The Laboratory for Children and Families

Adoption Books

The books listed here are ones that my family and others have found useful in dealing with our children's feelings and issues. There are many other books like these. We have just listed our favorites with a * by some we have found to be very special. We'd love to hear what you and your family's own favorites are too...

Adoption

A Forever Family, R. Banish, 1992, Harper. **
An eight-year old girl's journey from foster care to adoption as told by the child: what was hard, how it got easier, questions she asked, and things she--like any 8 year old girl--is busy doing.

Horace, H. Keller, 1991, Scholastic.
Everyone else in Horace's family has stripes. He has spots. Can he be happy and belong? Yes.

Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies, A. Turner, 1990, Harper Collins.
Child tells story of how he came from another country to his new adoptive home, how strange and frightening things seemed at first, and how he came to know his new home and parents.

The Holt International Book Store has books exploring adoption issues, both for children and adults.

Families & Siblings

The Pain and The Great One, J. Blume, 1994, Bradbury Press. *
Which siblings does the parents favor and who gets all the special privileges? It all depends on your point of view. We hear surprisingly similar stories from both brother and sister.

Wanted: Perfect Parents , J. Himmelman, 1993, Bridgewater Books. *
The things Gregory's parents would let him do if only they were perfect parents! Fortunately, they already do the very most important thing.

Stevie, J. Steptoe, 1969, Harper Collins. *
What would it be like to suddenly get a little brother who isn't a baby? Robert gets a taste of it when Stevie comes to live at his house for a week. For all the irritations and annoyances, the boys share some fun and special times too. Excellent for children awaiting or experiencing the arrival of a non-infant adoptive sibling.

Mary Anne Always Can, A. Tyrell & C. Castle, 1988, Barrons.
What does a girl do when her big sister can do everything and she feels like she can do nothing? Find her strengths, of course.

Fears & Other Feelings

Where's My Teddy?, J. Alborough, 1992, Candlewick Press. *
We're all scared of something. Even giant bears need their security objects, as we find when Eddie and the big bear are each reunited with his teddy--each just the right size for its owner and the wrong size for the other.

The Winter Bear, R. Craft & E. Blegvad, 1974, MacMillan. Children out on a winter walk find a neglected teddy bear. They see past his imperfections and bring him home. Tattered, torn, and in need of some mending, "But still, an excellent bear."

Perfect the Pig, S. Jeschke, 1980, Scholastic.
When a woman takes in a winged pig and nurtures him, he thrives. When he is abducted by an unkind man, the pig becomes very sad and begins to fail. The woman finds him again and is awarded custody in court. All ends well. Attachment; the reality of bad guys.

Baby Unicorn and Baby Dragon, J. Marzollo & C. Marzollo, 1989, Scholastic.
Child figures are victimized by an old wicked elf. Together, they are brave and cunning enough to outsmart him, even if they cry.

There's a Nightmare in My Closet, M. Mayer, 1968, Pied Piper. *
A little boy meets his nightmare head on and discovers the nightmare is really afraid of him!

My New Boy, J. Philips, 1986, Random House. *
Told from the puppy's point of view, the story of how the new puppy trains his boy. Attachment formation. Status for the newcomer. Very cute and an easy reader.

The Right House for Rabbit, S. Saunders, 1986, Merrigold Press.
Rabbit finds that the grass is greener on the other side, until you look closely and it turns out his home is just right after all.

Molly's Monsters, T. Slater, 1988, Platt & Plunks. *
Monsters appear in Molly's room at night, but she gets rid of them.

I'll Love You Always, H. Wilhelm, 1985, Scholastic. *
A little boy grows up with a dog that eventually dies. He knows he'll get another pet someday and love that one too, and, even though she is gone, he'll always love the Elfie. Attachment, loss, and maintaining connections.

Series

The Berenstein Bears Collection, Stan and Jan Berenstein, Random House. *
Topics include fears, too much birthday, too much TV, starting schools, bad dreams, telling the truth, strangers, sibling rivalry, trouble with friends, and trouble with school.

Sesame Street Start to Read Books; Sesame Street Growing Up Books, NY: Random House/Golden/CTW.
Both Sesame Street series provide examples of topics and conflicts that face children, including fears of the dark, making mistakes, friends, the need for a security blanket, moving into a new neighborhood, feeling left out, trying to keep up, and bu llies. Great for younger ones.