10 Picture Books to Celebrate Black History Month

Each February I look forward to reading books which highlight African Americans to celebrate Black History Month in the natural rhythm of our day. Here are a few of our favorites we’ve collected over the years. My favorite two are listed first. What are some of your family’s go to selections?

 

 

 

Pre-Order My New Children’s Book on Adoption on Kickstarter

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A New Book to Carry With You

Sometimes I marvel which childhood bents will carry over to adulthood. For me, the love of a good book is probably foremost. So much so, that I remember on one occasion alphabetizing my home library. I must have been in third or fourth grade. Perhaps I also instituted a check-out operation, though for whom I cannot say.

The first book that clicked with me I checked out from my school library in the third grade. The name of the text has long eluded me. For years I looked in the same corner of the little school library for the book with the girl and the wagon wheel on the front only to be evaded. It is of little importance what the book was, or even its content. What matters is that the love of reading and learning was unlocked.

From that point on,  I was found digging through treasure troves of books. The hardcover, yellow-paged volumes were my favorite. Black Beauty (Dover Children’s Evergreen Classics), Little Women (Puffin in Bloom), The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, Book 1), and Old Yeller (Perennial Classics) soon became reading companions which still hold honored places on my shelves.

Then there are those books, purchased brand new especially for, or by, me. Books like Charlotte’s Web, Where the Red Fern Grows, A Little Princess (Puffin in Bloom), Matilda, and The Little House (9 Volumes Set). What memories I have of transforming new books into old friends! The sight, smell, and touch of them take me back to the age and place I was when I first read them and they became a forever part of me.

Today, our home library exceeds the shelf space allotted. Now, as then, I continue to find searching for classic and modern volumes therapeutic.

Many childish ways I left behind, but the books I carried with me.

The books we read to our children and the books they find as faithful friends, read and reread as yearly rhythms, they will carry with them long after they themselves can be carried.

Today, I want to encourage you to add a new volume to your shelf.  A new book to turn into worn pages, and its contents into an old friend.

I have written a children’s picture book, illustrated by my oldest daughter, Emily, about our adoption journey of our youngest son. From our first meeting, through the months and months of holding onto hope and seeking his adoption, this story will encourage and inspire you as you wait on the happy endings in your own life.

Many of you have read posts over the years concerning our adoption and foster care journey. Now, you can read our adoption tale to the children in your life that will leave them inspired, asking questions, and perhaps ready to slay a few dragons of their own that stand in the way of them attaining their God-given dream. I hope you will!

I believe that real books read on the laps of parents and with loved ones are the best tools to introduce and reaffirm the magic of story and strengthen family bonds. I hope that is the case with Thirty Balloons! But first, I need your help. Would you consider backing my Kickstarter campaign to publish 100 copies of Thirty Balloons: An Adoption Tale? I hope you will want a copy for you and a friend.

I am offering a free pdf download for those who pop their email into the box below! I pray it is a book you will want to carry with you. Go ahead and download your copy now! Then head over to Kickstarter to pre-order a copy to read with your family.

 

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Seven Books that Encouraged Me Along Our Adoption Journey

I’ve written a good deal about my booklist that highlights orphans and celebrates adoption. It all started long ago when as a young girl, I knew I wanted to adopt. My hands reach out for books daily, whether at home, the library, a used bookstore, or while looking at the bookshelves of every home I visit. It never fails to surprise me the number of books that pass my hands where the protagonist is an orphan or an adopted child.

I didn’t initially set out to make a list of books about orphans, but I recognized that over many years my pile of books with orphan and adoption themes grew. Then I considered it might be a wonderful way to encourage and inspire others who want to adopt, are adopted, or those who genuinely enjoy a good book in general. So the orphan/adoption booklist was born.

Today, I want to give you seven specific books that encouraged me along our adoption journeys: one completed and one yet to be completed. These are books which can be read aloud to your family or independently by you or your child. They are the books which encouraged us to start this journey, stay the course, and find our voice reflected articulately on a printed page. (*All links are affiliate links.)

The book that encouraged us to venture into foster waters when adoption was our end goal was Kisses from Katie. The author, Katie Davis Majors, was a recent high school graduate when she decided to move to Uganda for a year of mission work. Before the year was over, it was obvious to her that she would be staying much longer, indefinitely in fact, as she began the process of foster care and adoption of 13 Ugandan girls. Hers is a story of inspiration and hope.

Another book that prompted perserverance was Eric Metaxas’ book on William Wilberforce. Wilberforce labored over 20 years to bring about the abolition of the slave trade in the British Colonies. His is a testament of tenacity and a story that will keep you putting one foot in front of the other moving in the direction of your destiny. 

Next, Dr. Russell Moore’s book, Adopted for Life, was such an articulate read that really put into words many of the thoughts I hold on adoption and helped me to consider how we will talk about our blended family unit at present and in the future.

Two picture books that captured my heart and provided encouragement and beauty for our whole family are:

Two chapter books which encouraged me and are great read alouds for the entire family are:

 

Perhaps, or most likely, certainly, because books have been such a huge influence on my life, I have chosen to share our youngest son’s adoption story in a picture book format. I cannot wait to share it with you! Next week you can access a pdf downloadable version with information on how to get your hands, and those of your children’s, on a physical copy of the book. Real books are better books, in my humble opinion, because they lend themselves to sharing, reading and retaining across multiple senses, and rereading. Stay tuned!

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