A Few of Our Favorite Books

June 24, 2016 books, Chris, June 2016 Feature - Books 1 Comments

We love reading at our house. Love it.
As a middle school Language Arts teacher, this love makes my heart soar with delight.

So. Yes. We have a ton of books.
And yes, we have many, many books about {China} adoption stories.
As well as stories set in China, stories about China, toddler/preschool books with Chinese vocabulary, elementary age chapter books written by Chinese authors, Chinese recipe books, Chinese craft books, Chinese holiday books.
You name it. We got it.


Instead of writing about or featuring all of them (which I could easily do), I asked my two youngest daughters which books were/are their favorites. My girls are now 11 and 10 years old.

And boy, did we have fun.
It was a great adventure.
They felt important, helping mom with her post for No Hands But Ours.

We got the chance to “walk down memory lane” as we reconnected with some of our old dear “friends”. Books that brought back so many memories… taught us some many things…. brought us closer together as we navigated through some difficult but important conversations.

I asked the girls to choose one favorite book from when they were younger… like toddler/preschool/kindergarten younger. And they did.


We’ll begin with Avery, she is my ten year old. We adopted Avery when she was just shy of being four years old. It was a long first year of bonding and building trust. When she first came home, she wanted nothing to do with cuddling and reading books with me. She would watch from about three feet away as her older sister and I would read books together. It took a long time for her to feel comfortable joining us. Inch by inch and day by day, Avery would move in a little closer to me…. would lean over to see the pictures… would start to put her little body next to mine. It was a process, but she was intrigued….

Eventually she would end up in my lap (thank you Jesus), asking me to read this one book… a book about adoption.. a book that was fairy tale based. Every.single.day…. sometimes twice a day….

The Red Thread – An Adoption Tale by Grace Lin
PreSchool through Grade 3

The Red Thread2

Avery loves this book because it’s a fairy tale. A king and a queen? A baby princess? Yes, please.
She was drawn to the fact that something was missing from the parents’ lives. So much so, they were in pain, mysterious pain in their hearts that nothing or no one could explain or fix.
They went searching for their hearts’ desire, pulled by “the red thread”. The traveled far. They traveled long. As they traveled, their pain became less and less. They would not stop until they found what they were longing for…
Their child.

Such a beautiful story. So many parallels and symbolism to the journeys many of us have made to as we traveled “far and wide” to reach our children. And I love how the author incorporates the Chinese belief that “an invisible, unbreakable red thread connect all to who are destined to be together.”

My older daughter, Shea, is eleven years old. She became our daughter when she was 26 months old. When we first met her, she thought books were for throwing, like a ball. Once she realized that books were meant to be read, she was all in! Reading to her daily really helped with the bonding process. The touching, the sitting in my lap, the sound of my voice, the overall interaction of this simple routine of reading did wonders for our relationship.


When Shea was four, she loved, loved, loved a sweet adoption story told from the point of view of a ladybug.

Shaoey and Dot by Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman
4 – 7 years old

Shaoey and Dot

This book so beautifully tells how a lady bug, named Dot, accidentally finds a “bundle” that wiggles. Dot is immediately captivated by this “bundle”. Dot promises to stay with her new friend as she is taken to the “place where babies are found.”

Oh my!

Such a touching story of friendship and loyalty. Every time I read it, I cry!

This book is written in a poem format, so lyrical and easy to read. And fun!

The illustrations are lovely and captivating.

Shea loved this story because it re-told “her story” in a way that was non-threatening, but also touched upon some very real truths about adoption. Dot, the ladybug, is a true friend. She never left the baby’s side. I know this was an important aspect to the story for my daughter.

We read this story to her kindergarten class when the kids started to ask Shea questions about adoption. Again, because this is written as an “adventure” showcasing friendship and loyalty, it was a good book to read to five and six year olds who really didn’t understand how Shea became our daughter. And yes, both Shea’s kindergarten teacher and I were bawling as I finished reading this book to the class.

As they girls have gotten older, they have enjoyed books by Grace Lin.

Dumpling Days (A Pacy Lin Novel)
Grade Level: 3rd to 7th

Dumpling Days

The Year of the Rat (A Pacy Lin Novel)
Grade Level: 3rd to 7th

Year of the Rat

The Year of the Dog (A Pacy Lin Novel)
Grade Level: 3rd to 7th

The Year of the Dog jpg

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Grade Level: 3rd to 7th

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon jpg

Starry River of the Sky
Grade Level: 3rd to 7th

Starry River of the Sky jpg

Pretty much anything by Grace Lin, we have loved and enjoyed. I highly recommend checking her out here, here and here!

My youngest son, Jude, is really into “diggers” and all things construction. His favorite books seem to revolve around this “theme”. Jude is four years old and has been home with us for just over two years. Although his first “reading” choice would be about trucks, he will happily sit in our laps as we read to him just about any book, adoption themed or not.


I like reading to him one of Kay Bratt’s children’s books, Eyes Like Mine.

Eyes Like Mine jpg

Not only is this a great book that talks about love, acceptance and adoption, but it’s one of the few books that feature a father and son. One day, the little boy realizes he doesn’t look like anyone else in his family. He feels like he doesn’t fit in. He “runs away” to his treehouse. His father “finds” his son, and with such love tells that sweet boy all about his adoption story. This book is so endearing. It’s short story that tells so much! Perfect for on the go four year old boys!

Reading is definitely an important activity at our house. I (gently) push it and endorse it. We find time to read every day, whether independently or to each other.

I know with certainty that reading has helped our three youngest children with bonding.
And reading adoption/China themed books have been a springboard to many discussions…. some were light hearted, some were deep and thought-provoking. Regardless, these books got us talking…..

The Good.
The Bad.
The Ugly.
The Sad.
The Unknown.
The Redemption.
The Beauty….

Whenever our children, who have come from hard places, can open up to us – can share with us their questions, thoughts, fears – that is a good thing.

And if books can help in this process? That is a really good thing.

One response to “A Few of Our Favorite Books”

  1. Heather says:

    You missed the best one!…Motherbridge of Love! 🙂

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