Saturday, December 03, 2016

Books About Adoption And Foster care

Image source: goodreads
The Book Thief
Written by Markus Zusak
Published by Black Swan books
Ages 12+

Liesel Meminger is a young non-Jew girl in Nazi Germany, but her parents are communists, and have been taken to a concentration camp. She comes to live with foster parents on Himmel Street - Hans and Rosa Hubermann, a wonderful couple, even if Rosa has a mouth like a pig-sty: her heart is in the right place, though.

Liesel steals books. Even nicking one from the bonfire of books made by the Nazis. She wishes she could read them, though.

Every night, she would have a nightmare about her mother, and the death of her brother on the train. Each night, Hans Hubermann, her foster father, would come to her bedroom, wake her from the nightmare and comfort her. He would play the accordion for her, and no one could play the accordion like Hans Hubermann could. Then one night, when he came to her room, he found the first stolen book under the sheets. Liesel is illiterate, and so he teaches her to read.

One evening, a young man turns up at their door. Max Vandenburg is a Jew, the son of one of Hans' old friends. He begins living in the basement of the Hubermann house to hide from the Nazis, and Max and Liesel soon become friends.

Liesel also befriends the next-door boy, Rudy Steiner, a care-free boy with hair the colour of lemons. His main interest in life is to play football, run races, and steal fruits from farmers. He also accompanies Liesel in her many book thefts, and is always annoyed that she doesn't steal some food too.

And then the bombs are dropped on Himmel Street...

A book worth reading.

Image source: goodreads
Finding Miracles
Written by Julia Alvarez
Published by Laurel leaf, an imprint of  Random House Children's books
Ages: YA

Milly is a teenager growing up in Vermont. She knows she is an adopted child. Born in a Latin American country in the throes of a civil war, her parents get killed, causing her to be in an orphanage, when an American family finds her and adopts her. They have always told her about her past, and keep her in touch with her roots, making sure she knows her language of origin.

Where we find her in the story, she is just a typical American teenager, with all the trappings that come with that. There's a new boy at school, who is also from the country of her birth. Belonging to a family that has fled their country and living in the US as refugees, he recognizes her as being from the same community that he is from. And asks her about it.

The revelations that he brings to her opens a whole new can of worms, making her want to know more about it. She had until now hidden away the details of her origins, no one knowing the truth about her. But this encounter forces her to face it. For the first time in her life, she actually tries to find out more about what exactly what happened to her parents, and who she really is.

A heartwarming story of a teenager's quest for herself, and finding a miraculous whole.

Image source: abebooks
Anne Of Green Gables
Written by L. M. Montgomery
Published by Puffin Books
Ages 12+

Anne comes to live with her adoptive parents, Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew. They wanted a boy who could help with the farm and other chores, but were sent Anne instead. Initially disappointed, they soon grow to deeply love the chirpy redhead, who also loves them deeply in return, making it difficult to believe that they were ever not together.

The first in a series of Anne books, this one introduces us to a wonderful heroine in children's literature. a feisty, funny, and honest individual, who can be very fierce if she thinks any of her loved ones might be in trouble.

A classic, that had this beautiful, hardcover edition (you may follow the link to the edition by clicking on the image source) published in honour of completing 100 years of its publication in 2008. As refreshingly evergreen even today.

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