Foster Care and Adoption Books for Kids

Dropping Anchors Blog: Book List for Kids

This list of children’s books that focus on foster care, adoption, and things related to both was compiled by the women of the Dropping Anchors blog.

A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza

“Choco was a little bird who lived all alone. He wished he had a mother, but who could his mother be?”

Maybe Days by Jennifer Wilgocki

“For many children in foster care, the answer to many questions is often ‘maybe.’ Maybe Days is a straightforward look at the issues of foster care, the questions that children ask, and the feelings that they confront. A primer for children going into foster care, the book also explains in children’s terms the responsibilities of everyone involved—parents, social workers, lawyers and judges. As for the children themselves, their job is to be a kid—and there’s no maybe about that.”

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes

“Sherman Smith saw the most terrible thing happen. At first he tried to forget about it, but something inside him started to bother him. He felt nervous and had bad dreams. Then he met someone who helped him talk about the terrible thing, and made him feel better.”

The Star: A Story to Help Young Children Understand Foster Care by Cynthia Miller Lovell

THE STAR: A STORY TO HELP YOUNG CHILDREN UNDERSTAND FOSTER CARE is an easy-to-read, short story with beautiful, watercolor illustrations. The book follows a fictional young girl, Kit, who is taken from her mother to the safety, and different world, of a foster home. On Kit’s first night in foster care, she becomes friends with a star outside her bedroom window. The star tells Kit about other foster children it has seen. Through the story, the star is a source of comfort for Kit as she experiences many emotions and adjusts to all the new things in her foster home. To get the most out of this book, the author recommends also reading QUESTIONS & ACTIVITIES FOR THE STAR: A HANDBOOK FOR FOSTER PARENTS.”

I Don’t Have Your Eyes by Carrie A. Kitze

“Family connections are vitally important to children as they begin to find their place in the world. For transracial and transcultural adoptees, domestic adoptees, and for children in foster care or kinship placements, celebrating the differences within their families as well as the similarities that connect them, is the foundation for belonging. As parents or caregivers, we can strengthen our children’s tie to family and embrace the differences that make them unique. Each child will have their own story and their own special place to belong. This beautifully illustrated and uplifting book, for the 2-5 set, will help to create the intimate parent/caregiver and child bond that is so important. While others may notice the physical differences between us on the outside, inside we are the same.”

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

“A positive and affirming look at skin color, from an artist’s perspective. Seven-year-old Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when she and her mother take a walk through the neighborhood, Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades.Through the eyes of a little girl who begins to see her familiar world in a new way, this book celebrates the differences and similarities that connect all people.

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler 

“With the ease and simplicity of a nursery rhyme, this lively story delivers an important message of social acceptance to young readers. Themes associated with child development and social harmony, such as friendship, acceptance, self-esteem, and diversity are promoted in simple and straightforward prose. Vivid illustrations of children’s activities for all cultures, such as swimming in the ocean, hugging, catching butterflies, and eating birthday cake are also provided. This delightful picture book offers a wonderful venue through which parents and teachers can discuss important social concepts with their children.”

A Blessing from Above by Patti Henderson

“Every night before she goes to sleep, a kangaroo prays under the stars for a baby to love and hold. One day, as she rests under a tree, a baby bird falls out of its crowded nest—plop!—right into her pouch! Now, every night before they fall asleep, Momma-Roo and Little One thank God for all their blessings…but especially for each other. The book closes with a quote from Ephesians 1:5: ‘In love he destined us for adoption to himself.'”

Born From the Heart by Berta Serrano

“‘Rose dreamed of her baby every night… She couldn’t wait to share hugs and giggles.’

Every child is born from the heart—whether or not the mother gave birth to that baby. This poetic and magical parable celebrates the richness of family as Rose and Charlie embark on the search for the child they so desperately want. As Rose’s dream gets closer to coming true, her heart grows and grows…until it bursts with happiness, laughter, and wonder when she finally kisses the beautiful face of her new baby.

First time author Berta Serrano and her brother Alfonso Serrano are the author-illustrator team behind this warm and quirky love letter for Berta’s adopted son.”

You Were Always in my Heart: A Shaoey and Dot Adoption Story by Mary Beth Chapman

You Were Always in My Heart is an endearing tale told from the point of view of a little ladybug, Dot, who happens upon a mysterious bundle one sunny day. Dot goes with the little bundle as she is carried to the place ‘where babies come to be found’ and promises to stay with the little one throughout her journeys toward finding a forever family.

