Lucy's Family Tree

Lucy's Family Tree

by Stephen Gassler, III, Karen Halvorsen Schreck
     
 
* CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book ** Honor Book -- Society of School Librarians International *Identity issues can be particularly troubling for adoptive children and this often makes the family tree assignment many teachers are fond of, truly problematic. Lucy's Family Tree tells the story of how one girl completes her class assignment and in the process

Overview

* CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book ** Honor Book -- Society of School Librarians International *Identity issues can be particularly troubling for adoptive children and this often makes the family tree assignment many teachers are fond of, truly problematic. Lucy's Family Tree tells the story of how one girl completes her class assignment and in the process discovers that few families conform to the "traditional family" definition she has envisioned.Lucy’s adoption makes her feel as though her family is too “different” for a family tree project at school, but as she realizes that many families are different, she ends up creating a family tree that celebrates both her past and present. The last pages in the book offer helpful alternatives to the traditional family tree project.Teachers will appreciate learning new approaches to designing family trees that are more inclusive of family diversity.

Editorial Reviews

Teaching Tolerance
“An excellent resource for teachers to rethink the family tree project.”
Jewish Children’s Adoption Network
“A
good book. Many families no longer fit the old mold!”
Jewish Children's Adoption Network
This would be a good book for a teacher who just doesn't understand that many families no longer fit the old mold!
Children's Literature
Lucy's worries about being different crystallize when everyone in her class is given an assignment to make a family tree. Lucy was adopted from Mexico and doesn't look anything like her mom and dad. Mom and Dad try to reassure Lucy that many families are different. They even challenge her to make up a list of three families who are the same. As Lucy does her research, she slowly begins to realize that her parents are correct. There are many ways in which families are different. While the story sometimes strains to be inclusive of all types of families, the point is made that society should respect the differences and that kids should be helped to feel comfortable with their backgrounds. There is an ambiguity about Lucy's age in the book, which reflects life. Many adolescents appear grown up at one minute and childlike the next, but this can be somewhat problematic in a fictional character. A section titled "Rethinking a Family Tree Project" gives suggestions for alternative projects offering new approaches to such assignments. This book would be most welcome in the classroom or school library. 2001, Tilbury House, $16.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-This picture book about an adopted schoolgirl's struggles with her feelings when assigned to construct a family tree lacks any freshness, vitality, or insight to merit readers' attention. Upset that she doesn't look like her parents, Lucy accepts their challenge to come up with three typical families and gains a sense of self. The illustrations merely re-create the words with no flare of their own. There are many excellent books that emphasize the issues of adoption and family diversity far better than this one. The last two pages deliver a timely message to educators about the appropriateness of family-related assignments in today's world of diverse lifestyles and offer some alternatives to the standard "make a family tree" project. A well-stocked library will provide even the youngest children with books like Holly Keller's Horace (Greenwillow, 1991) and Keiko Kasza's A Mother for Choco (Putnam, 1992), while middle readers appreciate the diversity of Ina Friedman's How My Parents Learned to Eat (Houghton, 1984), and a vast variety of nonfiction and topical novels await older patrons.-Thomas Pitchford, Rosenthal Elementary, Alexandria, LA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780884482925
Publisher:
Tilbury House Publishers
Publication date:
12/01/2006
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
1,245,867
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile:
650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Karen Halvorsen Schreck received her Ph.D. in English and Creative
Writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the recipient of an American Fiction Award, A Pushcart Prize in Fiction, and an
Illinois State Arts Council Grant. She lives with her husband and their two children in Wheaton, Illinois. Karen is also the author of a YA
novel, Dream Journal.

Stephen Gassler is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

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