Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: Adopted Ed

While neither of the wee ones is adopted, with Mister Man being autistic, I'm always somewhat sensitive to the aspects of childhood that set people apart and make life more difficult for them. When we received the autism diagnosis, we searched for books on autism and Asperger's - not just for us to better understand it, but also for Mister Man and his peers to be able to better understand and accept it.

Adoption is much the same in that many children feel pushed to the side and different and special - and not always in a good way. Darren Maddern has recently written a children's picture book based on his story of adoption to help children feel more comfortable with who they are.

I love the big pictures, and at the end, the book lists famous people who were adopted from Malcom X to Faith Hill to Nelson Mandela - showing that there are role models to look up to and follow after, no matter the interest of the child.

The book itself is written in verse, and honestly some of it is a bit trite in an attempt to make it fit. The message is great, however, and any child struggling with adoption wouldn't get stuck on that one bit. The message is far more important here.

I like how adoption is shown how it is for many children - something they discover as they grow older and are frequently fine with until other children make them uncomfortable with it. In the book, Ed (the adopted child) is presented with a great comeback that puts the bullies in their place, one I'm sure the author had to use more than once.

For anyone with a child struggling with adoption, this is a great addition to the repetoire of strategies to help the child become comfortable with himself. And even for me, not having an adopted child, the book opened up some great conversations amongst me and the wee ones about adoption and what makes people different and how different people would feel in different situations.

You can learn more about this book here.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided with a copy of Adopted Ed for review purposes (which I am donating to our school library for their use). I received no compensation, and all opinions expressed are my own.

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