What Do I Say About That?

Coping with an Incarcerated Parent


SKU: B520-Net

Why can’t he see what he did to me – to our family?

This book takes a unique look at the internal struggles with which a child of an incarcerated parent is faced.

My dad says that drugs and alcohol
made him choose to do the wrong things.
But he could have said no to the drugs and the booze,
then my life wouldn’t be what it seems.

Why didn’t he love us enough to say no?
Aren’t we worth it to him?
He had a choice…us or drugs.
He chose to let the drugs win.

What Do I Say About That? creatively explores and validates the roller coaster journey of emotions that children of incarcerated parents endure. It also gives insight to the process of healing and coping.

Written by Julia Cook
Illustrated by Anita DuFalla
Paperback ISBN 9781937870379
Grades 2-6
32 pages
Release Date August 1, 2015

Additional information






National Center for Youth Issues

Julia Cook, M.S. is a award-winning children’s author, counselor, and parenting expert. She has presented in thousands of schools and speaks at education and counseling conferences nationally and internationally. Julia has published almost one hundred children’s books on a wide range of character and social development topics, and regularly contributes to print and television media about these topics. The goal behind Cook’s work is to actively involve young people in fun, memorable stories and teach them to become lifelong problem-solvers. Inspiration for her books comes from working with children and carefully listening to counselors, parents, and teachers, in order to stay on top of needs in the classroom and at home. Cook has the innate ability to enter the worldview of a child through storybooks, giving children both the “what to say” and the “how to say it.”

With her newest book, Julia broaches the topic of the incarceration of a parent with sensitivity and compassion. The main character experiences feelings such as fear, anger, and sadness as he struggles to understand the choices that led to this consequence.
With so few children’s books about this topic, What Do I Say About That? is a much needed resource for professionals and caregivers as they seek to provide support, coping skills, and healing to their most vulnerable children and families. This title will definitely be on my shelf.

Jennifer H. Adams
President, Palmetto State School Counselor Association and School Counselor

A picture book that skillfully addresses the feelings of a child when their parent is incarcerated. This book teaches the reader that it is totally okay to feel sadness, frustration, worry, anger, etc. and teaches the reader how to navigate this new relationship. Although a picture book, this book is useful for teens as well.

Katelynn Pugmire
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