Tools and Resources for Adoptive Families
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Walk a Mile in My Shoes
Praise for Pieces of Me
Adopted people have a connection through a culture all their own, a unique space they share only with others who have been moved from one family and perhaps country to another without choice. In the process they have lost their first culture, family, language, religion and the identity they would have had. Equally connecting is the unique need to combine the inheritances of both birth and adoptive cultures and fit in to wherever they find themselves, building a healthy identity based on wholeness. Pieces of Me is a much needed contribution to the world of adoption books for teens and has plenty to say to adults. Perhaps the best advise for parents is to read it yourself and leave it on the coffee table just waiting to be discovered by you know who.
Gail Steinberg, author Inside Transracial Adoption, adoption professional, adoptive parent
I really enjoyed reading Pieces of Me. It makes me feel good to know there is someone else that feels the same way I sometimes feel. It’s like there is a missing piece of me and I have now realized that a lot of adoptees feel that way. Every story is different, but they are the same too. I am happy to have this book!
Jazz Pyne, 12, adoptee from China, budding musician
One of my pet peeves is that many discussions about adoption and adoptees box the adoption experience by “alls” and “shoulds”. All adoptees are ________ (take your pick: angry, happy, sad, confused). All adoptees should ________ (feel grateful, want to search for birth families, need therapy). Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be avoids that trap by including essays by adoptees that reflect the diversity of reality. Some adoptees are angry, some are content, some are confused, some need to search, and on and on.
Cover to cover, staying true to its teen audience, Pieces of Me shares real stories of adoption from many points of view and helps the reader to fit together the puzzle of who they are as an adopted teen. Poignant, funny, heartwarming and almost shockingly honest, the poetry, prose, artwork and photos work together as pieces of a puzzle to form a picture of the lives of teens that happen to be adopted. Stories range from joyful to tragic, and where adoption is central to the puzzle or a piece only on the edges; each helping the reader to figure out how to place their own pieces of who they are. Entries are written by all members of the adoption triad (adoptees, adoptive parents and birth families) and range from young children to older adults, but all written to speak directly to the teen reader with deep respect. The accompanying photos, artwork and activities pages add another sensory level to the experience, which overall, leaves the reader feeling as though they just spent an afternoon sharing deeply held thoughts and emotions with a dear friend. Because the book shares so much insight on being an adopted teen, the questions they struggle with, the prejudices they encounter, and the hopes and fears they hold in their hearts, the book is also an excellent resource for adoptive parents and counselors who work with teens.
Patricia Dischler, author of
Pieces of Me is a powerful compilation I want to share with all the youth I work with in “Get Real” – a group of youth in foster care. Each teen has expressed at least a part of everything in this book about identity and fitting in. As an adoptive mom of a 23 year-old, Columbian born daughter, I am sharing the book with her. We have lived the pieces and will continue to do so.
Valli Baba Spahn, MPA, LSW
Pieces of Me is good for teen adoptees because it portrays common adoptee feelings. Reading about people experiencing the same situations is comforting to teenagers, who live in a judgmental world. The style of the book is more interesting than a textbook or “self-help” book and will capture your attention. Nothing is more valuable then being able to know that there are people just like you in the world who are feeling the exact same way about their lives.
Yoselin Corrales, 19, adopted from Tegucigalpa at 9 months, sophmore at Nebraska Wesleyan pursuing a double major in Vocal Performance
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Gr 9 Up—This title refers to the "pieces" that adoptees must identify, gather, and put together properly in order to make themselves whole. It is a compendium of poems, essays, drawings, quotations, and photos created by adoptees, from 12 to 60+, intended to "offer practical insight and hope" to other adoptees. Each contributor is introduced in a brief biographical sketch that provides readers with background information that helps place each work in context. A few contributors describe their delight at finding someone who "looks like me," while others explore the agony of being rejected, or ignored, by a birthparent. Several adoptees express regret for the suffering they inflicted on their adoptive families, who were often caring and loving. Although many contributors are adults, they focus on their experiences as teens. The raw emotions exposed here make this a rather painful, but extremely powerful read. Pieces of Me should be considered for older patrons who are adoptees, as well as adoptive parents.—Deborah Vose, Highlands Elementary School, Braintree, MA
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