How I Was Adopted

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Overview

Sam has a story all her own, yet common to millions of families: the story of how she was adopted. It's about how babies are born and how children grow, about what makes people different and what makes them the same. Most of all, it's a story about love. And in the end, Sam's story comes full circle, inviting young readers to share stories of how they were adopted.

A young girl tells the story of how she came to be her parents' ...

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Overview

Sam has a story all her own, yet common to millions of families: the story of how she was adopted. It's about how babies are born and how children grow, about what makes people different and what makes them the same. Most of all, it's a story about love. And in the end, Sam's story comes full circle, inviting young readers to share stories of how they were adopted.

A young girl tells the story of how she came to be her parents' child through adoption.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cole's (The Magic School Bus series; How You Were Born) cheerful, informative approach to adoption is at the heart of this picture book, which not only meets special needs but is perfect for sharing in any family. Young Samantha, who directs her comments to the reader, tells one of her favorite stories-the story of how she was adopted. Mommy and Daddy have told her, ``We had so much love, we wanted to share it with a child and be a family.'' Samantha goes on to explain how her parents worked with an adoption counselor and waited a long time. The tale includes important biological information as well: ``I did not grow inside Mommy's uterus. I grew in another woman's uterus.'' Skillfully combining Samantha's natural curiosity, the love and joy felt by her family, and scientific facts, the tone is open and projects Samantha's confidence and self-acceptance. An extensive note to families at the beginning is supportive without being preachy or prescriptive. Chambliss's (We're Going on a Trip) exuberant watercolors feature a cast of relaxed, perpetually smiling figures that sustain a friendly and positive mood throughout. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Samantha tells about her daily life and her memories, including being told that she was adopted and, later, being shown a book about how babies are born and learning that ``I did not grow inside Mommy's uterus. I grew in another woman's uterus'' and, still later, asking and being told how she was adopted (a closed adoption through an agency, placement at one week). Samantha is smiling in all of the 28 cartoon-style illustrations in which readers can see her face (except one of her as a week-old baby looking startled by the camera, one as a baby asleep, and one as a toddler intently rolling a ball). She is never sad, cranky, or even pensive. Her parents are always smiling. The pictures she draws are of smiling people. In the five-page introduction for parents, Cole says that ``The important thing is to create a loving atmosphere in which children's feelingsboth positive and negativecan be shared openly over time.'' However, not a single negative feeling is mentioned, or even hinted at in the book itself. This title will not encourage open sharing of feelings, and could even be harmful to adopted children by reinforcing the idea that they have to be cheerful, no matter what, in order to be accepted by their adoptive family. It holds the parents to an unreal standard too. Fred Rogers's Let's Talk about It: Adoption (Putnam, 1995), while vague on some points, does show a normal range of feelings. Betty Lifton's Tell Me a Real Adoption Story (Knopf, 1994) includes the birthmother as a person with feelings, not just a uterus.Nancy Schimmel, formerly of San Mateo County Library, CA
Stephanie Zvirin
This picture book about adoption is much better than Fred Rogers' "Let's Talk about It: Adoption" (1995), which gives a warm view of families but isn't much help in explaining what adoption is and how it happens. And it doesn't have the obvious underlying agenda of Betty Lifton's "Tell Me a Real Adoption Story" (1994), with its strong plea for open adoption. Cole expertly negotiates a middle course that provides children with some excellent, age-appropriate background on adoption within the context of a slight but satisfying fictional profile of a happy, energetic child growing up in a loving home. Chambliss' sweet illustrations add warmth to little Samantha's telling, which follows her from birth--" before I was adopted, I was born" (a baby's birth is tastefully pictured)--to her placement by an adoption counselor and evolution into a child with a strong self-concept, shaped, in part, by two caring parents. In a several-page preface written for parents, Cole encourages grown-ups to communicate honestly with their children and explains what she hopes to achieve in the telling of her story. It's pretty safe to say that she achieves a great deal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688119294
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 520L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanna Cole

Joanna Cole is the author of the popular Magic School Bus series, I'm a Big Brother, I'm a Big Sister, and many other award-winning books. In Asking About Sex & Growing Up, she provides a reassuring blend of practical guidance and scientific fact for the audience that needs it most.

Maxie Chambliss has illustrated several of Joanna Cole's books, including My Big Girl Potty, My Big Boy Potty, I'm a Big Sister, and I'm a Big Brother.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2011

    Not great

    I purchased this for my 4yr old daughter ... its a great story, brings up loads of questions ... but I did have to skip some pages ... maybe I am old fashioned, but I think showing pictures on how a baby is born to a 4yrs is a little too much .... I didnt read this paragraph "When a baby is ready to be born the woman's uterus squeezes and squeezes, and the baby comes out into the world", plus it shows the pictures of the baby ... honestly I just skiped these pages. So if I knew this was in this book I would have not purchased this book until she is older.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2003

    we really like this book

    I bought this book for my four year old. I like the fact that the book addresses adoption in a simple, straight-forward, and positive way. It also touches on how babies are born (a great curiousity at this age). A great book for parents to read with their kids!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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