10 Books for Children & Young People in Foster Care
These books provide advice and guidance on how to handle certain situations and give a realistic insight into what fostering is like for children and young people.
- The Complete Sarah Naish Therapeutic Library for Children By Rosie Jeffries and Sarah Naish (Ages 3-10). These stories are written for children who have specifically experienced trauma, written by a mum who understands, and her daughter (who used to have a lot of difficult feelings) will help the whole family.
- Murphy’s Three Homes: A Story for Children in Foster Care by Jan Levinson Gilman and Kathy O’Malley (Ages 3-8) – This book tells the story of a puppy named Murphy who is moved from place to place until he ends up at a home where he is loved and cared for. It is written for foster children, but it could also be used to introduce siblings to the concept of foster care adoption.
- The Colour of Us by Karen Katz (Ages 2-5) This is a child’s picture storybook about diversity this interactive board book is designed to encourage a first conversation about skin color. It explores and celebrates our many different colours, with a turning wheel showing different faces, and explains to children that we are all different and unique.
- Dennis and the Big Decisions by Paul Sambrooks (Ages 2-5)- This story follows Dennis, living in foster care, as important decisions are made about where he should live and who with. It looks at the range of adults who are involved in decision-making, including social workers, foster carers, judges, and birth parents, and emphasises how they all want to make the right choice for Dennis. The story can help children who have to be separated from their birth parents to understand what is happening to them and why, what the future may hold, and how they can be involved in making big decisions no matter how old or young they are.
- All You Need is Love by Shanni Collins- Celebrating families of all shapes and sizes. The stories cover all types of modern (and post-modern) families and the ways in which our glorious LGBT community has given itself wholeheartedly to raising healthy, well-adjusted, and diverse families. Recommended for younger readers and for anyone with children.
- Forever, or a Long, Long Timeby Caela Carter (ages 8-12) – Flora and Julian are a team. They have to be: after moving from foster home to foster home, the only permanence is in each other. Now living with their new mom and dad, Flora struggles to accept that forever can happen to them. When Julian sneaks food or Flora forgets her words, she wonders if they will be sent to another home. Struggling to pass fourth grade and accepting changes in her family, Flora must learn to believe in forever and herself. The book highlights the cracks in the foster-care system without dictating a solution. Instead it focuses on the complex effects of an unstable environment on young children. Ultimately, it’s a hopeful and endearing look at the bond between siblings and what it truly means to be part of a family.
- Far From the Tree by Robin Benway (ages 13+) – A captivating young adult fiction novel about the story of three teen siblings who were separated from each other in the foster system and, through a series of events, find each other. Far From the Tree is a quick easy read and a great peek into an adolescent perspective on the twists and turns of foster care, foster to adopt, and the added layer of family dynamics that many teens are facing both in and out of the system.
- Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care by Jennifer Wilgocki and Marcia Kahn Wright (ages 4-7) – For many children in the foster system, the answer to their questions is often maybe. Maybe Days is a straightforward look at the issues of foster care, the questions that children ask, and the feelings that they confront. The book also explains in simple terms the responsibilities of everyone involved – parents, social workers, lawyers and judges.
- When I Was Little… A Child’s Journey in Overcoming Abuse & Trauma by Keri Vellis (ages 4-7) –It tells the story of a child who struggles with emotions and learns to share difficult feelings and experiences with trusted individuals, eventually finding comfort and security in a safe and loving environment. An excellent tool for discussing difficult life experiences with young foster children.
- W.I.S.E. Up! Powerbook(ages 6-16) This book is designed to help adopted children and children in foster care learn how to confidently handle their story and answer questions from others on their own terms. The book presents realistic situations that adopted and foster kids are likely to encounter, and guides parents and children through different approaches to answering.