Last Updated on August 26, 2023 by Louisa
Family for me is not about your blood, but where your heart is. If you’re looking to explore some found family books about adoptive families, foster families, groups of friends who are as close as family, or even neighbors who are like family, you’ve come to the right place.
In these books, readers can explore the concept of finding family in friendship and the people around them, as well as uncover stories about these unique bonds.
There’s something incredibly special about a family that can be made.
So if you’re in the mood for a great, found family story, then keep reading to see my top found family books to read.
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What To Expect From Found Family Books?
Found family books typically focus on the relationships between people who are related by choice rather than by blood.
These stories often involve characters finding comfort in a makeshift family of friends or even strangers, emphasizing the importance of connection and love.
They also feature themes of self-discovery, emotional growth, and overcoming obstacles.
Found family books often feature diverse casts representing different backgrounds and cultures, with protagonists from all walks of life learning to accept themselves and their newfound families.
The stories often center around characters facing difficult situations that require resilience, empathy, and courage to overcome.
These books can provide readers with an escape and a reminder of the power of unconditional love, loyalty, and trust.
Best Found Family Books
Do you love reading books where a character finds a place where they finally feel at home? If so, these are 15 of my favorite found family books.
1. Lost and Found Family – Jennifer Ryan
Let’s start this list off with one of my favorite picks, Lost and Found Family by Jennifer Ryan. This romance author knows how to write a found family story that kept me glued to the pages.
This story follows Sarah, a widowed mother with secrets. Her ex-mother-in-law blackmails her into bringing the kids to her house for a 6-week visit.
She reconnects with an old family friend Luke. Both want to love and have family, but Sarah’s secrets must come to light before this new family can begin.
This is one of those second chance books I read in one sitting. Sarah’s secrets and challenges gave the story a lot of heart and depth.
2. The Most Dazzling Girl In Berlin – Kip Wilson
Kip Wilson left me in awe with their book The Most Dazzling Girl In Berlin. I think a lot of readers will enjoy this historic LGBTQ fictional story.
This book takes place in the 1930s and follows a former orphan after her 18th birthday. As Hilde enters the real world, she discovers that getting a job without any experience is no easy task.
This is something that anyone eager for their first break can relate to.
However, when Hilde enters Cafe Lila, she finds a place, unlike the others. This is a place that feels like home to her, especially with Rosa, the cafe’s performer.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is the relationship developing between the two women during one of the darkest times in Berlin.
3. Seafire – Natalie C Parker
I love reading about a strong heroine, but a book is even better when it centers around a group of powerful females.
One of the best-found family books featuring a female lead is Seafire by Natalie C Parker.
Caledonia is one of my favorite leading characters. After her family is killed by Aric Athair’s army, Caledonia sets to sea with a group of women. All of these women have lost loved ones to Aric.
Now they’re on a mission to take him down.
This is one of the most exciting found family books I have read recently. If you want an adventurous book, this one is an excellent choice.
4. Counting By 7s – Holly Goldberg Sloan
Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan is such a touching found the family book. This story had me crying one moment and jumping for joy the next.
Willow Chance is one of the sweetest characters I have read about. She’s a 12-year-old girl who’s always struggled to connect with others. The only people she felt comfortable with were her parents.
When her adoptive parents die in a car accident, Willow shows us a unique strength as she grieves. I loved reading about her journey of finding a new surrogate family and how courageous this young girl is.
Okay, this book may be recommended for preteens, but it will have adults reaching for the tissues too.
5. The Family Gathering – Robyn Carr
The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr was such a great read because it focused on supporting and accepting people as they are. It even shows us how an estranged family can become whole again.
Dakota just left the military and needs time to plan his next move. He decides to visit the town Sullivan’s Crossing, where his brother and sister are both living.
As Dakota reconnects with his siblings, he’s also drawn to the simple lifestyle of the people in the town.
As Dakota bonds with his siblings and people in the community, he finally finds something he’s been longing for, a place he can call home.
I enjoyed how this book incorporates relatives and found family in a story everyone can fall in love with.
Related reading: military romance books
6. The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers
Why do I suggest The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet as one of the best-found family books? This book features space, adventure, and a heart-warming tale of learning to trust each other.
Rosemary has joined the Wayfarer crew to explore the galaxy. They’re sent on a risky mission to explore wormholes.
During this adventure, Rosemary and the rest of the outrageous Wayfarer crew learn what it’s like to be a family.
This pick made my list because it features a mismatched group of characters that put aside their differences to become a great team.
7. The Interestings – Meg Wolitzer
What I love about Meg Wolitzer’s novel The Interestings is how the bonds of friendship can stand the test of time.
This story follows six kids that formed an inseparable bond at summer camp. Throughout the years, they remained close as family.
Each of these kids had a lot of talent, but as they approached middle age, their journeys have all been different.
