Adoption & Foster Stories for Kids

Illustration of a young Colin Kaepernick holding up a colorful sign

These books about adoption highlight stories of children from around the world, some of whom face the task of learning a new language and adjusting to a new country.

Note: We encourage adults to review stories about adoption before use. This booklist from Lee & Low also highlights books about transracial adoption.


By: Anne Ursu
Age Level: Middle Grade
Language: English

Hazel is having trouble fitting in to her new school, although based on her experience of having been adopted, she is no stranger to feeling like an outsider. The only tolerable thing about school is that her best friend and next-door neighbor, Jack, is there with her each day. Then Jack disappears into an enchanted forest with a winter witch, and Hazel realizes that only she alone can rescue her friend. As she sets out on her treacherous journey, she soon discovers that the hard part may not be finding Jack — it may be convincing him to come home.

Bringing Asha Home

Illustrated by: Jamel Akib
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

It's Rakhi Day, a Hindu celebration special to brothers and sisters, and Arun wishes he had a little sister. Soon his wish comes true when he finds out that his parents will be adopting Asha, a little girl from India. Waiting for Asha is hard, though, and Arun is impatient. Arun's patience finally pays off when Asha arrives — just in time to celebrate another Rakhi Day. Beautiful pastel illustrations bring Arun and this uplifting story to life.

Eyes That Weave the World's Wonders

Young girl with a bird
Illustrated by: Dung Ho
Age Level: 6-9, 9-12

A young girl who is a transracial adoptee learns to love her Asian eyes and finds familial connection and meaning through them, even though they look different from her parents'. Her family bond is deep and their connection is filled with love. She wonders about her birth mom and comes to appreciate both her birth culture and her adopted family's culture, for even though they may seem very different, they are both a part of her, and that is what makes her beautiful. She learns to appreciate the differences in her family and celebrate them.

I Color Myself Different

Illustration of a young Colin Kaepernick holding up a colorful sign
Illustrated by: Eric Wilkerson
Age Level: 6-9

When Colin Kaepernick was five years old, he was given a simple school assignment: draw a picture of yourself and your family. What young Colin does next with his brown crayon changes his whole world and worldview, providing a valuable lesson on embracing and celebrating his Black identity through the power of radical self-love and knowing your inherent worth. I Color Myself Different is a joyful ode to Black and Brown lives based on real events in young Colin's life that is perfect for every reader's bookshelf.

Inuki's Birthday Party: Bilingual Inuktitut and English Edition

Family celebrating a boy's birthday
Illustrated by: Ali Hinch
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Inuktitut

Inuki lives in Iglulik, Nunavut, and it is his fifth birthday. He can’t wait for his party at the community hall. There is cake to eat and presents to open, but celebrating with his family and friends is Inuki’s favourite gift of all! A trilingual edition of this book in Iniktutit, French, and English is also available.

Kids Like Me in China

Illustrated by: Terry Fry
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Product Description: In this view of China adoption from a child's perspective, eight-year-old Ying Ying Fry, a Chinese American girl growing up in San Francisco, returns to her orphanage to remember what it is like and to write a story so that other adopted children will understand where they came from. Kids Like Me in China combines real-life photos with the forthright observations and complex feelings of an adopted child as she meets caregivers and befriends children in the city where her life began. A child of two countries, Ying Ying is determined to claim both as her own.

Let's Talk About It: Adoption (Mr. Rogers)

Photography of a family
Age Level: 3-6
Language: English

"The premise of this book — that it is good for families to talk about feelings — is a welcome one to apply to the subject of adoption. Rogers presents a simple look at three adoptive families. He includes a brief but reassuring reference to the birthparents and the reasons for their decision. Clear, full-color photos show happy, sad, and angry children and adults; the text suggests that such emotions occur in all families, and states that 'being angry doesn't mean that love goes away.'" — School Library Journal

Pablo's Tree

Illustration of a young boy near a decorated tree
By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Cecily Lang
Age Level: 3-6
Language: English

Pablo can't wait to visit his abeulito for his birthday. His grandfather decorates Pablo's special tree, planted when he was adopted. Pablo's special tree and its surprises are presented in rich illustrations and gentle text.

The Moccasins

Illustration of young boy with mocassins in the snow
Illustrated by: Julie Flett
Age Level: 3-6
Language: English

Based on the author's life, this simple yet profound book is about the pair of moccasins that a child receives from his foster mother. Through the moccasins, the child's mother encourages him to take pride in his Ktunaxa (First Nations) heritage. Earl Einarson dedicates this book to "all foster parents who give of themselves and provide love when it is most needed."

The Tummy Mummy

Pregnant woman walking down a path
Illustrated by: Marin Thurber
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Product Description: The love that inspires adoption is revealed as a birthmother opens her heart while adoptive parents open their arms for a child. The Tummy Mummy's journey is guided by a wise and majestic owl who leads the reader along a path of deeper understanding, honoring all members of the adoption triad. The Tummy Mummy is the first children's book, in the Adoption Means Love series, inspiring children of adoption as it sensitively and beautifully portrays the thoughts and feelings of birthmothers and adoptive parents.

Yafi's Family

Illustrated by: Jan Spivey Gilchrest
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Product Description: Meet Yafi, a six-year-old Ethiopian boy who was adopted as a young child. Yafi, his parents, and two sisters remember his early life and his adoption experience by telling stories, revisiting memories, and looking at photographs. Yafi's Family is the story of love, loss, and a boy's discovery of how wide and how deep the bonds of family can be.