: Rayve Productions.

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© 2010 Barnard Center for Research on Women | S&F Online - Issue 8.2: Spring 2010 - Children of Incarcerated Parents