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7 great children's books about moving

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By Valle Dwight

Preschool through third grade

Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move
By Judith Viorst, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Atheneum (1998)

Leave behind his soccer team, his best friend, and the cool neighbors who give out great candy at Halloween? Not going to happen. Or so says Alexander, a boy whose family is moving 1,000 miles away. And he puts up a pretty good fight, until he ultimately realizes (after much reassurance from his patient parents) that there will be good things on the other end of this move. Kids may identify with (and get a chuckle out of) the slightly subversive Alexander, and they’ll learn along with him that moving has its upsides too.

Kindergarten through second grade

Tooter Pepperday
By Jerry Spinelli
Random House (2004)

Tooter Pepperday is not going to stand for this ill-conceived move from her home to her aunt’s farm, where there’s no cable TV and no — gasp! — pizza delivery. No, she has plans to sabotage this ridiculous idea. Tooter eventually comes around to farm life, but not until an egg she has been charged with tending hatches.

Kindergarten through third grade

Henry and Mudge and Annie’s Good Move
By Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Sucie Stevenson
Aladdin (2000)

Henry and his slobbery hunk of a mutt, Mudge, are not moving, but Henry’s cousin Annie is. While Henry is excited about getting a new next-door neighbor, Annie is feeling the strain of leaving her friends and school. Henry and Mudge help ease her into her new place and make it a real home.

Third through sixth grade

Moving Day
By Ralph Fletcher, illustrated by Jennifer Emery
Wordsong (2007)

This book will appeal to older kids, as it goes deeper into some of the sadness and angst moving can bring up for adolescents. The story, told in a series of poems, follows 12-year-old Fletch as he comes to terms with his move from Massachusetts to Ohio. It’s a beautiful, evocative book, exploring his feelings of loss and fear. Each poem brings him closer to the move, and kids can see how his emotions evolve in the process. Though the book is sad in parts, it ends with a sense of hope for the new life Fletch is building in his new home.

Valle Dwight is a reporter, writer, and mother of two school-aged boys. She has written for many magazines, including FamilyFun, Wondertime, and Working Mother.

Comments from readers

"What about books for teens??? It's much much harder for teens to relocate and leave everything and everyone famiiar behind!"
"These books are too easy for these kids. They need something that should challenge them. Something for their individual needs; not something based on other kids' acedemics."
"I have found the Joy Berry Book Good Answers to tough questions about Moving to be very helpful. The book is straightforward and my child knew what to expect when we moved! It also opened a dialogue between us about her fears."