Books Recommended by Foster Parents (and Children)

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:

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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:

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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.

 

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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.)

 

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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:

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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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:

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The Family Book

By Todd Parr

 

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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

 

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Bad Call

Does she stare at me or is it just my imagination?

She is with her sisters. They look remarkably alike. All of them look at me now. Do they know who I am?

One of her sisters has a baby sitting in the shopping cart, but my friend doesn’t have her kid with her. Was the child removed?

Months ago, that one day when it happened- I didn’t even know she lived there. But I saw. And I knew her. And she walked into her house, so then I knew her address.

I am a mandatory reporter.

So I called the intake worker at social services to make a report. Funny, I knew the worker who answered, which made it easier in a way. Still, my hands shook as I held the phone.

I hated phone calls anyway, but that one could have consequences.

Back home from the store, I snoop on Facebook. Turns out she no longer has her child in her custody.

This really just boils down to the selfish question that haunts me, like her gaze does every time I see her at the store. Does she blame me for losing her child?

And why do I even think that? Social workers and judges are the ones who actually deal with angry parents everyday.

But little me? That was my first report and I am a scardy cat.

Hidden World of Foster Care (FMF)

What a perfect topic. I wanted to share something about an event I helped with yesterday and it is a great example of how the world of foster care is hidden.

The county social services put on an art day. It was a day for children who are or have been involved in an open child protective case. Businesses in the community donated breakfast and lunch, paints and canvases; people volunteered bringing therapy dogs and face painting and fitness and many, many things.

But this was not advertised in the newspaper. No one outside the realm of foster care knows. For the kid’s privacy sake. Because that world is confidential; hidden for many people.

Sometimes I get frustrated because people ignore the needs of foster care. But I realize that sometimes the needs are just hidden.

My hope is to share the world of foster care- reveal it to others;

to you.

Five-Minute-Friday-4

Five Minute Friday is a link-up where you free write for 5 minutes on the topic. This week’s topic is Hidden. Find other blogger’s interpretations here.


This is my 50th post! And a perfect way to reiterate my purpose for this blog. Whoo-hoo!

Save

Dwell (FMF)

Terrorist attacks, holiday sales, gifts to buy, cards to write, refugees, riots, injustice, political debates…

rush rush hurry

Don’t we talk about this every year- the forgetting to slow and dwell and be grateful? Do we never learn? Never remember?

Maybe that is why we have thanksgiving every year instead of every big numbered anniversary (like the 400th year the pilgrims landed). Think about it.

In the daily list and media fed frenzy, I forget.
I forget to dwell.
I forget to enjoy the kiddos we have in our home while they are here.
I forget how precious the time the kiddos and I have together is.

So when I remember I slow down; restart. Remember to dwell with them. Live, laugh, read the same book over and over changing to a British accent because I cannot stand to listen to my own voice saying the same words over again.

I don’t dwell on my mistake of forgetting. That would be wasting the time I’ve been given to love them while they dwell in my life.


 

Five-Minute-Friday-4

Five Minute Friday is a link-up where you free write for 5 minutes on the topic. This week’s topic is Dwell. Find other blogger’s interpretations here.

Now does anyone have any other tips for when a little kid wants you to read the same story again…and again…and again?