Let’s talk about books for blended families! Living as a blended family is about more than just combining two physical homes.
Blended families face a sea of challenges that need to be carefully navigated to ensure children and partners both thrive in the blended family setup.
You’ll need to think about parenting styles, bringing family traditions together, setting ground rules that work for everyone, discipline, scheduling, acceptable behavior, and a whole lot more.
Taking advice from people who have sailed the seas of blended family lifestyles is a step in the right direction, and what better way to do that than to grab a few books written by those in the know!
Below we feature our top pick of books for blended families aimed at both parents and kids.
Books for Parents
There’s a lot of responsibility that falls on the shoulders of parents in a blended family.
The books listed below are written by parents for parents (and sometimes by professionals for parents). Enjoy!
Building Love Together in Blended Families by Chapman and Deal
Gary Chapman, renowned author of The 5 Love Languages had a hand in writing this one.
It focuses on teaching readers about the unique stepfamily dynamic and how to overcome lingering fear and trust issues in a marriage.
The book also takes a look at developing healthy parenting practices and how to correctly apply the love languages to the stepfamily situation.
The Stepfamily Handbook by Bonnell and Papernow
This book focuses on helping parents who are starting to date or someone who is starting to date a parent.
It focuses on appropriate introductions, spending time as a couple with children, dealing with challenges as the relationship grows, research-based best practices, communication skills, and effectively dealing with ex-partners.
The Smart Stepfamily by Ron L. Deal
It comes as no surprise that over 150,000 copies of this book have already been sold by therapist Ron Deal, a top expert in the field of blended families.
This book teaches how to solve daily challenges in stepparenting, communicating well with ex-partners, handling the finances of a blended family, and how to slowly nurture a thriving family with patience and effort.
Blending Families by Evans and Martin
This is a book for couples entering a new marriage in a blended family. It focuses on dealing with past hurts and overcoming challenges.
This book focuses on 18 different families who have gone through it and share their stories and advice with you.
If you’re marrying a man who already has kids, this one’s for you! This book is a funny/witty approach to managing the adjustments you’ll have to make.
It focuses on dealing with the children and the ex-wife, how to handle holidays and traditions, keeping intimacy alive, managing finances, and knowing when you should resist the urge to say hurtful or cutting things.
Preparing to Blend by Ron L. Deal
This book is aimed at engaged couples who have a child from a previous relationship (or children from both previous relationships).
It offers advice on parenting, developing a family identity, managing finances, scheduling, and how to overcome the challenges of a new life together.
131 Conversations for Stepfamily Success by Jed and Jenny Jurchenko
This book is an in-depth guide for couples who want to truly team up in their blended family. It focuses on the unique obstacles stepfamilies face and provides ingredients for success.
It also presents three specific actions couples can take to make a success of their new team-up.
The book also features 131 creative conversation starters aimed at helping develop connection, happiness, and teamwork.
Blissfully Blended Bullshit by Rebecca Eckler
This book is a fun, witty read that focuses on Rebecca’s life after her boyfriend and his child move in with her and her child.
It’s packed with the challenges of daily life that are bound to bring a smile to the face of anyone going through the blended family experience.
Our Happy Divorce by Heldfond and DeBartolo
This book is especially suited to couples who are divorcing but don’t want the bad divorce cliché to play out in their lives.
In this book, the couple manages to create an enviable family, even though they’re not together.
It’s a must-read for co-parenting couples who don’t want to just go through the motions but actually derive value from their separated relationship.
Books for Children
Kids entering a blended family have a lot to deal with. There are feelings of mistrust, guilt (for liking the new partner), fear, and even excitement.
These books for children are aimed at helping kids of various ages manage the blended family experience better.
Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four by Maria Ashworth
This book was nominated as a finalist in the National Association of Elementary School Principals contest in 2012.
It’s aimed at children aged 4 to 8 and tells the story of a young girl who enters a blended family with siblings.
Try as she might to keep them out of her life, she learns a few things and grows closer to them along the way.
Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley
This story, written by a New York best-selling author follows the life of Jen who feels thrown into a mixed family when she moves to a farm with her mom and her new boyfriend.
The story tells of the struggles Jen faces with new farm chores, new sisters, and generally settling into the new family blend.
Do You Sing Twinkle? by Sandra Levins
This book won the Mom’s Choice Award for Children’s Picture Books and an honors NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards).
Written from the perspective of Little Buddy, it sensitively addresses various questions and feelings children may have while adjusting to a blended family and remarriage after their parent’s divorce.
The Heart House by Wendy Oswald
Children entering blended families may hesitate to let a step-parent in, fearing that it will replace their biological parent.
This book excellently explains that our hearts can grow to let more people in through the story of a young girl worried about a new stepmom in her life.
Using a house and adding rooms to the home helps children visualize this concept.
We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielson
Nominated for the George Peach Book Award for Teen Readers and the Pacific Northwest Young Reader’s Choice Award, this book explores the differences step-siblings may face in a blended family.
It’s humorous and unsuspectingly uplifting in many ways and shows how adapting to a new home environment changes the shape of a family.
The Thing About Leftovers by C.C. Payne
This book is excellent for middle graders navigating blended families and divorce.
It expertly captures the experience of children living in blended families and explores how some may feel alone, scared, rejected, worthless, unloved, or unlovable.
The story aims to inspire an honest conversation about those fears and help such kids know that they aren’t alone or worthless and that it will get better.
Not if I Can Help It by Carilyn Mackler
Written by an award-winning author, this book expertly explores sensory processing disorders, anxieties, blended families, divorce, and the struggles of accepting changes in family structure in a way that middle-grade readers will recognize and self-identify.
It’s a great coming-of-age story that shows the mechanics of blending a family and that change isn’t always bad.
The Ring Bearer by Floyd Cooper
This heartwarming story celebrates blended families and aims to show little readers how families grow and change.
It features excellent illustrations and explores love, family, coping with change, being responsible, dealing with feelings, and honoring your commitments.
Children in blended families will relate to the main character’s fears and nervousness and enjoy how he overcomes them.
My Real Family by Doris Sanford
This book tells the story of Danny, struggling to adjust to his father’s remarriage.
It provides a child’s perspective about living in a step-family and can help young children aged 6 to 8 understand that although step-siblings and step-parents may differ from what they’re used to, it’s still a real family.
Navigating the world of blended families can be challenging for parents and children, but books telling stories of similar families can help build long-lasting relationships.
Books for blended families can help those feeling angry, anxious, excited, fearful, confused, overwhelmed, or struggling to fit into a new family dynamic validate their experiences and process their feelings.
Parents and kids can work through challenging times to build new families full of love and respect by reading books about blended families with helpful advice and characters like them.
Jayme is a professional writer, vegan nutritionist, and relationship & communications counselor. As an avid reader, researcher, and writer, she is constantly expanding her interests and looking into new avenues of mental health awareness and self-care. She lives with her two rescue dachshunds in Hampshire in the United Kingdom.