Little girl reading a book lying at parkSummer is upon us. You’re planning vacations, house projects and summer camps. Your week will soon be filled with pool days and barbecues, evenings on the porch and picnics in the park. There’s no better time than now to plan your summer reading list, too. We’ve got a few books you shouldn’t miss if you are interested in adoption.

There’s a lot of literature out there about adoption. Some of it is great; some of it we can do without. The books listed here are all great additions to your summer reading list. We’ll also share a few children’s books about adoption. Whether you have a child through adoption or want your biological children to understand adoption better, these books are a great way to introduce the topic and get their eyes off the screens.

Without further ado, here are the adoption books for your summer reading list.

All You Can Ever Know — Nicole Chung

Chung published her memoir “All You Can Ever Know” in late 2018. It was the lone adoption book to break into the national conversation alongside best-selling novels and nonfiction literature. After you read it, you’ll understand why.

Chung’s writing is lucid and exceptionally readable. This memoir documents her journey as a Korean adoptee in a white, Catholic family. The joys of adoption and the challenges of identity are addressed in her story. It is an honest, clear-eyed and compassionate look at what it is like to be adopted.

Read if you are interested in:

  • Transracial families
  • Adoption and identity
  • International adoption

The Connected Child — Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross, Wendy Lyons Sunshine

Children who come into a family through adoption may have experienced some form of early-childhood trauma. Oftentimes, adoptive parents need different strategies to form attachment and spur healing in their children. This book is at the forefront of relational strategies that have helped thousands of parents connect with their children, and helped thousands of children heal, grow and thrive.

The Connected Child is backed by neuroscience but written for the everyday parent. It is easy to understand, practical to implement and effective in producing positive change. This book is a great resource for anyone parenting or caring for children who come home through adoption.

Read if you are interested in:

  • Parenting
  • The effects of early-childhood trauma
  • Children with learning/attachment differences

Far From the Tree — Robin Benway

This National Book Award Winner is a fictional tale of an adoptee who goes on to be a birth mother, and the journey she takes in discovering more of her own identity along the way. You have to be careful with adoption-based fiction. Sometimes the necessary drama to make a good novel can play on the worst stereotypes and misunderstandings of adoption. However, this work deals intelligently with questions of family and identity.

“From the first page to the last,” Kirkus Reviews writes, “this compassionate, funny, moving, compulsively readable novel about what makes a family gets it right.”

Read if you are interested in:

  • Search and reunion
  • Fiction
  • The viewpoint of prospective birth mothers

Wounded Children Healing Homes — Jayne E. Schooler, Betsy Keefer Smalley, LSW, Timothy J. Callahan, PSYD

Why can’t we connect with our child? What are we doing wrong? How do we make this situation better?

Many parents who adopt, specifically older children from foster care and international adoption, find themselves asking these questions. It’s easy to feel down on yourself when things aren’t going how you imagined. What you may not realize are the effects of foster placements and orphanage care on a child’s mind, and how it takes special parenting strategies to move forward from hard beginnings.

In “Wound Children, Healing Homes” you will find helpful and practical ways to make your children feel safe and loved. This book has helped adoptive families across the country find hope and healing when those things seemed impossible.

Read if you are interested in:

  • Foster care
  • Parenting strategies
  • International adoption

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born — Jamie Lee Curtis, Laura Cornell

Adoption used to be associated with shame in part because it was fairly common to keep adoption a secret from adoptees. Thankfully, this approach has become much less common. The impact of keeping an adoption secret from a child can be devastating as they begin to piece together their self-identity.

One way to form a positive view of adoption at a young age is through children’s books like “Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born.” This book helps children understand that adoption means they are loved, chosen and deeply cared for. It has become an everyday bedtime story for many families.

Read if you are interested in:

  • Children’s stories
  • Adoption and identity
  • An affirming perspective on adoption for adoptees

These five books are all perfect addition to the summer reading list for anyone who is interested in adoption. From practical guidance to moving stories, you’ll find these works a great way to engage in the subject and improve your understanding of adoption.

If you are interested in even more reading, check out these articles for additional books about adoption: