I never intended to become a single parent, nor did I anticipate the challenges that came alongside single parenthood. My family never seemed "different" until my daughter started school and she asked me why our family wasn't like others in her class.
Families in general have evolved over the decades, and non-traditional households like mine are more prevalent in society. One of my biggest missions as a single parent is to ensure my child sees other non-traditional families. It’s important to me that she understands each family is built differently and to celebrate those differences.
The library has been essential for me in helping teach my daughter about different family structures. We love browsing the HCPL Catalog for new books about families. If you’re interested in books that feature non-traditional households, try one of these.
Single Parent Households
Summary: From playing in the snow to a rainy-day ride, to double-scoop treats and crash-landing in leaves, two can be the perfect number for creating life's memories.
Summary: Filled with adorable illustrations and the refrain, "You are the one made just for me," Made for Me is a winning presentation of tender moments that tie a father and his new child together-forever.
Summary: It isn't easy being a single parent, and it isn't easy being the kid of a single parent, either. Laughter and special moments balance anger and frustration, new dreams replace old, but always there is a commitment of doing one's best and loving forever.
Summary: A puppy comes to live with his adoptive mother, who is a cat.
Summary: Each year on his birthday, a young Mexican American boy looks forward to seeing how his grandfather has decorated the tree he planted on the day the boy was adopted.
Summary: A young girl asks her parents to tell her again the cherished family story of her birth and adoption.
Same-Sex Caregiver Households
Summary: At New York City's Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches.
Summary: Stella brings her two fathers to school to celebrate Mother's Day.
Summary: Heather's favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, and two pets. And she also has two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn't have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same. It doesn't matter who makes up a family, the teacher says, because "the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love one another".
Summary: My Two Homes is the story of a normal day in Skye's life. When classmate Lenny goes home with Skye, he learns she has three parents. Her dad lives in one house, and her mom and stepdad live in another. But who loves her best? They all do!
Summary: After Ivan's parents separate, he has trouble finding joy at either of their homes until he discovers that the birds and music that he loves may be found in both places.
Summary: A child describes how she lives sometimes with her mother and sometimes with her father, but her dog is her constant companion.
All Types of Families
Summary: Represents a variety of families, some big and some small, some with only one parent and some with two moms or dads, some quiet and some noisy, but all alike in some ways and special no matter what.
Summary: Nellie and her little brother Gus discuss all kinds of families during a day at the zoo and dinner at home with their relatives afterwards.
Summary: Lenny follows Layla for a school project and learns what it is like to live with grandparents.
Summary: Examines the ways in which families can differ, such as differing numbers of parents and children in individual homes.
Inspired by these titles and would like more to read? Our book bundles form is perfect for requesting books on a variety of topics or selecting a branch curated collection. Fill out the book bundle form today and your local library will have it available for curbside pickup!
This blog was written by Jennifer N. and first appeared in May 2021.