Welcome to Our Book Ordering Page

Bouncing Back is an outreach program offered under the auspices of St. James' Episcopal Church in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. We began giving away books in 2011 as a living memorial to everything good that came out of a marriage that lasted from 1945 to 1973. Our goal is to foster resiliency among children of divorced parents all across America and around the world. We have researched the best books written in English for children in preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school. Since inception, we have mailed more than 2,100 books to help kids in 45 states and 10 foreign countries. Thanks to the generosity of a growing list of private donors, we can now offer you the books described below. They will be delivered to your door at no charge. Using the form in the right-hand column of this page, you may order up to one of each book. You can expect delivery in approximately 2 to 3 weeks. (Ex-US orders may take up to 4 weeks.)

PRESCHOOL/KINDERGARTEN


Mama and Daddy Bear's Divorce
Review by Laura B. Harting, LSCW
Child and Family Therapist
Paoli, Pennsylvania

This is one of my all-time favorite books about divorce for preschool and early elementary school children. Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce focuses on what is most important to the young child. The young child needs to have his or her feelings acknowledged and validated, needs to know what is changing and what is staying the same, and must be reassured over and over again about who loves them. This book hits the nail on the head in all these areas.  Written from the perspective of the youngest bear in the family, Dinah shares what she likes, her sad feelings, and her adjustment to Mama and Daddy’s divorce. The illustrations are perfect for a young child, with the members of Dinah's bear family having a distinctive resemblance to cuddly teddy bears.
 

I have read this book to multiple children and every child I have read it to likes it and finds it relatable in some way. Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce always creates conversation and often allows the child to express feelings and ask questions. Many children have asked to take this book home after we read it together. It gives me so much pleasure to grant that request.



ELEMENTARY SCHOOL


Dinosaurs Divorce
Review by Laura B. Harting, LCSW
Child and Family Therapist
Paoli, Pennsylvania

This is another of my all-time favorite books about divorce. Written for the elementary school age child, it provides needed and helpful information about divorce in practical, easy-to-understand language.  The illustrations are funny and cute. The dinosaur characters give the child reading the book the emotional distance that allows him or her to better integrate the information.

This book covers all the bases, from the time of separation to the time of remarriage. It includes a discussion of topics that matter most to kids: why parents divorce, how to handle moving, adjusting to living in separate residences, expressing feelings, continuing to love both parents, becoming accustomed to dating, step-parents, step-siblings, and half siblings. The authors write simply and offer just enough information – not too little and not too much.

The children I counsel who have read this book like it and find it very helpful. It often answers their questions, clears up their misunderstandings, and encourages them to ask more questions. A third grader can read this book alone. A child younger than third grade can read this book with some adult help. A glossary of terms near the beginning helps children learn the new vocabulary of divorce.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Review by Don Harting, MA, ELS, CHCP
Medical Writer and Adult Child of Divorced Parents
Downingtown, Pennsylvania

This best-selling classic survival story has sold more than 4.5 million copies. We added this award-winning novel to our program because  Brian, the hero of the story, happens to be a 13-year-old child of divorced parents. Brian is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but the clothes on his back and the hatchet his mother gave him as a gift. The way the story ends is a tribute to the young man's courage, resourcefulness, and resilience -- all wonderful qualities that we like to encourage in children of divorced parents. Suitable for children ages 10 to 14, the paperback version we offer comes with an age-appropriate discussion guide.


HIGH SCHOOL

Review by Laura B. Harting, LCSW
Child and Family Therapist
Paoli, Pennsylvania


I like this book for teens because it is easy to read, well organized and has pertinent and practical information that can be very helpful to teens whose parents are splitting up.  I like the cartoons and I like the short vignettes by teens themselves.  On top of providing useful information, this book is organized in such a way that you can just read the part that you need to know in the moment without having to read the whole book. 

However, I received mix reviews from the teens I know who have read the book. I have been told that some of the information is useful, but their parents don’t get along well enough for them to even consider the teenagers' needs. For teens with embattled parents, any adolescent suggestions seem to make one or the other parent angry.  Feedback from these teens is that the teen does not have the power to negotiate, and efforts to do so result in being “yelled at,” causing more battles between the parents.  One teen shared with me that for any of these ideas to work, parents would need to get along a whole lot better than her parents do. 
 
Nonetheless, I recommend this book for both teens and their divorcing parents.  It offers useful ideas for teens and useful insights for parents.