Have you ever found a writer you like and then immediately need to devour everything they’ve written? I’ve just discovered two authors I’m into: Kathy Harrison and Jodi Piccoult.
I just finished Kathy Harrison’s One Small Boat. I found this one even more interesting than Another Place at the Table (my post here). . . probably because this book is more focused on one particular foster child. I love Kathy’s heart for children and her incredible honesty with her fostering and adoptive journey. She needs to write another book!! (I see she wrote one about preparedness, but I’m not as into that.)
Another author I discovered is Jodi Picoult. Now, there are aspects of Picoult’s work that I don’t appreciate – such as some language and sexuality — and perhaps I will find more of that the more I read of her work. But I have loved the stories she’s decided to tell, and how she’s told them. My first read was My Sister’s Keeper. I can’t believe that they didn’t stick with the story when they made the movie! I read House Rules next. Because of my interest in Aspergers, this was a fascinating read for me. I just checked out Plain Truth from the library and we’ll see how I like it. I feel like I’m doing a dance between wanting to read novels that make me think . . . and novels that make me wonder if I should be reading them, let alone blogging about them. I’m just so tired of “Christian” novels that are about girl meets boy with a little bit of church thrown in.
How do you decide if a book is something you should be reading, (or shall I use the term “appropriate?”)
Finally. I had been looking for a book like this for years: Another Place at the Table.
Kathy Harrison shares from her experiences as a foster parent. This is not an easy book to read; the children came into the Harrison home from very difficult pasts. I’ve read multiple books written by previous foster children, but this is the first book written by a foster parent that I’ve been able to get my hands on. Although the individual stories are obviously different than the stories of the children that have been in our home, so much of Harrison’s story was the same as mine.
The love for the children. The difficulty.The broken heart from hearing their stories, and the broken heart from saying good-bye. The phone calls and quick decisions. The relationships with biological parents. The meetings with therapists and life-altering court decisions.
Not knowing if you can handle another child from the system, and not knowing if you can handle NOT having another child from the system.
This is part of the journey Josiah and I are on. We’re glad we don’t walk alone.
Sometimes I get tired of adult fiction, and read youth/young adult fiction instead. Josiah’s cousin introduced me to Patricia Reilly Giff. I read Pictures of Hollis Woods (Newberry Honor 2003) one afternoon while David was napping. I’m glad he’s a good napper!
In Pictures of Hollis Woods, Patricia tells the story of Hollis, a girl who is wishing for her own family after being placed in many different foster homes. Hollis’ anxiety about the social worker’s visits remind me of experiences I’ve had as a foster parent. On that note, I wish that there would be more books written from the perspective of the foster parent. I’ll have to be on the lookout! If you’re into movies, I see that there is a movie version of this book – I don’t know how much it follows the book.
I couldn’t stop reading this book – Hope’s Boy. Andrew Bridge shares the story of his rocky childhood and his undying love for his mother, even when she was unable to care for him. I found it particularly fascinating to read of his experience in a foster home. I really hope that Josiah and I are able to do a better job loving on the kiddos we have in and out of our home. . . and I am sad when I think of the many children in rocky foster homes, institutions, etc. whose stories are not being told.
If you read A Child Called It, this book is a lot less dramatic – which made it easier reading for me. Bridge really speaks to the bond between a mother and a child, even when things don’t seem to make sense. And the best part – Bridge is now a lawyer and an advocate for many vulnerable children. Read about his work here.