Prison and Parents

Having a parent in prison can be difficult for both the child and the parent, sharing stories about other children who’s parent is in prison can help put a child’s mind at ease.


Ella on the Outside
by Cath Howe

Ella has a secret – her father is in prison and she does not want anybody at her new school to find out.
Age 10+


Captain Fantastic
by Tom Palmer

Craig is a gifted footballer, but he is struggling with his home life as dad is in prison.
Age: 7+


Tommy’s Dad
by Emma Randle-Caprez

Tommy Puddle returns from school one day to find out that his Dad isn’t at home – and nobody will tell him why his Dad isn’t around. The next day at school, though, one of his school friends tells him they’ve heard his Dad’s in prison – and later, he finally learns the truth. Soon Tommy and his sister receive a letter from their Dad, and find out that they can visit him. It’s difficult for everyone, particularly when it’s time for them to leave – but Tommy’s Dad helps reassure the children that everything will be alright.
Age: 4+


My Dad’s in Prison
by Jackie Walter

Story of a little boy who visits his father in prison. It is written in association with Storybook Dads.
Age 5+


When Dad Was Away
by Liz Weir and Karin Littlewood

When Mum tells Milly that Dad has been sent to prison, Milly feels angry and confused. She can’t believe her dad won’t be at home to read her stories and make her laugh. But soon Mum takes Milly and her brother Sam to visit Dad in prison.
Age: 4+


Useful Organisations

Barnado’s:
Support and advice for children who has one or more parents in prison.

Prisoner Advice:
Advice, support and help for families.

Gov.uk:
Information and support for families.

Room by Emma Donoghue

About the book

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work. Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Reviewed by Enjoying Books reading group:

This is a most unusual and indeed uncomfortable book, but marvelously written by a clever writer. You will have tremendous insight into the mind of a 5 year old boy.

Star rating: ***/****

Read the book

Request to borrow a reading group set