Written by Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, this heartwarming tale is inspired by the true story of their adoption of three little girls from China and is a story of hope and faith for all families who have been blessed by a ‘little bundle of love.’

Previously published as Shaoey & Dot: Bug Meets Bundle.”

My Look-Like-Me Mommy by Deanne Hampton

“Zachary Zebra and Momma Hippo are headed off to town to run errands. But today, Zachary notices something different. All of his friends look like their mommies, but he and Momma Hippo are nothing alike! Why is Zachary Zebra different? My Look-Like-Me Mommy teaches children that although they may not look like their parents, it is love that makes them theirs!”

Gotcha Day: A Carried In My Heart Adoption Story for Children by Rebecca Tabasso

“A very special day is coming up—only Suzie isn’t sure which one… When Suzie’s mom tells her a special day is coming, Suzie is very excited and begins guessing. Could it be Valentine’s Day? Or St. Patrick’s Day? Suzie’s mom can’t resist letting Suzie make guess after guess as Suzie’s imagination journeys through many possibilities trying to figure out which special day her mother is so excited about. It’s not Christmas, but there will be a big celebration. No, it’s not one of ‘the special days for presidents and kings,’ but it does celebrate history—their family history. And there will be balloons and cake and maybe even presents, but it’s not a birthday. With just a few more clues, Suzie figures it out: it’s her Gotcha Day! That’s the day her family celebrates the date they became a family, the day they recount first holding her and bringing her home and show her all over again how special she is and how much they love her. Gotcha Day is a celebration in itself with warm illustrations, a story full of guesses and laughs, and even a removable Gotcha Day certificate. Families can personalize their child’s name and the date they became a family. ‘Let it hereby be known that your Gotcha Day is a very important date in our family history and how happy we are to have Gotcha!’ Adoptive parent and author Rebecca Tabasso’s debut is a loving—and fun—way to talk to children about adoption. As comforting as a warm embrace, her sweet story renders a heartfelt portrait of the special place an adoptive child’s Gotcha Day holds in their family’s history. Full of laughter and love, Gotcha Day: A Carried in My Heart Adoption Story for Children is the perfect avenue for families to share with their child their own adoption story, traditions, and joy their child brings to the family.”

Why Am I Brown?: A Child’s View of Multi-cultural Adoption by Jacqueline Meissner

“This book is a look at multi-cultural adoption from a child’s viewpoint. I am the adoptive mother of a beautiful black five-year-old girl. The idea for this book came from an actual conversation that we had when she started to recognize that our skin colors were not the same. Although adoption is very fulfilling for each member of the family, the difference in cultural characteristics and the questions that go along with being different do arise in the young mind of the child. However, this book shows that even though there are differences on the outside, on the inside we are all the same. I feel that this book is fun and realistic and easily understood at any age.”

Horace by Holly Keller

“‘Horace is adopted. He is also spotted, and he is loved and cared for by his new mother and father—who are striped. But Horace feels the need to search out his roots. Keller deals with a sensitive subject in a way that is perceptive but not sentimental.’–Publishers Weekly. A first choice for those families seeking a low-key, reassuring book about adoption—and one that is fun to share as well.”

Families Change: A Book for Children Experiencing Termination of Parental Rights by Julie Nelson

“All families change over time. Sometimes a baby is born, or a grown-up gets married. And sometimes a child gets a new foster parent or a new adoptive mom or dad. Children need to know that when this happens, it’s not their fault. They need to understand that they can remember and value their birth family and love their new family, too. Straightforward words and full-color illustrations offer hope and support for children facing or experiencing change. Includes resources and information for birth parents, foster parents, social workers, counselors, and teachers.”

Zachary’s New Home: A Story for Foster and Adopted Children by Geraldine M. Blomquist

“This story for adopted and foster children describes the adventures of Zachary the kitten, who is taken from his mother’s house when she is unable to take care of him. It follows Zachary as he goes into foster care, his adoption by a family of geese and his feelings of shame, anger and hurt.”


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2 Responses to Foster Care and Adoption Books for Kids

  1. Liz says:

    Please explore the hashtag #flipthescript to hear the voices of adoptees. The concept of “Gotcha Day” is predominantly embraced by adoptive parents, but strongly disliked by many adoptees. Many adoptees feel the term “gotcha” connotes stealing or deception and is completely inappropriate to describe adoption. I know people’s intentions are good, but if it hurts adoptees, it needs to be reconsidered.

  2. Pingback: Preparing Your Home for Foster Parenthood – Part 2 | Dropping Anchors

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