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Books for Kids - General

  • A Gift for Little Tree by Colleen D.C. Marquez (ages 5-7)- This book uses the symbolism of a tree that cannot bear fruit to explain adoption after infertility. It is only through a graft from another tree that little tree is able to have fruit. The watercolor illustrations are beautiful.
  • Something in the Air by Molly Jones (ages 4-8)- A heartwarming story of a puppy who was adopted by a cat, and what it means to be a family.
  • Don't Call Me Marda- by Sheila Kelly Welch (ages 9+)- This book is told from the perspective of a sixth grader whose parents decide to adopt a eight year old with developmental challenges.
  • The Rainbow Egg, by Linda Hendricks (4-8)- While I've not read this book, I like that it tells the story from the birth mother's perspective. I think this could be a valuable addition to your adoption book library.
  • Birds of a Different Feather, by Kelley Wendel (ages 4-8)- This picture book tells the story of a family of two geese that give birth to a gosling, and then adopt a chick and duckling into their brood. A good story for introducing different ways of adding to a family.
  • Brookie Cookie Bookie: A children's book about friendship, acceptance and celebrating our differences by Robin B. Rosenberg (4-8) is a great introduction to diversity and differences.  The illustrations, drawn by Brooke and her friends, are a great addition.
  • Forever Fingerprints: An Amazing Discovery for Adopted Children by Sherrie Eldridge (4-8) introduces children to two essential concepts: sadness over missing birthparents is normal, and adoptive parents can be sensitive supporters for their children's grief.  Lucie is excited about her Aunt Grace's pregnancy, but it makes her think of how she understands her adoption story in a different way. The tools offered in this book help her to create a unique connection to her birthparents, allow how she is feeling to surface and to be discussed, and give Lucie's parents the chance to reinforce their love for her, to empathize with her feelings and to honor her past.
  • Star of the Week: A Story of Love, Adoption, and Brownies with Sprinkles by Darlene Friedman (4-8)- It's Cassidy—Li's turn to be Star of the Week at school! So she's making brownies and collecting photos for her poster. She has pictures of all the important people in her life—with one big exception. Cassidy—Li, adopted from China when she was a baby, doesn't have a photo of her birthparents. But with a little help from her family, she comes up with the perfect way to include them!
  • Megan's Birthday Tree: A Story about Open Adoption by Laurie Lears (ages 4-8)- When Megan was born, her birth mother Kendra planted a tree and sends a picture of the tree to Megan on her birthday.  When Kendra moves, Megan is worried that her first mother will forget her without the tree, but her mother reassures her that she is loved, both by Kendra and her parents.  Lears captures perfectly the child's anxiety about being forgotten, as well as her delight when Kendra reveals that even though she does not need a reminder to keep Megan in her heart, she has dug up the tree to replant at her new home.
  • I Wished for You: an Adoption Story by Marianne Richmond (ages 4-8) is the Mom's Choice Award winning book that follows the conversation between Barley Bear and his Mama as they discuss how they became a family and Barley Bear asks his mother common questions about adoption.  There are some faint religious overtones.
  • I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose A. Lewis (ages 4-8) is based on Lewis's adoption of her daughter.  It starts with a letter to Chinese officials and ends with Lewis taking her new daughter back to America to meet her new family.  I Love You Like Crazy Cakes is full of beautiful illustrations and offers abundant reassurances of love to adopted children.
  • It's Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr (ages 4-8) uses his signature artistic style to tell kids (and adults) that it's okay to be different. He address physical differences, disabilities, race, different family types and uses a picture of a kangaroo with a dog in its pouch to tell kids it's okay to be adopted.
  • Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis (4-8) is the tale of an adoption framed as a well-loved and much-requested bedtime story.  Both witty and open, the story addresses the logistics of adoption and the emotions of the family involved.
  • Three Names of Me by Mary Cummings (8-11)- This book is a great addition to your family’s adoption library, especially since there aren’t a lot of books geared for the middle elementary crowd. Although you could use this as a read aloud for younger kids, I would suggest keeping it until your child is at least six and probably older for most children. The book is about an elementary aged girl adopted as a baby from China. It focuses on her life now and the love within her family. It also introduces the love of her birth mother/first mother. This book shines!
  • Motherbridge of Love (4-10) by Xinran- A picture book about the love between a child, a mother, and a birthmother. I think most 10 year olds would be a bit bored, but it is a good conversation starter even at that age.
  • In My Heart (3-8) by Molly Bang- This picture book celebrates the bond between all types of parents and children.
  • We Belong Together: a Book about Adoption and Families by Todd Parr- Parr does it again with a wonderful book about adoption for young kids. We Belong Together explores the ways that people can choose to come together to make a family.
  • Arthur: Big Brother Binky is a fantastic DVD on international adoption. Arthur's best friend, Binky, is about to become a big brother. His parents are adopting a baby from China. I just love this DVD, and yes, I know that a DVD is not a book, but I added it here as well as the resource page so that you'd be sure to see it. Although Binky's parents are adopting internationally, I think this DVD is a must for any family formed through adoption because it normalizes adoption as simply one way families are formed.
  • We See the Moonby Carrie Kitze (4-8)- Can be used to open up a discussion of birth parents. Child in the story is adopted from China, but can be used with any adopted child. I suggest parents read through the book before reading it with their child
  • My Adopted Child, There's No One Like You by Dr. Kevin Leman and Kevin Leman II (2-6)- This is a picture book that would appeal to the pre-school set, but is probably too babyish once they reach elementary school.
