Adoptive and Foster Families in Children’s Books

By Kerry McGuire

For this month’s booklist, we’ve selected a wide range of titles focusing on children in the care system and adoptive families. Our team think these titles have done a great job of handling what can be a sensitive topic. Check out the list below for our choices along with the books’ Accelerated Reader quiz information.

Lower Years

Chloe’s Special Family by Nancy Loewen, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
Quiz # 241045 | BL 2.5 | QED Publishing
When Chloe attends a family reunion, she begins to feel out of place when a new baby comes along. It’s up to her adopted mummy and daddy to remind her why she is so special.

Steve Jobs by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Aura Lewis
Quiz # 239229 | BL 5.1 | Frances Lincoln
In this title from the “Little People, Big Dreams” series, discover the life of Steve Jobs, the visionary who became one of the most influential inventors the world has ever met.

Home at Last by Vera B. Williams, illustrated by Chris Raschka
Quiz # 241088 | BL 4.4 | Greenwillow Books
After Lester is adopted from the children’s centre by Daddy Albert and Daddy Rich, he can’t fall asleep in his new bed. What will it take to make Lester feel home at last?

Middle Years

Snow Foal by Susanna Bailey
Quiz # 240514 | BL 4.2 | Egmont Children’s Books
When 11-year-old Addie goes to stay with a foster family on a farm, she is full of hurt, anger and a deep mistrust of everyone around her. Until one day, when she rescues a tiny wild foal from the moorland snow and discovers that she isn’t so alone.

Thanks A Lot, Universe by Chad Lucas
Quiz # 240698 | BL 3.8 | Amulet Books
Brian has always been anxious, whether at home, in class, or on the basketball court. His dad tries to get him to stand up for himself, and his mum helps as much as she can. When Brian and his brother are placed in foster care, they face new challenges.

Ruby Ali’s Mission Breakup by Sufiya Ahmed
Quiz # 240859 | BL 4.0 | Bloomsbury Publishing
Ruby is moving to a new foster home without her sister Alisha, who is too old for the care system. So Ruby makes a plan. If the foster parents don’t want her, Alisha will have to take her in. It’s time for mission: break up!

The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson
Quiz # 241090 | BL 4.6 | Penguin Books
Morgan and Eli are Indigenous children who’ve been brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After entering a portal to another reality, they find ways to connect with their culture and each other. The story has profanity and violence.

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
Quiz # 206003 | BL 4.7 | Puffin
Eleven-year-old Lonnie writes, in a series of poems, about his life after the death of his parents, separated from his younger sister, living in a foster home and finding his poetic voice at school.

Middle Years Plus

Know My Place by Eve Ainsworth
Quiz #240709 | BL 3.8 | Barrington Stoke
When Amy is sent to live with a new foster family, she feels like an outsider and believes the placement will break down, as others had. Slowly she realises her new family are patient and kind, but will the ghosts of her past stop her from trusting them?

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
Quiz # 225949 | BL 3.5 | Faber Children’s Books
Sophie may have survived a shipwreck as a baby, but her life began when an eccentric but loving bachelor brought her home. When a child services organisation threatens to remove Sophie, she and Charles flee to Paris in search of her long-lost mother.

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmitd
Quiz # 229439 | BL 4.4 | Andersen Press
Jack, age 12, tells the story of his 14-year-old foster brother, Joseph, who wants nothing more than to see his baby daughter, Jupiter.

Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis
Quiz # 228127 | BL 3.8 | Oxford University Press
Scarlet’s used to looking after her brother, Red. Every night she tells him his favourite story – about the day they’ll fly far away to the Caroni Swamp in Trinidad, where thousands of birds fill the sky.

True Sisters by Keren David
Quiz #234182 | BL 4.0 | Barrington Stoke
Ruby has had a lot of foster siblings over the years, but none of them has been anything like Clara, who grew up in almost complete isolation. But the more Ruby tries to help Clara fit in, the more she realises she has to face up to her own struggles.

Upper Years

The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Quiz # 240210 | BL 3.4 | Clarion Books
Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But suddenly Sal realises he no longer knows himself.

What I Carry by Jennifer Longo
Quiz # 241092 | BL 4.6 | Peguin Random House
In her final year in foster care, seventeen-year-old Muir tries to survive her senior year before ageing out of the system. One year to avoid anything or anyone that could get in her way. Then she meets Sean, and everything changes.

Home Girl by Alex Wheatle
Quiz # 237567 | BL 4.0 | Atom
Naomi is a teenager growing up in the care system. When she’s placed with a loving West Indian family, her social worker tells her it’s only temporary. But Naomi is haunted by her dark past and struggles to stay out of trouble.

Why not get in touch via Twitter to let us know what you’ve been reading this summer? If you have some titles you’d like to see quizzed, please use the request a quiz form.

Happy quizzing!


Posted on 1 September 2021 at 12:13 pm
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