The Best Children’s Books About Foster Care

When a child or young person comes into your care for the first time, it can be hard to find the words to explain what’s happening. The young person is likely feeling scared, angry or confused. To support you and your family on this journey, we’ve rounded up some age appropriate books to help your children understand their situation.

Books for 0-5 years

Murphy’s Three Homes: A Story for Children in Foster Care

About the book: This book tells the story of a dog named Murphy. He was a merry dog and was referred to as a ‘good luck dog.’ But after going through two different homes and an animal shelter, Murphy started to feel like a ‘bad luck dog’ who was wanted by nobody. Did Murphy ever become a happy dog again? Read to find out what happened to Murphy later on.

Author: Jan Levison.

The Best Children’s Books About Foster Care, Murphy's Three Homes book cover, by Jan Levinson Gilman
The book cover

Hetty Feather

About the book: Hetty Feather was abandoned at the Foundling Hospital which cares for abandoned children, when she was a tiny baby. However, she needed to live in a foster home before she could go to school.

You can watch the TV adaptation of Hetty Feather on CBBC, and read about the entire series here.

Author: Jacqueline Wilson. About the Author: Jacqueline Wilson is an English writer of children’s literature. She writes for young readers. Her novels have been notable for featuring realistic topics such as adoption/fostering and divorce without alienating her large readership.

The Best Children’s Books About Foster Care, Hetty Feather book cover, by Jacqueline Wilson
The book cover

Dennis and the Big Decision

About the Book: Dennis and the Big Decision explains to children in foster care why they are moved from their family of origin to a foster home. The book has no ending, so it is expected that the readers decide what the ending would be.

Author: Paul Sambrooks.

The Best Children’s Books About Foster Care, Dennis and the Big Decisions book cover, by Paul Sambrooks
The book cover

Dennis Duckling

About the Book: Dennis parents can no longer look after him, that makes him sad. He has to move out of his house with his sister to find someone who could look after them. Will Dennis and his sister be happy in their new home? This book also contains a booklet to start a discussion to help children express their feelings of transitioning into care for the first time.

Author: Paul Sambrooks.

The Best Children’s Books About Foster Care, Dennis Duckling book cover, by Paul Sambrooks
The book cover

Books for 6-12 Years

Morris and the Bundle of Worries

About the book: This is written for children in many different situations. It is about a Mole called Morris who has a lot of secrets that is preventing him from living a normal life. He cannot trust any animal in the woodland to let out his secret. His fears, worries and anxieties have taken away his sleep. Fortunately, Morris finds a friend in the woodland whom he can talk to. At last, his burden is no more and his worries seems so light.

Author: Jill Seeney. About the Author: Jill Seeney is an independent Social Worker with a specialist interest in therapeutic interventions. She has a background in psychology and has worked as a social worker for more than 20 years. She is passionate about working with children, understanding their behaviour and working with them therapeutically to improve their lives.

The Best Children’s Books About Foster Care, Morris and the Bundle of Worries book cover, by Jill Seeney
The book cover

A Safe Place for Rufus

About the Book: Rufus was constantly tortured by his horrible and terrifying past life experience. The bad memories always caged him with fear and made it difficult for him to feel safe and settled in a new environment. This book contains suggestions of questions and answers to use to start a discussion with children about being in care, about their behaviour, and how they feel in your home.

Author: Jill Seeney.

The Best Children’s Books About Foster Care, A Safe Place for Rufus book cover, by Jill Seeney
The book cover

The Star Outside My Window

About the Book: Aniya, a ten year old child is taken to a foster home after the disappearance of her mother, she experiences a turn around in life and is unsettled. She draws strength in knowing that her mum is not gone forever because kind and caring people never leave, but they become stars watching over their loved ones. Seeing a unique new star in the sky, Aniyah is certain that it must be her mum. This inspires her to set out on adventure of a lifetime to make sure everyone else knows too.

Author: Onjali Q. Raúf. About the Author: Onjali Q. Raúf is an award-winning and best selling author of books for children, and founder of an organisation that mobilise men, women, and children from different parts of the world to solve the problem of women and girls’ trafficking and abuse in the UK and beyond called Making Herstory. She is also the founder of O’s Refugee Aid Team, which provides support for refugee families surviving in Calais and Dunkirk. This book was shortlisted for the inaugural Diverse Book Awards, and 2020 British Book Awards: Books of the Year. It also made the longlist of the UK Literacy Association Book awards.

