by Jean MacLeod
Illustrated by Qin Su
"I am nine years old and someone a lot like you. Part of my life has been like a puzzle needing pieces, but I am understanding more about myself and my life everyday. This is my story...”
So begins the honest, lyrical reflection of a pre-adolescent girl on what she knows of her adoption from China, and the strength she gains from her acceptance of her bittersweet experience.
The book addresses the underlying feelings and emotions that color the world of the China adoptee. At Home in This World effectively describes and empowers a young girl looking for acknowledgement, empathy and emotional validation. It also enables pre-teen readers to put their early lives into perspective, while emphasizing the supportive love that encircles them within their own families.
What is your life story? Everyone has a one, and with a little detective work you will be certain that no one has a life story as extraordinary as your own...
This book is autographed by the author.
At the ninth adoption reunion of the “Wuhan Girls” (all adopted
on the same day in 1994), parents and children read At Home in This World
together. In this new book for ages 6 to 9, a fictional 9-year-old girl
reflects on her adoption from China.
The Wuhan Girls agreed that this book provides a good explanation of being
left alone and found as a baby in China. It’s hard to understand
in your heart how this could happen. We all agreed that this is very sad;
we found this subject difficult to talk about at times. The girls said
that they thought of their birthparents and wished they could meet them
and ask: Why couldn’t you keep me? Do I have brothers and sisters?
Did you give me a name? What’s your name? How tall are you? What
kinds of foods do you like? How old are you?
The Wuhan Girls gave this book four and 1/2 out of five stars. It puts
into words how they often feel. Like the book’s main character,
these girls are from two places— America and China.
all thought this would be a good book to give to their best friends or
favorite teachers, so they too could understand how girls adopted from
China feel sometimes. But they also felt that it would be too personal
and private to read with their entire class. They worried that a classmate
might use it as ammunition for teasing. Without question, though, they
recommend it for children adopted from China.
We parents recommend this book for adult-led group readings and discussion,
as it is not an easy read for kids in the targeted age group. But with
a group of parents and kids reading each page out loud, pausing for discussion,
our girls recognized their shared experience and strengthened their common
help from Wuhan Girls Zoe, Addie, Lea, Maya, Sarah, Victoria, and Marina.
Adoption TODAY Magazine
“Although birth parent and orphanage language is common around my daughters,
reading this book with them gave a green light to their curious minds.
Their interest and questions were invaluable to me, and gave me an opportunity
to respond and listen to their concerns without being the interrogator.
What do think my birthmom looks like Daddy? Can we go to China to see
her? Can we ask her to come to our house and visit? This book was more
than casual reading to them and presented a sense of discovery to a familiar
topic. I took the opportunity this book created to express my sadness
over their loss and to reaffirm my love and support for them.”
Gail Steinberg & Beth Hall
PACT an Adoption Alliance
“At Home in This World gets deep into the heart of an adopted child’s
feelings in an unsentimental and easy to identify with way. Respectful
of the emotionally evocative issues naturally raised by the transition
from China to the United States, the book’s responses are reassuring and
realistic and will resonate for all adopted children, not just those adopted
from China. This is a book which will jump start important conversations
about what it really feels like to grow up adopted from a child’s perspective.
Dr. Kay Johnson
researcher and author
"Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son".
"I highly recommend this book, especially for pre-teen children who
are just beginning to think more deeply about issues raised by international
adoption. The watercolors are beautiful, the concept is excellent and
the narrative well written and very strong. At Home in This World will
help older children think about the issues surrounding their abandonment
and adoption and may help many of them articulate their own ideas and
feelings. I especially like that this story is told through the voice
of an older child rather than an omniscient narrator or parent. It invites
the reading child to identify with the narrator and leaves room for the
child to spin the story as she wishes. An important contribution to the
emerging literature written for internationally-adopted children."
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