Books for Kids Adopted from China

Suggested books for kids adopted from china
Suggested books for kids adopted from china

I Don’t Have Your Eyes by Carrie Kitze (ages 2-5).

Maya’s Journey Home by Susan Lindsley and Tina Christiansen (ages 3-6) – When this book arrived in the mail, my 13-year-old daughter picked it up to read while I was cooking dinner. “Aww, this is so sweet” was her assessment, and I agree. This sweet book tells the story of how two little pandas in a Chinese orphanage find their forever families. The bright watercolor illustrations are wonderful.

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose A. Lewis (ages 4-8) is based on Lewis’s adoption of her daughter. It starts with a letter to Chinese officials and ends with Lewis taking her new daughter back to America to meet her new family. I Love You Like Crazy Cakes is full of beautiful illustrations and offers abundant reassurances of love to adopted children.

We See the Moon

We See the Moon by Carrie Kitze (ages 4-8) – Wonderful book to open the birthparent and adoption dialog between parent and child. This is a story written from the child’s perspective, asking the questions that dwell in their hearts about their birthparents…What do you look like? Where are you now? Do you think of me? It will help children use the moon as a private tool to connect with a family that is always with them in their hearts.

The White Swan Express

The White Swan Express: A Story about Adoption by Jean Okimoto and Elaine Aoki (ages 4-8) – Tells the Chinese adoption story of both couples and singles.

Waiting for May

Waiting for May by Janet Morgan Stoeke (ages 5+) – Written from the perspective of a brother awaiting the adoption of his new little sister from China, this book is can be used to introduce siblings to the idea of adoption, or explain the Chinese adoption process to a child adopted from China.


Finding Joy by Marion Coste (ages 5-8) – This book explain the reason why baby girls are abandoned in China in a non judgemental way. The book also talks about the joys and concern of the prospective adoptive parents. The watercolor illustrations are beautiful.


My China Workbook by Beth O’Malley (ages 6-10) – An interactive tool redesigned for school-age children to help them explore what it means to be adopted.


When You Were Born in China by Sara Dorow (ages 6-teens) – Photo essay of a Chinese adoption.


Three Names of Me by Mary Cummings (ages 8-11) – This is a sweet story told from the perspective of a girl adopted from China. The title derives from her explanation of why she has three names (one unknown from her birth parents, one from the orphanage, and one from her parents). The emphasis in on the love between parent and child, but it also addresses the love between birth mother/first mother and child.


The Jade Dragon by Carolyn Marsden and Virginia Shin-Mui Loh (ages 8-12) – This is a fairly easy to read chapter book about two Chinese American girls. One girl was born in America to Chinese immigrants and the other girl was born in China and adopted by an American family. The girls are in second grade so I think it would be appropriate for 8 year olds rather than waiting until the suggested age of 9. After some initial reluctance the girls become friends and develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be Chinese-American.


An-Ya and her Diary by Diane René Christian (ages 9+) – Story of a pre-teen child adopted from China. It tackles issues of adoptee loss, race and challenges along the attachment journey. The novel is told in diary format and chronicles ‘An-Ya’ as she transitions from life in a Chinese orphanage to life in the United States. It is suitable for tweens/teens and adults.


Kids Like Me in China by Ying Ying Fry (ages 9-up) – This book is written by an eight year old who returned to visit the orphanage she lived in. Great pictures and story.


Arthur: Big Brother Binky is a fantastic DVD on international adoption. Arthur’s best friend, Binky, is about to become a big brother. His parents are adopting a baby from China. I just love this DVD.

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Image credit: Trey Ratcliff