Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bibliotherapy AKA Books for Kids!

I'm a BIG fan of bibliotherapy. I've rarely met a kids who didn't like to be read to - sometimes in a lap (if they'll let you) or just me reading aloud while they play. Sometimes they appear to not be listening, but usually by just a few pages into the story they are commenting, jumping in or at least looking over to see the pictures! I also believe its helpful for kids to see that their situation is so (sadly) common that there are books about it. Sadly, there aren't a ton of books about foster care that are appropriate for really young children. Too often they focus solely on the "pre-adoptive" phase and forget about all those children out in limbo-land. Or the children just coming into care and not knowing quite what to think about it all. So, here are just a few I use - I've also included a couple of books that focus more on trauma/domestic violence/feelings for kids. Enjoy and feel free to ask questions!

Kids Need to be Safe - A great way to explain to children why they are not living with their birth parents in a non-judgemental way. The constant refrain is this book is " Kids are important, Kids need to be safe".

Maybe Days - The perfect book for a child in limbo. Children in foster care are often hear "maybe", "I don't know", or "we'll see" too often in regards to their futures.

Families Change - This is a great book for children whose parent's rights are being terminated. It explains the reasons that families sometime have to change.

Finding the Right Spot - A story about a young girl looking (and finding) for a forever home. A short chapter book - appropriate for a slightly older child.

A Terrible Thing Happened - A book about what sometimes happen when a child (or racoon in this case!) witnesses a traumatic event. It explains how sometimes the event can lead to all kinds of confusing feelings and then how those feelings affect how a child acts. Also encourages talking to a safe adult as a way to help the child feel safe again.

The Boy Who Didn't Want to be Sad - A great book about how feeling sad can turn into feeling MAD and then acting out and pushing people away... along with the steps to get back to feeling good again.


  1. Thanks for this - very timely for me personally as we are fostering a child who arrived just this week and I really believe some of these may help.

    Of course availability in the UK is a different matter but I'm not above ordering from overseas.. anything really that might help.. actually, looking at as opposed to there seems to be a wealth of useful literature that I've not seen over here. This is turning into quite an expensive excursion into intercontinental shopping!

  2. I'm home and I can comment! I've missed you!

    Love Maybe Days and A Terrible Thing Happened. Ordered them for SK.

    I'm off to catch up...

  3. Thanks, this looks like a great list. I've got it saved to look into when I need it.

  4. I love bibliotherapy!

    My kids are a little older.

    I've enjoyed Touching Spirit Bear - about an aggressive teen boy who seriously injures another boy so has a choice between going to Juvie or spending time alone on an island (kind of like a spirit walk - even though he's not Native American). My son is part Native American and was very aggressive so really identifies with the boy. He is not a good reader, but is slowly working on this.

    I also enjoyed 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. I had my kids do book reports on the chapters.

    Mary in TX

    Mom to biokids Ponito(10) and his sister Bob(12)
    Sibling pair adoptive placement from NE 11/06
    Finally finalized on Kitty(14) on 3/08 - 2 weeks before her 13th birthday!
    Finalized on her brother Bear 7/08. He turned 15 the next day.

    " Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

  5. Add to your list Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson, about a girl visiting her father in prison.
    ina, not anon.

  6. Thanks for the book suggestions. I already have the first two on your list, but I'll have to check out the others.


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