Adoption is often a difficult subject to discuss with children. Picture books can be used to explain the concept to younger children and novels for older readers are helpful in showing the universality of family life. The following books explore international adoption, fitting into a new family, and making contact with birth parents.
Jin Woo. 2001.
Davey is dubious about having a new adopted brother from Korea, but when he finds out that his parents still love him, he decides that having a baby brother will be fine.
[Education S Collection: SE. B886ji]
My Family Is Forever. 2004.
A young girl recounts how she came to be part of an adoptive family.
[Education S Collection: SE. C197my]
Curtis, Jamie Lee
Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born. 1996.
A young girl asks her parents to tell her again the cherished family story of her birth and adoption.
[Education Storage: SE. C944t]
Lewis, Rose A.
Every Year on Your Birthday. 2007.
Each year on the birthday of her adopted Chinese daughter, a mother recalls the moments they have shared, from the first toy to the friends left behind in China.
[Education S Collection: SE. L5852e]
We Belong Together: a Book About Adoption and Families. 2007.
Aimed at young children, this book celebrates the variety of families touched by adoption.
Education S Collection: SE. P246w
The Red Blanket. 2004.
Tells the story of a single woman who goes to China to adopt a baby.
[Education S Collection: SE. T362r]
Turner, Anne Warren
Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies. 1989.
A boy who came from far away to be adopted by a couple in this country remembers how unfamiliar and frightening some of the things were in his new home, before he accepted the love to be found there.
[Education Storage: SE. T851T]
While spending the summer with her new siblings and cousins at their grandmother’s house by the ocean, Elizabeth begins to feel that she belongs to her adoptive family.
[Education Remote Storage: S.C1271t]
Saving Grace. 2003.
“After her family is evicted from their Washington, D.C., home in 1932, eleven-year-old Grace is sent to a mission and taken in by a well-off family who wants to adopt her.” — Description from the Horn Book Guide
[Education S Collection: S.C9124s]
Get Real. 2006.
Destiny, a thirteen-year-old control freak who feels alienated in her messy, haphazard family, helps her adopted best friend when she finds her birth mother and decides to have a relationship with her.
[Center for Children’s Books: S. H529g]
Fourteen-year-old Marley’s seemingly perfect life in the small town of Heaven is disrupted when she discovers that her father and mother are not her real parents.
[Education S Collection: S. J6313h]
Emma’s Yucky Brother. 2000.
Emma finds out how hard it is to be a big sister when her family adopts a four-year-old boy named Max.
[Center for Children’s Books: S.L724e]
Saffy’s Angel. 2002.
After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron’s relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes, until they help her go back to Italy where she was born to find a special memento of her past.
[Education Storage: S.M1922s]
Finding Miracles. 2004.
Fifteen-year-old Milly Kaufman is an average American teenager until Pablo, a new student at her school, inspires her to search for her birth family in his native country.
[Center for Children’s Books: S. Al866f]
The Secret of Me. 2005
While trying to find her place within her adoptive family and within the wider world, fourteen-year-old Lizzie reveals her secret wishes and fears in a collection of blues poems, list poems, sonnets, sestinas, and free verse.
[Center for Children’s Books: S. K214s]
Girls in Trouble. 2004.
Abandoned by her boyfriend and at odds with her parents for choosing open adoption, Sara, a sixteen-year-old honor student, is sustained by her relationship with her daughter’s adoptive parents until they become threatened by her increasing obsession with the baby and make a decision that has devastating consequences for everyone. (For mature readers)
[Main Stacks: 813 L489g]
Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye. 1978.
Seemingly a girl who has everything, Natalie, at seventeen, goes in pursuit of her birth mother.
[Education Remote Storage: S.L9551f]
Don’t Think Twice. 1996.
Seventeen years old and pregnant, Anne lives with other unwed mothers in a group home in rural Texas where she learns to be herself before giving her child up for adoption.
[Education Storage: S. P381d]
A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life. 2006.
Sixteen-year-old atheist Simone Turner-Bloom’s life changes in unexpected ways when her parents convince her to make contact with her biological mother, an agnostic from a Jewish family who is losing her battle with cancer.
[Education S Collection: S. R275b]