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on September 24, 2001
This book speaks to the thoughts and concerns of an adopted child and acknowledges the loss and feelings of being different that many adopted children experience at different points in their lives. These feelings are addressed in a way that helps childen to see that each family is different in some way and respects the variety and diversity of all families. While addressing those differences, it also reinforces the bond and love between Lucy and her adoptive parents.
This book gives practical advice about how to handle the family tree assignment that is common in many classrooms and can be challenging for adoptive families. This assignment is handled in a way that provides the child with a sense of self-esteem by recognizing and incorporating Lucy's cultural background and the importance of birthparents as a part of the identity of an adopted child.
Parents reading this book will be reminded of the importance of respecting a child's privacy, especially a young teen. Lucy's parents exhibit a parenting style that encourages self-esteem and empowers Lucy to solve her problem in a way that is right for her. They respond with respect, concern, and interest in their child's feelings and needs, but do not pretend to know all the answers or make excuses.
Lucy's family tree is very well written and provides life lessons for children and parents. As adoption professionals, we recommend this book for adoptive families, but more importantly, for all families who wnat to learn about dealing with feeling different and helping older children solve their problems.
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on August 27, 2001
Lucy's Family Tree is an excellent book for mid to older primary age children (8 - 11 year olds) who feel "different" for any reason. It is unique to find a picture book that speaks at an emotional level to older children. Lucy is adopted and through a homework assignment she learns about the wonderful breadth of what "family" can be. Specific activities are included at the end of the book that provide concrete ideas to support children who are adopted as well as children who feel their family is somehow different from everyone elses. This book addresses topics such as culture, ethnicity, and all sorts of nontraditional families. I believe this book is not only a tender story but is an educational experience as well. It would be useful for child therapists, children in adoptive and nontraditional families, and as a book read aloud in the classroom (because of the student discussions that will naturally emerge). Lucy's Family tree has a lot to teach us, and it reminds us how all children desire to simply be loved and belong. Halvorsen Schreck's story does just this.
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