Tell Me About When Moms and Dads Go to Jail by Judi Goozh and Sue Jeweler (An H4HK Review)

About the Book

Tell Me About When Moms and Dads Go to Jail is both a book for children about when mom or dad goes to jail and also a guide for parents and other helping adults to help kids deal with incarcerated parents.

Who Is This Book For?

This book is aimed primarily at elementary aged kids from 6 to 11 and the adults who love them.

Our Synopsis of the Book

The first half of Tell Me About When Moms and Dads Go to Jail is meant for kids whose parents have gone to jail or prison. Written as a first-hand account from a child whose dad has gone to prison, this portion of the book answers important questions like:

  • Where is Dad going?
  • Where was Dad?
  • Why do people go to jail?
  • What does jail look like?
  • Where does he sleep?
  • Where does he eat?
  • What does he do all day?
  • Is He safe?
  • What does He wear?
  • What happens if he is hurt or sick?
  • Is it a secret?
  • What do I tell my friends?
  • What is visitation like?
  • When will he leave?
  • What can I do?

The next part of the book includes activities kids can do. The final section includes tips for parents and professionals on helping school aged children, handling conflicts and a long list of helpful resources.

Amazon’s Synopsis

Here’s how Amazon describes the book:

“This book will help you understand what is happening to your mom or dad who goes to jail…”

Ideal for use with children aged 6-11, this is an invaluable resource for supporting the wellbeing of children whose parent is incarcerated. It explains what jail is like and why some people have to go there, while reassuring children that their parent loves them, is safe, and is working hard to come home again. Included are activities to help children manage their feelings, tips for parents and professionals on how best to support them, and a list of resources for additional help and information.

What We Liked

This book is a very needed resource. So often when a parent goes to jail, the child is lost in the shuffle. Tell Me About When Moms and Dads Go to Jail can help a child suffering the trauma of the loss of a parent to incarceration to answer the question they have. The list of resources at the end of the book is topped notch.

What We Didn’t Like

The story intended for kids is a bit dry and the pictures seem more like stock photos and aren’t likely to captivate kids.


We recommend Tell Me About When Moms and Dads Go to Jail for kids whose parents are going to or in jail or prison. It answers many of the questions they likely to have and includes a lot of helpful information for parents and other adults interested in helping them through this traumatic experience.

For more resources and information on divorce, family disruption and modern families please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Divorce and Modern Family Help Center.
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Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families. Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids' other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son's soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship). You can reach Wayne at