Books For Children

Books for Children in Foster Care

Young Children

Zachary’s New Home: A Story for Foster and Adopted Children

Blomquist, G.M., Blomquist, P.B. (1991) Zachary’s New Home: A Story for Foster and Adopted Children (Magination Press)

This story  is appropriate for  young foster children ages 4 through 8.  Zachary  is a baby  kitten.  His mama cannot take care of him so he has to go into foster care. The story  follows  Zachary as he begins his experiences with a  family of geese. The hurt, self doubt,  and testing  young children can experience when placed in new settings are portrayed 

Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born

Curtis, Jamie-Lee, (1992) Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born (Joanna Collier Books).

Colorful pictures  and  whimsical language   are used in the telling of this story of a child  who  finds  joy  in recurrently hearing  about the  phone call  from the agency  that  united her  with her  adoptive parents on the night that she was born.   How the union  has enriched  both the child and  parent  characters can be used effectively as a conversation starter  about  real  life foster/ adoptive unions.  The  book is suitable for listening or reading by children at the  preschool as well as primary level.

A Mother for Choco

Kasza, K. ( 1992) A Mother for Choco,  (Penguin Putnam  Group).

A picture book for  young readers.  Choco, a lonely baby chick with chubby red cheeks has lost  his mother.   In his search  for a caretaker  he  is rejected  by several  animals  each  of  whom  shares features with him.  Eventually  he meets  and is adopted by as  comforting and  wise mother  bear (already  caring  for  a baby pig,  baby hippo and baby alligator– all of whom attest to her affection and love.   The story may be perfect  in instances of  interracial /multicultural adoptions where there is a need to emphasize  that caring and sharing are achievable  regardless  of   differences; ethnic or otherwise.

Kids Need to Be Safe: A Book for Children in Foster Care

Nelson, J(2005) Kids Need to Be Safe: A Book for Children in Foster Care  (Free Spirit Publishing).

Geared toward young adults –possibly reluctant readers, this book briefly describes why kids end up in foster  and how foster parents try to be supportive.

I Wished for You: An Adoption Tale

Richmond, M. ( 2008) I Wished for You: An Adoption Tale,  (Creative Child Magazine)

 This  Mom’s Choice Award recipient will be enjoyed by children  ages  4 through 8. In the story Barley Bear and his new  mama  enjoy snuggling up in an easy chair to talk about how  they became a family.  Answers to many question foster children might raise are dealt with in this  story.

Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care

Wilgocki, J. ,Wright, M. & Geis, A.  (2002)  Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care   (American Psychological Association (APA)

Recommended for  children, ages 4 through 8, this  children’s book  discusses  the people and procedures involved in foster care.  Foster parents and their foster childrencan read this book together to stimulate conversation about  a variety of frustrations and/or questions a  foster child might  have.

Adolescent Children

The Pinballs

Byars, B (1988) The Pinballs (Bantam)

A serious story interspersed with  humor, the story is about three children whose parents  and  society  cause them to  be pitched  about like pinballs from one foster situation to another. The children finally find acceptance by the Masons, caring foster parents who help them release the weight of past disappointments and replace with a sense of trust and love.

Bud, Not Buddy

Curtis, P. (2004) Bud, Not Buddy (Laurel Leaf) 

Running away from an abusive foster  home Bud–“not Buddy”—Caldwell, a 10 year African American old orphan sets out to find the man he has convinced himself on somewhat flimsy evidence tomay be his father. While his supposed father, a musician and club owner in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is not very welcoming of a boy who appears claiming to be his son, various members of  the club’s his band make him feel at home Bud’s – not Buddy’s adventures take place in the Depression Era, and is presented with an appropriate mix of comedy and sadness. Children and adults will find this book  a fine read  that can lead to some worthy conversations.

The Great Gilly Hopkins

Paterson, K. (2004 )The Great Gilly Hopkins (Harper Collins)

Gilly Hopkins is an 11-year old foster child. She has been in with a number of foster families over most of her life but can’t find acceptance from any of them due  to her inability to  get along. Gilly continuously hopes to get back with her mother, but her longings have a slim chance of being realized. The story centers around her newest foster placement which she disparages as having a “ gross guardian with a freaky kid.”  But it is in this placement  that she learns how to deal with reality and finds love and acceptance. The winner of several awards including the National Book Award for Children’s Literature and a Newbery Honor, this book  provides a captivating read for children ages 9-12.

The Giver

Lowry, Lois (1993) The Giver (Bantom)

Echoing Brave New World, This Newbery medal winner offers adolescents a science fiction rendition of a futuristic society where strategies for obtaining a utopia (a society where all causes of pain are eliminated and sameness is produced for all individuals) can actually produce the opposite.