Today begins the first day of National Adoption Month but November is also Native American Heritage month. To honor both of these significant social justice events, writers for The Pirate Tree will be focusing on adoption literature the first part of the month and Native American literature for the second half.
In 1975, when I adopted my oldest child, social workers were only beginning to discuss the importance of telling children that they were adopted. There was little written on the topic directed at children though. So I used to tell my kids stories of their own adoptions and even wrote them down to create an early chapter book for my family which grew to include four children. By the time my children were almost grown, I had found a few especially wonderful stories with adoption themes and this seems like a great opportunity to focus on two classics, stories that have stayed with my family for almost thirty years because of their honest and straightforward approach to adoption issues:
The Mulberry Bird (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) by Anne Braff Brodzinsky, $14.95
In this new edition of a classic in adoption literature, Mother Bird rises to meet the challenges of bringing up her baby bird against all odds and elements. When a storm scatters her nest, she is forced to think about how best to care for her precious baby bird, and faces the heart-breaking choice of either continuing to struggle on her own, or giving her baby to another family of birds, to look after him and care for him in their strong, secure nest. This beautifully illustrated book sensitively explores prevalent issues in the adoption debate, from the enduring force of a birth parent’s love to the importance of nurturing an adoptive child in its new environment. “The Mulberry Bird” is an important and enduring tale of sacrifice, wisdom and love, and is ideal for reading aloud with young children in adoptive families, their siblings, in school and with support staff.
Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children) by Lois Lowry, $18.00
Natalie Armstrong has all a girl could want: beauty and intelligence, a loving family and a great boyfriend. But something is missing; the answer to a most important question: “Who is my mother?”
To find that answer seventeen-year-old Natalie begins a journey that she hopes will lead to the identity of her biological mother. And what if Natalie finds her? What will happen when they meet face-to-face?