One of the most interesting themes of this novel is how certain characters can accept their shortcomings while cheering for their found family member’s success.
8. Instant Family – Elisabeth Rose
Instant Family by Elisabeth Rose is a touching story that shows us the ups and downs of a found family situation.
Chloe never had the opportunity to chase her own dreams. At 21, she took on the responsibility of raising three orphaned siblings.
Several years later, Chloe is stressed to the max, and the oldest sibling has gotten in trouble with the law for vandalizing.
What I loved about this book was the character Alex. He’s the victim of the vandalism who believes the kids aren’t bad. They just need a good male role model.
He also inspires Chloe to realize that she can be a mother and follow her dreams at the same time.
9. Undead Girl Gang – Lily Anderson
One of the best-found family books to add to your list is Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson. This is one unexpected gang of friends that I was rooting for until the end.
Cross Creek is a boring small town. Mila and her BFF Riley have nothing better to do than practice amateur witchcraft.
The town’s quiet reputation is flipped when Riley and two other girls from school are found dead.
The police write it off as a suicide pact, by Mila knows that wouldn’t happen. She decides to use witchcraft to solve this case and ends up bringing the girls back from the dead.
The girls have no memory of their death, but together they’re going to get the case solved.
These undead BFFs were one of the most dysfunctional and entertaining found families to read about.
10. The House In The Cerulean Sea – T.J. Klune
One of the most enchanting stories I have to tell you about is The House In The Cerulean Seas by T.J. Klune.
Linus lives a quiet life alone with his cat and works as a caseworker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth.
He gets assigned a classified assignment to take care of 6 magical children at an island orphanage.
When Linus arrives, he realizes the children aren’t the only secret the island holds. I think this is an excellent book for when you want to escape reality and enjoy a bit of magic.
11. Scarlet – Marissa Meyer
I love a good adventure book that will keep me on the edge of my seat. That’s why I couldn’t put Scarlet by Marissa Meyer down.
This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles collection.
Scarlet’s grandmother is missing. She doesn’t care if she’s a wanted fugitive; she will do anything to find her grandmother.
Wolf is a street fighter with valuable information about Scarlet’s grandmother. The two work together to uncover mysteries that lead them to her whereabouts. If they want to succeed, they must stay a step ahead of the evil queen.
Reading about Scarlet’s developing relationship with Wolf and her devotion to her grandmother will keep readers rooting for her.
12. The Trials Of Morrigan Crow – Jessica Townsend
A lot of the best-found family books are children’s fantasy novels. The Trials Of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend is one story that people of all ages can appreciate.
Morrigan Crow was born on the unluckiest day of the year. Her fate was to die on her 11th birthday.
Instead, a man named Jupiter North brings her to Nevermoor, a magical city.
She is one of the hundreds of unique children brought in to compete for a spot in the organization. Each child has an extraordinary gift.
I enjoyed this book because it showed the importance of found families. Morrigan always felt unwanted by her own family.
With the kids of Nevermoor, everyone felt as though they belonged.
13. Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater
One of the most exciting reads on my list today is Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. This is the 3rd installment in the Raven Cycle collection.
Blue is finally in a place in life where she’s happy. The Raven Boys have accepted her as one of their own, forming a unique found family. However, with every found family comes the risk of a loss.
The Raven Cycle has five books, and each one is a great read for the found family trope. However, each book in the series can be read as a standalone and there are no cliff hangers.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue is my favorite of the series because it’s the most action-packed.
14. Mariam Sharma Hits The Road – Sheba Karim
The friendship found family books are some of the most enjoyable to read. One book that I couldn’t get enough of was Mariam Sharma Hits The Road by Sheba Karim.
This story follows 3 Muslim best friends on an unforgettable road trip. Mariam had plans to work over the summer, but all that changed when her best friend Ghaz had a scandalous photo go public.
To escape the wrath of her strict family, Ghaz goes on the road with Mariam and their closet friend Umar.
What I enjoyed the most about this story was how all of the characters had underlying hardships and could rely on each other to get through them.
This story is focused on how the found family relationship helps them cope with life’s most difficult situations.
15. Six Of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
When it comes to our list of best-found family books, I can’t finish it off without showing appreciation for Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This book is the first of the Six of Crows series.
Here is a found family story that focuses on the misfits. Kaz is a criminal prodigy. He has an opportunity for the heist of a lifetime. This job could make him richer than he ever could have imagined.
Kaz won’t be able to do this job on his own. He’s going to need a crew. That’s when he brings in 6 outcasts to form an unstoppable criminal crew. But getting this new crime family to get along won’t be an easy task.
I couldn’t get enough of this dysfunctional found family. This is a book that will have readers laughing and rooting for the bad guys.
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Final Words Of Best Found Family Books
I hope you enjoy the found family books I suggested today. There are a lot of great stories to choose from.
If I missed one of your favorite found family books, I’d love to know about it. Let me know your favorite stories in the comments below.