The Best Children’s Books About Foster Care, The Star Outside my Window book cover, by Onjali Q Rauf
The book cover

The Foster Dragon

About the Book: The Foster Dragon is one of Steve Herman’s Dragon books written to teach children about what it means to be in foster care. The book is a useful tool to help children to cope with the challenges of staying in a foster home and overcome theirs fears, and inspires them to open up and adjust easily to their homes.

Author: Steve Herman. About the Author: Steve Herman is an author of children’s best selling books and he is passionate about teaching children valuable social and emotional life lessons through his cute, fun, and relatable dragon books. Visit his website to get FREE resources that can teach your children valuable life lessons, and get some activity sheets for them to do!

The Best Children’s Books About Foster Care, The Foster Dragon book cover, by Steve Herman
The book cover

No Matter What: A Foster Care Tale

About the Book: Josh was a squirrel with no family. No animal around him wanted him and he did not want any either. He scared all the animals away except the elephant who was brave and patient. When Josh gets into trouble, will he finally accept the elephant as his family?

Author: Josh Shipp with David Tieche. About the Author: Josh Shipp is a motivational speaker, best-selling author, and TV personality. Josh studied Psychology at University of Central Oklahoma. He also grew up in the foster care system in the US.

The Best Children’s Books About Foster Care, No Matter What: A Foster Care Tale book cover, by Josh Shipp and David Tieche
The book cover

Books for 13+ years

Long Way Home

About the book: George has made up his mind to run away after moving from one home to another every summer with no family wanting him. Why should the Dyers be any different? But George begins to feel at ease with Tom Dyer and his sister Storme, even happy, and changes his mind. He could even feel at home with them – couldn’t he? Will this home be different? Find out what happened to George in the Dyers family home.

Author: Michael Morpurgo. About the author: Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best-loved children’s book writers. He has written more than 100 books and has won the Smarties Prize, the Whitbread Award, and most recently the Blue Peter Book Award for PRIVATE PEACEFUL. He is considered a master storyteller.

Long Way Home book cover, by Michael Morpurgo
The book cover

Being Billy

About the Book: Billy Finn has been in care for most of his life. He was taken from a mother who is an alcoholic and a step-father who physically abused him. He had hatred from all the people in his life, from social workers, his mum, school and everything he can think of. But then he meets Daisy. A lifer like him, he finds himself drawn to her, experiencing a genuine connection for the first time only to find that Daisy has secrets of her own, which can cost him everything…

Author: Phil Earle. About the Author: Phil Earle is an author whose dream about being a footballer was cut short at the age of 12 due to his lifelong addiction to bags of frazzles. His life took a new turn as he became an author of so many books including Being Billy. His first job was as a care worker in a children’s home, an experience that influenced the ideas behind Being Billy.

Being Billy book cover, by Phil Earle
The book cover

Extraordinary Birds 

About the Book: This is the story of December who lives a life of illusion. December believes she is a bird and one day her wings will sprout from the scar at her back. She does not care about having a home, her dream is to fly all over in the air. Will December ever be happy living on land?

Author: Sandy Stark-McGinnis. About the Author: Sandy Stark-McGinnis is an award-winning poet. She has her work in Quercus Review, in the Grove and Penumbra. She holds a Master of Art Degree in Creative Writing. She’s passionate about investigating how children endure and persevere through everyday struggles, and how overcoming those struggles takes constant, daily acts of courage.

Extraordinary Birds book cover, by Sandy Stark-McGinnis
The book cover

The Story of Tracy Beaker

About the Book: Tracy is ten years old, living in children’s home but would love to live in a real home one day, having a real family. Meet Tracy, follow her story and share her hopes for the future in this beautifully observed, touching and often very funny tale, all told in Tracy’s own words.

You can watch The Story of Tracy Beaker on the CBBC channel, alongside the spin-offs ‘Tracy Beaker Returns’, ‘The Dumping Ground’, ‘My Mum Tracy Beaker’, ‘The Movie of Me’ and ‘The Beaker Girls. There are many other books featuring Tracy Beaker which you can read about here.

Author: Jacqueline Wilson.

The Story of Tracy Beaker book cover, by Jacqueline Wilson
The book cover

Thank you for reading this blog on ‘The Best Children’s Books About Foster Care’. Which of these books will you be picking up for your children? Why don’t you try out our blog on therapeutic foster care books?

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