  • Love is A Family by Roma Downey- This really isn't an adoption book, but it celebrates the fact that all family's are different. In this story the little girl is being raised by a single mom and she wishes for the noise and chaos of a big family, but comes to appreciate that all families are different.
  • How Babies and Families Are Made: There Is More Than One Way! by Patricia Schaffe (ages 5-9)- This is a basic sex ed book for families formed in alternative ways. It includes a discussion of miscarriage, cesarean delivery (why that is considered particularly different, I don't know, but I suppose it is something that needs to be explained), twins, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, adoption and stepchildren. The book may be too technical for the younger end of the range, but it is still a worthy addition to your sex ed/ "all families are different and the same" collection.
  • Little Miss Spider by David Kirk (ages 2-8)- This is such a sweet book. I didn't have it when mine were the right age, but I wish I had.
  • A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza (ages 2-6)- This was our very favorite when mine were little. This story and great pictures addresses adoption and transracial adoption. I've saved this one for our grandkids.
  • Horace by Holly Keller (ages 2-6)- Another one of our favorites that covers adoption and transra
  • My Family Is Forever by Nancy Carlson (ages 4-8)- The child is Asian, but this is a great general book. I love the title and it nicely reflects the message of this book.
  • A Blessing From Above by Patti Henderson (ages 4-8)
  • Amy Angel Goes Home: A Heavenly Tale of Adoption by Kathleen Lathrod (ages 3-9)- This book approaches adoption as part of God’s plan for our children.
  • A Koala for Katie by Jonathan London (ages 2-6)
  • You’re Not My REAL Mother! By Molly Friedrich (ages 4-8)- Discusses what being a real family means. I especially recommend this to parents who dread and are a little afraid of hearing this statement from their child.
  • How I Was Adopted by Joanna Cole (ages 4-8)- Explains adoption in general, but is not specific or geared towards international adoption.
  • All About Adoption by Marc Nemiroff and Jane Annuziata (ages 4-8)- Explains adoption, but is not specific to international adoption.
  • Mr. Rogers-Let’s Talk About It: Adoption by Fred Rogers (ages 4-8)- I love Mr. Rogers. He is a brother through adoption and his general philosophy and calming demeanor shines through in this book. It applies to all forms of adoption.  Dated, but a wonderfully supportive text.
  • The Family Book by Todd Parr (ages 2-6)- This book falls into the all important "all families are different, but still a family" category and covers all types of families, including traditional, step, single, gay, and adopted.
  • Giant Jack by Birte Muller (ages 4-8)
  • The Colors of Us by Karen Katz (ages 3-8)- Great for transracial families of any hue.
  • We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Jane Kates (ages 2-6)- Not specifically about adoption, but the Sesame Street characters talk about accepting differences.
  • The Best Single Mom in the World: How I Was Adopted by Mary Zisk (ages 3-8). The title says it all. I think it is really important for single parents to celebrate their families and this book is a wonderful start.
  • The Mulberry Bird by Anne Braff Brodzinsky (ages 6-12)- This is a classic. I found that none of my kids would voluntarily read this by themselves, but I used it as a read aloud when they were about 8 to stimulate discussion. I had varying degrees of luck with discussion, depending on the kid.
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (ages 6-12)- This one is a classic. If you haven't read this wonderful series, start now. I read the first one out loud to each of my children when they were mid-elementary. Each of my girls fell in love with the series and read all the books. The series follows Anne as she ages, so the later books really arent that interesting to youngish children. And, not to be sexist, but this really isn't a series for boys, but my guys liked the first book well enough if I was reading it out loud. Personally, I didn't even try to tie this book into an adoption discussion, I just let the message speak for itself.
  • W.I.S.E. Up Powerbook by Marilyn Schoettle (6-teens)- Great resource for helping older kids handle personal and general questions about adoption. This one is a must have for parents and kids alike. I used this as a discussion starter to be read to my kids when they were in early to mid elementary school and then left is where they could access it when they were older.
  • Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies by Ann Turner- "Let me tell the story this time, Momma," says a 4-5 year old Asian boy. "Once I was a picture you held in your hand," he begins, and tells how he "flew through night and moon and stars" to his new home. He was frightened on the plane ride but held tight to the picture of his new family. When he arrived, his parents welcomed him at the airport with open arms. Although this book was more a reflection of older style international adoptions where the child was escorted rather than the parents traveling to bring the child home, it is still a sweet tale and was one of my family’s favorites. The country is not specified, but looks east Asian and is probably Vietnam.
  • All Families are Special by Norma Simon (K-3rd grade)- A story of all different types of family configurations.  It addresses adoption and has great pictures of multicultural families.
    Rosie's Family by Lori Rosove (ages 4-8)- Addresses many questions that adopted children may have.  The story is a about a Beagle living in a family of Schnauzers.  This is a great tool for adoptive parents.
  • Pablo's Tree by Pat Mora (ages 4-8)- A great adoption story of a Hispanic family that adopted a little boy named Pablo.
  • Zachary's New Home: A Story for Foster and Adopted Children (ages 4-8) by Geraldine M. Blomquist & Paul B. Blomquist
  • Finding the Right Spot: When Kids Can't Live With Their Parents (ages 4-8) by Janice Levy- A story for all children who can't live with their parents, regardless of the circumstances.  A great story about disappointment and reconciliation.
  • Robbie Rabbit Series by Adam Robe - Great books to help children in the foster care/adoption system.
  • My New Family: A First Look at Adoption (Ages 4-7)-  Children are sometimes upset to discover that they have been adopted. This book helps them understand how lucky they are to have to have loving, adoptive parents—and how lucky their parents are to have them!
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