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Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline – Flipping back and forth between the past and the present, Orphan Train tells the story of two women who have very similar stories to tell. Vivian lost her family when she was nine and wound up on an “orphan train” to the midwest from New York, where she was given to one family or another in the hope of someone adopting her. Molly’s father was killed and her mother, hooked on drugs, couldn’t care for her so she moved from foster home to foster home.
Its also a story of the child welfare system, how children were often traded for service and room and board, names changed to suit their new wards, babies were adopted first and older children were left unwanted, now isn’t all that different. While there are more checks and balances children are sometimes taken in by foster families, “for the money” received to care for them, and treated as little more than servants, shuffled around from place to place. While the foster care system doesn’t fail every child it still needs a lot of work. Stories like Molly’s are unfortunately too common.
This was a gripping book that shows that you can’t judge a person on looks, that there is always a story to be learned from people and that the young can really benefit from working with and learning from older people. The relationship between Vivian and Molly is so beautiful and the loneliness they felt before they met oozed off the page, the discovery of their shared experiences forms a bond that helps to heal both of them. amazon.com price $8.99 kindle price $6.99
The Day The Storm Came: A Therapeutic Story for children who have experienced loss. by Helen Lees – This book is great for children who have experienced any type of loss or even a change in circumstance. Through a simple story and cute photos it helps kids realize that despite changes that may have happened in their lives and any sadness they are feeling at the moment the sun will come out again. amazon.com price $9.99
– Most adoption books tell you the story of an adoptive parent, their struggle through infertility, the hoop jumping and red tape of adoption and ultimately the joy of a successful adoption. My 2 Secrets tells the adoption story from the perspective of a birth mother. This is a short but powerful story of a woman who places not one but two children for adoption and her struggle to keep this a secret and then ultimately come to terms with it. For adoptive parents this is an essential read to help get them out of their story and put them in the position of a pregnant woman trying to come to terms with one of the hardest decisions of her life. amazon price $12.43 Kindle edition $2.99