National Adoption Day this November 22 and National Adoption Month this November afford a time to share experiences and reflect on families. Whether you have students who have been adopted or are part of a family considering adopting a child into your home, all children can benefit from learning about adoption. Children are very curious about each other’s families, quick to categorize into groups, and intent to define what makes a family, well, a family. Continue reading
Guest blogger Howey McAuley graduated with a BFA in Surface Design from East Carolina University. The best job she ever had was managing school book fairs for an independent bookstore. These days most of her artwork centers around crafts with her children. You can find her on Twitter at @23catsinaroom.
Several weeks ago my daughter Boogie (who just turned 5) had a Barbie doll eaten by one of our dogs. Normally this would lead to a meltdown of epic proportions. This time, however, she shrugged nonchalantly and said, “She’s just the Black one.” Keeping my voice calm (while internally freaking out) I asked her if that made the Barbie less important. She said yes. YES. What?
Because our books deal with many different kinds of families and all different types of diversity, we regularly get asked for books that feature transracial adoption. Because we don’t live in a color-blind world, transracial adoption (adopting a child of a different race or ethnic group) is a complicated act, and presents unique challenges for both the adoptive family and the adoptee.
Below we’ve compiled a list of children’s, middle grade, and young adult books that feature transracial adoption in some way. Please note that this list should be taken as list of resources for further investigation and not as a list of recommendations. Before using a book yourself, we encourage you to evaluate it (we recommend Dr. Sarah Park’s excellent post, Adoption and Children’s Literature, as a guide).
Bringing Asha Home by Uma Krishnaswami, ill. by Jamel Akib: A young boy prepares for the arrival of his new little sister, Asha, from India.
Journey Home by Lawrence McKay, Jr., ill. by Dom Lee and Keunhee Lee: Mai travels to Vietnam with her mother, who was adopted, in search of her mother’s biological family.
Horace by Holly Keller: This allegorical book about adoption focuses on a spotted cat adopted by two striped tigers, focusing on the idea that love and family transcend looks.
A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza: A book for the very young set about a little bird who is ultimately adopted by a bear.
We Wanted You by Liz Rosenberg, illus. by Peter Catalanotto: This story works backwards through the years, telling one family’s adoption story.