The Adopted Ed website states, “This simple and beautifully illustrated story is about an adopted little boy and his journey through his early years. Sensitive and likable, we’re with Eddie the moment he learns he’s adopted. At school when he is teased by bullies about being adopted, his mom coaches him through the situation, which ultimately sets the course of his life with personal empowerment. Over time, Eddie feels a strong “void” and becomes curious about his biological parents, which ultimately leads him to find out more. ADOPTED ED concludes with a section of famous people who were adopted.”
When I was given the opportunity to review this book by Darren Maddern from the One2One Network, I jumped at the chance. For those of you who regularly read my blog, you know that I have a brother who is adopted. Because of this, adoption is very near and dear to my heart.
When I received the book, I noticed right off that the character of Ed looks a lot like Jimmy Neutron. The illustrations, done by Erin Fusco, are vivid in color and precious to look at. The book appears to be geared toward children under 10, probably around the age of 8 or younger based on the look.
There are things about this book that I liked and things I didn’t. I love that the book was done in rhyme. It lends a sweet, sing-song quality to it. I liked that Ed’s parents told him he was adopted. I liked that the author shows how Ed had a normal childhood. I appreciated that Ed was upset at being picked on for being different and that his mom told him how special he was because he was adopted. I also liked that the last page of the book tells who some famous adopted people are.
I did not like that it states, “But while in his mother, a decision was made. He was to be adopted and by new parents be raised.” The reason I did not like this was because the reasons for giving a child up for adoption are not as simple as making the decision and since those reasons are not simple, it almost makes it look like the author is stating that he child was not wanted; again, not always true and not a simple thing.
I definitely did not like that Ed went back to school after talking with his mother and told the bully, “My parents chose me! Yours were stuck with you!”, for two reasons…1. usually this does not make a bully back down; in fact, I would bet this would make the bully even more mad and he would beat the poor kid up; 2. I don’t like the idea of condoning being mean or rude to someone, whether it’s true or not. No kid should be made to feel that they are not wanted, either by bullying an adopted kid or telling a bully that their parents were stuck with him.
Finally, I did not like that the book talks about having a void about not knowing who the birth parents are; how he needed answers. I don’t think this was appropriate for this book because the book seemed to be geared toward younger children. Most children do not experience that need to know their birth parents until they are much older. Another reason I had a problem with this section is based on a conversation with my mother. Because my brother is adopted, I asked my mother to read this book as well. She was quick to tell me that she did not want my brother to read this book, mostly because of this part about having a void because Ed did not know who his birth parents were. Her explanation for this was that my brother would then wonder if he is supposed to feel a void and that if he doesn’t, is something wrong with him? This would become a sticking point for him and cause him anxiety he did not need. You see, as soon as my brother was able to understand, my parents told him about being adopted, about his birth mom and about choosing him. He has accepted our family as his own and has never had that void to know more (at least not yet). I wholeheartedly agree with my mother. I think that this section is something that is geared toward adolescence or beyond and is not appropriate for the age group that the book appears to be geared toward. However, I will acknowledge that this is the way our family feels. This is not necessarily how every family will feel about this book.
Overall the book, Adopted Ed was cute, but the wording needed to be geared more toward the age group to which is appears to target. I strongly encourage families to read this book off the shelf in the store before purchasing to ensure that it is something that you would want your adopted child to read. This book will not be right for all families, but may be exactly what another family needs.