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The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail (Life's Challenges)
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The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail

(Life's Challenges)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  57 reviews
When someone you love goes to jail, you might feel lost, scared, and even mad. This colorfully illustrated book lets children know that they are not alone in this situation. It offers age appropriate explanations to help with difficult conversations. Told from the experience of a rabbit, this picture book is intended to make a parent's incarceration a little less frighteni ...more
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Picture Window Books
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Grayed It is never made explicit in the book. This deliberate vagueness allows any child to relate to the situation.

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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  274 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A gentle but honest book covering a topic important to far too many young readers, this picture book helps children understand and cope with a loved one going to jail. The cover shows a very sad bunny (Sketch) drawing a picture of his dad being arrested, and we learn in the story that his school counselor encourages him to draw pictures of his feelings. The book is sensitive yet truthful in covering arrest, jail, prison, family visits, and how to handle school. Boxes on the pages include further ...more
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
I saw a picture of this book on Pinterest, and thought it was a joke. When I did a search at my local library, they had a copy, so I just had to check it out and read it. I guess if you are in a situation where one parent or another goes to jail, this might be a good book to help a young child understand what is going on a little better. However, overall, I did not really care much for the book. Books, especially children books, are an escape from reality. The only way I would ever read this boo ...more
Janet Wilkinson
Feb 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
I found the approach this book took sexist. Why does it focus on the father figure going to prison ? Why not base it on the mother going to prison ? Another ridiculous piece of feminist garbage trying to spread negativity about men in children's books..
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is frightening... the fact that this book is entirely relevant to this generation is so sad. This book should be a wakeup call.
Alicia Evans
This book was interesting and a little odd. I grabbed it because the title stood out on the shelf and because it seemed like it could definitely be good for a certain audience. Sketch witnesses his father taken away by the police and then put in jail for breaking a crime. Sketch must then learn how to deal with the consequences such as kids being mean at school, his father being away for a long time, and mostly his own feelings of anger. The book has small bits of factual information or advice f ...more
M. Michelle
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's heartbreaking this is necessary, but it's an incredibly compassionate and simple way to help a scared and confused child understand and cope with this topic.
Stacy Fetters
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sneaky-librarian
The title was the best thing about this book. What a way to want to commit a crime.
Sometimes rabbits do horrible things and have to pay the ultimate price.
Hip hop your way to jail, dummy!
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-and-ya
What a sad, unsettling story. The author didn't sugarcoat the story by having the dad return home after his arrest. It only gets worse for the children when
their father is sentenced to six years, missing all that time in the lives of his children. Apparently the parents were already separated, since the arrest takes place at the dad's apartment, in front of his children. The kids have to call their mom, and social services are involved at that point. There's so much misery here, mirroring event
Vicky Thompson
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this to my first grade class. The kids were so interested. It prompted a lot of discussion also.
Callie Rose Tyler
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I just purchased this for my library because there is very little on the subject of a parent going to jail, especially for young children.

The book features a young rabbit named Sketch who is with his dad when the police come to arrest him. He is scared and confused and embarrassed when children at school tease him the next day. The story covers going to jail for visitation and how home life changes in the absence of a parent.

There are also various facts and tips in out-of-the-way boxes along th
Marguarite Markley
Books on this topic are hard to come by and often not that great. I was surprised by the ease with which this picture book explores the topic of having a parent who is incarcerated. The only problem I have with the book is that the title says "jail" but the dad goes to prison...for 6 years. In recommending this to parents with young children, I would definitely stress this issue. Especially in communities where short term jail stays are more frequent than long incarcerations. The parent/teacher/ ...more
Takee Jobe
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail by Melissa Higgins is a Contemporary Realistic Fiction book intended for elementary aged children. As an amazon prime member, I was able to download this book for free and have it auto-delivered wirelessly to my Kindle Cloud Reader. Sketch witnesses his father taken away by the police and then put in jail for committing a crime. This book was narrated in a very sensitive and truthful manner. As Sketch and his two sibli ...more
Cassandra Gelvin
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tough topic, but something some kids have to deal with.

It seems like it would be useful for kids who had a parent who went to jail, to understand what's going on and try to remind them that it's not their fault and also for the parents to understand what the kid might be going through. There aren't a lot of books out there on this topic, unlike something like divorce. It's an unpleasant topic, but it's definitely something that there are kids going through who need help coming to terms with it.

Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was short, sweet, and provided an appropriate way for kids to understand what is happening to their family. I really liked how the story never blamed the father but focused on objectively defining the situation and developing coping skills. Too often kids hear negative things about their parent(s) if they are incarcerated when it's more important to continue having positive relationships with them. I also liked how the book portrayed law enforcement, the social worker, and school staff as s ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helpful for Young Children

I am so thankful my family has not had to endure this situation, and reading just this little story gave me pause to think of how terribly difficult it must be for a child to have a parent go to jail or prison. The fear and shame they are burdened with and the poor example the parent has set.

I like that this book talks to young kids about the feelings they may have and offers helpful suggestions. If you are, or know anyone who is, in this situation this short book could
Rebecca Timberlake

I'm not going to lie, I laughed every time this came up when browsing books. But I finally decided to give it a try, and it has really good advice. It tells kids it's okay to be mad, angry or scared when a parent goes to jail. It advises children to trust an adult like a counselor at school to help get through it. It may not be helpful to a child that hasn't gone through this, or probably won't ever go through it, but it certainly would help a kid process mom or dad being arrested.
I liked the pics, and the story seemed believable and even three inmates read it, one read aloud to the others, and said it was surreal. It was definitely relatable. The photos also shown that orange suit, usually for country jail or entry from another prison, then state blues for prison time. Easy and quick read.
tonja goosby
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It helped my kid see that life with her dad in jail is sad depressing and bad

5stars because of the facts and figures the book displayed for her to see of a kid that can relate to her so if you have a kid in jail sit them down to read this
Mary Anderson
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Helpful for kids, therapists

It is the only book I have seen on this subject. I appreciate the vocabulary section as well as normalizing the emotions kids feel throughout the book. Thank you.
Anita Alston
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read for a little one whose lost a parent to the prison system

I liked the statistics and definitions as footnotes very enlightening and possibly necessary for the little ones that may need it
3.5. I happened upon this book while browsing through Amazon Prime books. As an elementary school counselor, I can definitely see myself referencing this and using it to work with students. It's pretty simple and accessible for younger children.
Danni Green
May 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book did not reflect the experience of anyone I know who has experienced a loved one being taken to jail. The weirdly racially-coded animal characters did not improve my perception of this book at all. I'm not surprised that this book exists, but I sure hope there are better ones out there.
Arren Goodspeed
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good for young children who have a father going to or already in prison.

Good idea for children with an incarcerated father. Helps them understand what is going on and why their own father isn't or can't return home.
Stephanie Davis
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a boy who has a dad that gets arrested in front of him. The dad goes to jail for six years. In the book, the boy goes through several emotions and has several people around him that help him deal with those emotions.
Kim Hampton
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was OK but it wasn't what I was looking for for my kids.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honest and comforting little book for any child that has to deal with the issue of an incarcerated parent.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picturebook
A gentle walk through of process and feelings. Glossary in the back and factoid in pop-outs through out book.
Bree Marks
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Informative and well thought out in delivery.
Tammy Goodwin
They should include references to where they got the statistics
David Turko
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very powerful children's book
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