9 Affecting Contemporary Reads About Being A Parent

Being a parent can be a challenging and rewarding experience. If you want to read about the ups and downs of raising children, you've come to the right place. The books listed here range from memoirs to novels and are full of touching moments, unique perspectives, and thoughtful reflections. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Books About Parenting: Our 9 Picks

Title Author
1. Raising My Rainbow Lori Duron
2. America for Beginners Leah Franqui
3. No Time to Wave Goodbye Jacquelyn Mitchard
4. What a Mother Knows Leslie Lehr
5. Sleepwalking in Daylight Elizabeth Flock
6. The Stranger In My Home Adele Parks
7. OG Dad Jerry Stahl
8. You Me Everything Catherine Isaac
9. Those We Love Most Lee Woodruff

Helpful Products for New Parents

If you're expecting your first child and want to make sure you're fully prepared, be sure to add these to your checklist:

  • A baby backpack so you can take your little one on-the-go
  • Some baby wash to keep away germs & bad smells
  • A bottle for when they get hungry
  • If you have extra time to cook, a baby food maker is a good investment
  • An entertaining play mat will keep a baby stimulated
  • Keep track of precious memories with a baby book
  • Some cute & comfy onesies
  • A monitor so you can keep track of them without being glued to the nursery

8 Great Films About Family

  1. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
  2. Big Fish (2003)
  3. The Godfather (1972)
  4. Parenthood (1989)
  5. Life Is Beautiful (1997)
  6. A Quiet Place (2018)
  7. Juno (2007)
  8. My Sister's Keeper (2009)

5 Connections That Will Change Children’s Lives

In Depth

The diverse books included on this list feature a variety of poignant stories that attest to both the pleasures and hardships of raising a child. Ranging from heartbreaking to heartwarming, they give voice to the many sides of being a parent. In no particular order, here are nine moving contemporary titles about parenting.

At #1 we have "Raising My Rainbow" by Lori Duron. In this candid and moving book, author Duron writes about the challenges and joys of raising her gender-nonconforming child. In distinct contrast to her older son Chase's stereotypical boy behavior, young C.J. favors pink tutus, princesses, and Lady Gaga. He is, as Duron calls him, a gender-creative rainbow, a child who exhibits a spectrum of colors without fitting snugly into either male or female categories. With warmth and humor, the book conveys what it's like to have such a wonderfully unique son as part of a family.

For #2 we get "America for Beginners" by Leah Franqui. When Rahi's conservative Indian parents learned that he was gay, they were distraught. His mother, Pival, was further heartbroken when her husband told her that Rahi had died in America. One year later, still unwilling to accept the word of her now deceased husband, Pival travels from Kolkata to the U.S. to find her son and come to terms with the past. Working her way from New York to California on a private vacation tour, Pival is joined by Satya, the touring company's new hire, and aspiring actress Rebecca. On their journey, the three women gain new perspectives on the country and their own lives.

Working her way from New York to California on a private vacation tour, Pival is joined by Satya, the touring company's new hire, and aspiring actress Rebecca.

Coming in at #3 is "No Time to Wave Goodbye" by Jacquelyn Mitchard. This follow-up to Mitchard's acclaimed novel "The Deep End of the Ocean" finds the Cappadora children now grown, but in a tenuous state of contentment. When filmmaker son Vincent makes a documentary about parents of abducted children, he stirs up traumatic memories of his brother's kidnapping. As the Cappadora family deals with newly reopened wounds, they find themselves reliving their past horrors in a very real way.

For #4 we have "What a Mother Knows" by Leslie Lehr. Michelle Mason awakens from a coma unable to remember the terrible car crash that killed a man and put her in the hospital. Unluckily for her, she is being held responsible for that man's death, and her daughter Nikki, the only person who might be able to clear her name, has gone missing. Michelle must fight through physical impairment, lawsuits, and disturbing revelations in order to find Nikki and uncover the mysterious circumstances surrounding the accident.

At #5 is "Sleepwalking in Daylight" by Elizabeth Flock. At one time, Samantha Friedman was an outgoing, independent career woman. Now, she's a stay-at-home mom stuck in an unhappy marriage, whose seventeen-year-old adopted daughter, Cammy, refuses to speak to her. As the Goth-dressed Cammy seeks escape through drugs and sex, Sam begins an affair with the man she claims is her soulmate.

At one time, Samantha Friedman was an outgoing, independent career woman.

For #6 we find "The Stranger In My Home" by Adele Parks. Nothing appears to be wrong with Alison's life. Married to a loving husband and overjoyed by her bright, energetic teen daughter Katherine, she feels she has achieved total happiness. Then one fateful day, a knock at the door changes everything. It's Katherine's real father, who informs Alison that their girls were switched at birth. Now, the mother who had it all is forced to reevaluate her life raising a daughter who was never really hers.

Showing up at #7 is "OG Dad" by Jerry Stahl. Composed of newspaper columns written by the author along with new material, Stahl's caustic book chronicles his experiences bringing up young children in his sixties. Stahl describes what it's like to be an "old guy dad," including not being able to fit into skinny jeans and feeling out of place among parents half his age when dropping his kids off at preschool. He also deals with sleeplessness and questions of mortality, making this memoir as poignant as it is witty.

For #8 we come to "You Me Everything" by Catherine Isaac. Determined to get her ex-boyfriend Adam to connect with their ten-year-old son, William, Jess travels with the boy to spend the summer in France, where Adam runs a lavish chateau. Jess's plan to get father and son to bond is made complicated by the presence of Adam's new girlfriend. But Jess will not give up, especially if it means keeping a major secret of her own hidden.

Determined to get her ex-boyfriend Adam to connect with their ten-year-old son, William, Jess travels with the boy to spend the summer in France, where Adam runs a lavish chateau.

Finally, at #9 is "Those We Love Most" by Lee Woodruff. When her nine-year-old son James is hit and killed by a neighbor's car, Maura's peaceful suburban life comes crashing down around her. While she becomes consumed by guilt that the tragedy was partially her fault, her husband, Pete, copes by hanging out at the bar with his college friends. As cracks in their marriage form, the relationship between Maura's parents, who live nearby, is also unraveling. Long-held secrets are exposed and loyalties are challenged as the characters grapple with their circumstances.