This weekend I finished books #10 and #11.
Black Baby, White Hands: A View from the Crib is the story of an African-American boy adopted into a white family. (Or "White family" as he would write it; he always capitalizes "Black" and "White.") I borrowed this from the bookshelf of a friend who works setting up adoptions and taking care of children who are waiting for their paperwork to go through so that they can join their new families. Almost all of those adoptions are trans-racial, and certainly this would be a good book for those new families to read while they are waiting. Jaiya John doesn't say that his experience is universal for trans-racially adopted children, but his experience is one that people adopting children of a different race would do well to consider. He is honest to the point of painfulness, and he is clear that his journey did cause pain to his adoptive parents. We get to see the process he went through to come to self-acceptance, and in the process we learn some ways that parents can work on making things easier for their adopted children. You may be offended by some of John's observations about race in America, but go with it; you'll learn a lot by reading this book.
Carpe Diem is Autumn Cornwell's first novel, and it's a lot of fun. I read it as a potential read-aloud for my eighth graders, but I'm not going to use it for that - we just read a "girl book" and this is definitely a "girl book." However, I think lots of my eighth graders will enjoy reading it on their own. Vassar Spore is an over-achiever who's never traveled, and she spends this book traveling in South-East Asia and learning to LIM - Live In the Moment. She has a bit of a toilet fixation, and we learn a great deal about the options in South-East Asia for taking care of one's toilet needs. Cornwell grew up as a missionary kid, and that background explains where she got many of her ideas!
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