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At Home in This World: A China Adoption Story

By Jean MacLeod; illustrated by Qin Su EMK Press; $15.95

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At the ninth adoption reunion of the “Wuhan Girls” (all adopted on the same day in 1994), parents and children read At Home in This World together. In this new book for ages 6 to 9, a fictional 9-year-old girl reflects on her adoption from China.

The Wuhan Girls agreed that this book provides a good explanation of being left alone and found as a baby in China. It’s hard to understand in your heart how this could happen. We all agreed that this is very sad; we found this subject difficult to talk about at times.

The girls said that they thought of their birthparents and wished they could meet them and ask: Why couldn’t you keep me? Do I have brothers and sisters? Did you give me a name? What’s your name? How tall are you? What kinds of foods do you like? How old are you?

The Wuhan Girls gave this book four out of five stars. It puts into words how they often feel. Like the book’s main character, these girls are from two places—America and China.

They all thought this would be a good book to give to their best friends or favorite teachers, so they too could understand how girls adopted from China feel sometimes. But they also felt that it would be too personal and private to read with their entire class. They worried that a classmate might use it as ammunition for teasing. Without question, though, they recommend it for children adopted from China.

We parents recommend this book for adult-led group readings and discussion, as it is not an easy read for kids in the targeted age group. But with a group of parents and kids reading each page out loud, pausing for discussion, our girls recognized their shared experience and strengthened their common bonds.

Reviewed by Kathy Urbina, with help from Wuhan Girls Zoe, Addie, Lea, Maya, Sarah, Victoria, and Marina.

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