Last week I went searching for children’s books about foster care. I asked a couple groups of people involved in foster care and got great recommendations from them. Foster parents listed many books that children in their care have enjoyed and benefited from. Some books were recommended multiple, multiple times!
One book in particular was so highly recommended that my family immediately ordered it. That book was:
Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care
By Jennifer Wilgocki and Marcia Kahn Wright
Illustrated by Allissa Imre Geis
Maybe Days is a great introduction to the foster care system for children ages 4-10. The book depicts the often complex world of foster care in simple, clear, and realistic terms.
It acknowledges how frustrating it can be to only have questions answered with “maybe” and not know what will happen next in life. Each child’s journey in the foster care system is unique, which the book respects as well. A note to foster parents is included in the back, with tips from the authors, a therapist and a clinical psychologist who both work with children and families.
Overall, the book manages to balance the unknowns and vagueness of each child’s experience of foster care with reassuring children that no matter what, they can still be themselves and enjoy being a kid.
Other books about foster care that foster parents recommended were:
Murphy’s Three Homes: A Story for Children in Foster Care
By Jan Levinson Gilman
Illustrated by Kathy O’Malley
A story about a puppy who goes through a couple different homes but wants one to call his own.
Kids Need to Be Safe: A Book for Children in Foster Care
(Kids Are Important Series)
By Julie Nelson
Illustrated by Mary C
“’Kids are important… They need safe places to live, and safe places to play.’ For some kids, this means living with foster parents. In simple words and full-color illustrations, this book explains why some kids move to foster homes, what foster parents do, and ways kids might feel during foster care.” (Summary from Amazon.)
Families Change: A Book for Children Experiencing Termination of Parental Rights
(Kids Are Important Series)
By Julie Nelson
Illustrated by Mary Gallagher
“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 adopted 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.” (Summary from Amazon.)
Foster parents also shared some books that are not specifically about foster care, but have still helped their foster children. These included:
Home for a Bunny
By Margret Wise Brown
A bunny searches for a home. Foster parents said their children identified with the bunny and like the book.
Here in the Garden
By Briony Stewart
A book about loss and grief, but not necessarily death. Helpful for children in foster care, especially if their parent/parents are no longer a part of their life. Foster and adoptive parents said this book helped children in their homes.
A Terrible Thing Happened
By Margret M. Holmes
Illustrated by Cary Pillo
A book about a personified raccoon who saw a bad thing happen, but feels better after talking to someone.
The Invisible String
By Patrice Karst
Illustrated by Geoff Stevenson
A book about a mom telling her children that they are connected by an invisible string- a string made of love, that binds their hearts together. Helps children deal with feelings of separation from loved ones. Foster parents noted that their foster children love this book.
Many suggestions were also for books that talked about differences in families, including:
The Family Book
By Todd Parr
The Great Big Book of Families
By Mary Hoffman
Illustrated by Ros Asquith
Hopefully these book suggestions are helpful for you and the children in your life. I have not personally read them all, and do not necessarily endorse any of the books listed here. I simply wanted to pass on some recommendations from foster parents and children. What books would you recommend?
Here are links to more lists of foster care and adoption books:
11 Kids’ Books on Dealing with Loss, Grief, Illness and Trauma
50 Books About Adoption, Foster Care, and Healing Child Abuse
Books For Foster Kids And Foster Parents