Further Reading

Stepfathers/Absent Fathers

Harley Like a Person
Cat Bauer
Harley is convinced she couldn't possibly belong to the Columba family. No one can find her birth certificate, and questions about her birth are always brushed off with the comment; "you were born in New York on the anniversary of John Lennon's death." Harley runs away to New York City determined to find the answers about her real father.

Gingerbread
Rachel Cohn
Cyd Charisse gets expelled from her exclusive boarding school, and when she goes on to get into more trouble, her mother and stepfather decide to send her to New York City to her real dad. The only time she has ever met him was in an airport when she was five, when gave her a doll she named Gingerbread. Cyd finds that this remote dad doesn't provide quite the homecoming she was expecting.

Bud, Not Buddy
Christopher Paul Curtis
Shortly before she died, Bud's mother became very upset upon seeing a poster for the band the Dusky Devastators of the Depression. Bud is convinced that one of the band members, Herman E. Calloway, is his real father. Running away from abusive foster homes and rough camps, Bud encounters many pitfalls as he tracks the band through the Depression of the 1930's.

Moonlight Man
Paula Fox
Catherine's father has always been a shadowy, absent figure to her. Anxious to spend an entire summer with him, she doesn't let the fact that he left her waiting and uncertain for three weeks dampen her enthusiasm. Only after they reach their destination-an isolated seaside cottage-does Catherine see, for the first time, the downside of her father's tantalizing charm.

Stranger in Dadland
Amy Koss
Visiting a distant father can be a real challenge. John sees the emptiness of the apartment, the lack of food in the refrigerator, and his father's preoccupation with the details of his own life-working, attending meetings, and running around. When John's dad has a fight with his girlfriend he has time to go rollerblading with John, and then a whole new set of challenges arises.

The Usual Rules
Joyce Maynard
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Wendy and her mother have a furious argument. Then Wendy goes to school and Janet goes off to her job in the World Trade Center. When they hear the news, Wendy and her stepfather link up to frantically hunt for Janet, but she is never found. Wendy goes to live with her biological father whom she has never really known, and she learns some new things about 'real families'.

Lord of the Deep
Graham Salisbury
Mickey admires many things about his stepfather Bill, but especially his sense of ethics and his skill as a fisherman. Mickey is thrilled when Bill asks him to be the deck hand on his deep-sea charter fishing boat. One day some especially difficult tourists create a moral dilemma that forever changes Mickey's perception of his stepfather.

Bittersweet
Drew Lamm
The artist within Taylor has flourished under her grandmother's warm and understanding care. After her grandmother suffers a stroke and is confined to a nursing home, Taylor's world collapses. Now she must live with her emotionally distant father. She finds herself dealing with sadness and loss as she learns to break through her artist's block.