The best fiction portraying realistic parenting dilemmas

Rebecca Prenevost Author Of Mom Walks: Starting in 5th
By Rebecca Prenevost

Who am I?

I'm a mom of two daughters who is fascinated with reading nonfiction parenting books and listening to parenting-related podcasts. My absolute favorite, though, is when fiction authors take a dense parenting topic and turn it into a relatable and engaging story so that readers can explore the same important issues and challenges in a more enjoyable way.

I wrote...

Mom Walks: Starting in 5th

By Rebecca Prenevost,

Book cover of Mom Walks: Starting in 5th

What is my book about?

Mom Walks: Starting in 5th is the first book in a four-book women’s fiction series that follows a mom and her two best mom friends as they navigate the craziness of parenting tweens. The books are light, relatable, and heart-warming stories about mother-daughter relationships, mom friendships, and parenting tweens through issues like mean girl drama, first crushes, materialism, and cell phones. The series is sometimes described as The Baby-Sitters Club, but for moms.

The books I picked & why

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For All She Knows

By Jamie Beck,

Book cover of For All She Knows

Why this book?

This novel exemplifies parenting fiction in my mind. It takes a concept I could’ve read about in a nonfiction parenting book (how to handle teenage drinking) and slides it into a compelling narrative that realistically depicts all the potential complexities and nuances in the parenting decisions and how they might play out, including several factors and consequences related to teen alcohol use and parent-sponsored parties that I would’ve never thought of myself.  

Somebody's Daughter

By Rochelle B. Weinstein,

Book cover of Somebody's Daughter

Why this book?

Somebody’s Daughter is a thought-provoking read for parents on how you might handle an inappropriate video of your child being shared over social media. One of the most intriguing parenting aspects of this book is how the mom and dad dealt with their daughter’s dilemma so differently. Especially since the mom almost viewed the dad’s way of handling it as detrimental. It offered an invaluable gut-check on what I would do if I were put in the same situation.

Girls with Bright Futures

By Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman,

Book cover of Girls with Bright Futures

Why this book?

This novel is a chilling depiction of the cut-throat world of elite college admissions for families attending an ultra-competitive private school. It’s another great example of taking concepts I’ve seen in nonfiction parenting books (helicopter parenting and over-pressuring kids) and playing them out in a fictional way. The details on the parents’ backstories, and how they affected their thought processes, allowed clear comparisons and contrasts to their situations, values, and beliefs and helped me see why I may want to handle certain situations differently.

You and Me and Us

By Alison Hammer,

Book cover of You and Me and Us

Why this book?

You and Me and Us tackles several intriguing parenting challenges between a mother and her 14-year-old daughter as they lose someone they both love. It also depicts the normal parenting tightrope in dealing with teens wanting greater independence and what happens when their goals are different from their parents. An added bonus is the book is written in dual POV, alternating between the teen and parent perspectives, so readers can gain a better understanding from both sides of the issues.  

Are We There Yet?

By Kathleen West,

Book cover of Are We There Yet?

Why this book?

West has authored three books that I’d consider parenting fiction, but this one is my favorite. The main storyline follows a mom as she struggles to parent her teenager through his impulsive decisions and public failures. It also explores how a child’s behaviors or actions can often feel like a reflection on their parents. West is an expert in writing multiple POV novels, so readers get to understand these issues from every angle. 

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