January 12, 2023

Welcome to Our Updated Book Ordering Page

Bouncing Back, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization located in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Our mission is to foster resiliency among children of divorced parents all across America and around the world. 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. We have researched the best books written in English for children in preschool, elementary school, junior high, and high school. Since inception we have mailed more than 3,200 books to help kids in all 50 of the United States and 13 other countries. Thanks to the generosity of a growing number of donors, we can now offer you up to one of each of the books described below, for a maximum of five books. They will be delivered to your door at no charge in two to three weeks.


PRESCHOOL/KINDERGARTEN

Reviewed by Laura B. Harting, LCSW
Child and Family Therapist
Downingtown, 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

Reviewed by Laura B. Harting, LCSW
Child and Family Therapist
Downingtown, 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
 
Reviewed by Laura B. Harting, LCSW
Child and Family Therapist
Downingtown, Pennsylvania

According to Newsweek magazine, Beverly Cleary was one of America's most successful authors. At the time of her death in 2021 at the age of 104, more than 90 million copies of Ms. Cleary's books had  been sold worldwide. Even though the first edition of this book dates back to 1983 and kids do not write letters much any more, I have to give this book a high rating. It is extremely well-written. Also, it was awarded the John Newbery Medal in 1984. The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Illustrated to appeal to a child in late elementary or early middle school, this work of fiction tells the story of Leigh, a young boy whose father and mother separate and divorce. Leigh has a school assignment to write to an author and ask three questions. He chooses to write to Boyd Henshaw, the author of his favorite book, which is a dog training guide Leigh has read many times. The author responds and then asks him several questions in return. Much to Leigh’s dismay his mother limits his access to TV until he answers all of the questions the author has asked.  After several letters, Leigh finds writing to be something that is not so bad and he takes Henshaw’s suggestion to begin writing in a journal. Leigh’s journal entries describe his life, home situation, feelings, and thoughts about many things, especially his parents' divorce. A caring adult could use these imaginary journal entries as a starting point for a discussion with a middle schooler about the wide range of feelings related to parental divorce.

Despite the age of this book, I think children today will find it relatable and readable.



Reviewed by Donald Harting, MA, MS, 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 since it was first published in 1986. 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

Reviewed by Laura B. Harting, LCSW
Child and Family Therapist
Downingtown, Pennsylvania

First published in hardback in 2019, this story captures what divorce is like for a young teenager and her family.  Liberty, the main character, loves to draw maps of space showing the shapes of constellations. She also wants to maintain a normal outward appearance when her father and mother divorce, while internally she struggles with many difficult feelings and big questions about the changing shape of her family. This author does a fantastic job of capturing the internal world of thoughts and feelings of a young teenager that sometimes conflict with her external behavior.  Liberty’s love for shapes in space becomes a metaphor for life as her family's shape undergoes major changes and realignments that begin with the divorce of her parents.

This book is a must read for junior high and high school students whose parents are divorcing or divorced.  They will recognize many of the changes that occur because of divorce and the difficult situations and feelings of the main character.  In addition, the reader may inadvertently pick up some coping skills and could find a path towards help, hope and healing.
 
This is a five-star book and highly recommended for children ages 12 to 17.