Reviewed by Rethinking Schools Staff
According to author Mariame Kaba, 2.7 million children under the age of 18 have an incarcerated parent. In an author’s note, Kaba says that she wrote Missing Daddy because of her frustration finding materials that can help children deal with the “loss, grief, and trauma” of having a parent incarcerated. The young narrator’s father went to prison when she was just three. Sometimes her classmates can be cruel — “You know your daddy’s a criminal so that makes you one” — but she is surrounded by a loving family and an understanding teacher and counselor. This poignant book will help not only young children who find themselves in this circumstance, but will also sensitize classmates and educators themselves. Missing Daddy is a warm and necessary book.
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Missing Daddy by Mariame Kaba
Published by Haymarket Books on September 17, 2019
Genres: Criminal Justice
Reading Level: Early Childhood, Grade K, Grades 1-2
Review Source: Rethinking Schools
Publisher's Synopsis: "This book is a crucial tool for parents, educators, and anyone who cares about the well-being of children who, through no fault of their own, are forced to bear the consequences of our country's obsession with incarceration. For children who desperately miss their parents, feel confused, or are teased at school, this book can go a long way in letting them know that they are not alone and in normalizing their experiences." — Eve L. Ewing
A little girl who misses her father because he's away in prison shares how his absence affects different parts of her life. Her greatest excitement is the days when she gets to visit her beloved father. With gorgeous illustrations throughout, this book illuminates the heartaches of dealing with missing a parent.
Missing Daddy was selected as one of Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Books 2019.
Mariame Kaba is an educator and organizer based in New York City. She has been active in anti-criminalization and anti-violence movements for the past thirty years.
bria royal is a multidisciplinary artist from Chicago.