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The Tummy Mummy by Michelle Madrid Branch -This is a gentle introduction into adoption and birth parents that many families may enjoy. It has a very calm and relaxed feeling to it that I’m not sure I can attribute to the illustrations or the writing. The story isn’t one of my favorite and I think there are better books our there for children explaining adoption but given that there seem to be so few books that involve birth parents this could be a nice addition to your library. amazon.com price $11.67 (HC)
Breakwater Bay: A Novel by Shelley Noble – This is a fiction book that focuses on adoption and a mystery surrounding a woman who learns that her mother isn’t her biological mother and that a pregnant teen washed up on a beach and begged her family to care for her daughter. Its a story of what does family mean? Is it who gives birth to you? Who raises you? Or maybe a combination of both. This was an engaging story but it is fiction. Unlike most of the other books reviewed here this book is purely for enjoyment purposes and not meant to really teach anything or help raise an adopted child however it does do a good job of allowing adoption to shine and not be made to seem less than. It is definitely adoption positive even though the legal issues in the book made me want to scream. If you are looking for a good beach read that will engage you and speak to your adoption heart than this is a good chick lit book. I doubt many men would find this an engaging read but I am always happy to be wrong. amazon.com price $11.97 (PB) kindle edition: $3.99
Bird by Crystal Chan – Bird is a middle school grade novel by first time author Crystal Chan. Jewel was born on the day her brother, Bird died. His real name was John but Jewel’s grandfather called him Bird and after he jumped to his death from a cliff pretending to fly Jewels grandfather hasn’t spoken and her family is steeped in grief and despair.
On the eve of her 12th birthday Jewel leaves the house late at night to climb a tree and look at the stars. In the tree she meets John, a young African-American boy who was adopted by a white family. Jewel thinks it’s weird that she met a boy with her brother’s name in a spot out near where he died but the two become good friends. Jewel’s father doesn’t trust him though. He believes that John is an a duppy (spirits trapped on earth who cause trouble) who has come to cause more trouble in their family. He goes out of his way to keep John away from his family.
John is visiting his Uncle while his parents get ready to have a baby. Which brings up many feelings of abandonment, his adoption, and anger in John. While the drama going on in both children’s lives at first appear the same by the end you see how very similar their concerns are. Jewel lives in a house that hasn’t let go of the grief and sadness of losing their son, and John believes his parents don’t really want him now that they are having their “own” child.
This is a beautifully written book and a well thought out story that really touches on what it means to feel different, how children view the world around them and how we are all connected and can help each other to be whole. Many books deal with identity and parent and child relationships but Bird is on a completely different level. Bird is a compelling story about values, traditions and relationships that redefines what it means to be a family, I loved this book. amazon price $7.99 Kindle edition $10.99