Book Corner Posts

Book Recommendations for Families Created in Transracial Adoption

Our Transracial Journeys families regularly seek out books to share with their children and to read for themselves, as white parents of black children. We are fortunate to have a resource in the Transracial Journey's Board of Direcors Secretary, Avril McInally. With a Master of Library Science from Kent State University and over 35 years as a public librarian, Avril and her colleague, Vicki Richards, collaborate to curate phenomenal book recommendations for our children and parents.   The Book Corner is a regular feature in our Transracial Journeys monthly newsletters. If you would like to receive monthly book recommendations via email, please subscribe.

In the Key of Us

Book Corner – March 2024

Reviewed by Kristen Perry, TRJ Parent In the Key of Us By Mariama Lockington Not only is In the Key of Us by Mariama Lockington written by a transracial adoptee, but it also is a Stonewall Honor Book for LGBTQ+ books. Thus, it has the power to speak to many identities represented within our families and communities. The story is told through the alternating perspectives of Andi and Zora, the only two Black girls at a prestigious, nearly all-white music read more

The New Brownies’ Book: W.E.B DuBois, Karida L. Brown, and Charly Palmer

The New Brownies' Book A Love Letter to Black Families From Chronicle Books Inspired by the groundbreaking work of W. E. B. DuBois, this beautiful collection brings together an outstanding roster of Black creative voices to honor and celebrate Black excellence. The New Brownies' Book reimagines the very first publication created for African American children in 1920 as a must-have anthology for a new generation. Expanding on the mission of the original periodical to inspire the hearts and minds of read more
Adoptees Like Me

Book Corner – January 2024

This month we are highlighting "Adoptees Like Me" Books, a special series from Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker.  These illustrated children’s books are for elementary readers, and include Marie Discovers Her Superpowers  (2022) and Casey Conquers Bedtime (2023). Dr. Wirta-Leiker is an adoptee, adoptive parent, and psychologist. She is a consultant for The Adoptee Mentoring Society and a contributor to I AM ADOPTEE, where she serves on their subsidized mental health program review board. She also served on the Adoptee Advisory Board for Heritage read more
The Night Before Kwanza

Book Corner – December 2023

The Night Before Kwanzaa By Natasha Wing Illustrated by  Amy Wummer and Kirsti Jewel Pre-kindergarten - Grade 2  A young boy is excited for the arrival of his older brother. He is looking forward to celebrating Kwanzaa with him and the rest of their family. As a candle is lit on the Kinara each night, simple (yet heartwarming) illustrations depict the accompanying seven principles of Kwanzaa. There is a familiarity in this sweet book as it may remind older readers read more
Book Recommendation for Transracial Adoptive Families

Book Corner-November 2023

Our Little Kitchen By Jillian Tamaki Ages 4-8 This is a beautifully-illustrated, warm and cozy read with a focus on preparing food with love and with a group of diverse children and adults. Highly recommended not just for Thanksgiving but for any part of the year when you want to pull comfort from the words you read along with the pictures you see. Jillian Tamaki is an award winning, Canadian author who shows how to build community, love and nurture read more
A Child’s Introduction to Hip-Hop: The Beats, Rhymes, and Roots of a Musical Revolution

Book Corner – October 2023

A Child’s Introduction to Hip-Hop: The Beats, Rhymes, and Roots of a Musical Revolution By Jordannah Elizabeth, illustrations by Marika Jenai Ages 8-12+ Reviewed by TRJ Parent Kristen Perry This year represents the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop, and Jordannah Elizabeth’s book celebrates the culture, artistry, and genius of Black musicians throughout history, beginning with the roots of African music and its influence on American music styles. The book outlines the birth of hip-hop, different eras in the read more

Book Corner – September 2023

The Girl I Am, Was, and Never Will Be: A Speculative Memoir of Transracial Adoption Shannon Gibney  Ages 14-17 Gibney features herself as the protagonist in this part memoir, part speculative fiction novel. Shannon Gibney and Erin Powers are one and the same person. However, there’s a primal difference in that one was adopted and the other wasn’t. Using documents like vital records, correspondence written from her birth mother to her adoptive mother, and photographs of herself and family members, read more
Sharon G. Flake: Skin I'm In - Recommended for transracial adoptees

Book Corner – August 2023

The Skin I’m In Sharon Flake  Grades 6-12 Author Sharon G. Flake is a multiple-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award! The recipients of this award are African American authors and/or illustrators who create outstanding literature for African American children. Ms. Flake received this award for The Skin I’m In in 1999. Seventh Grader Maleeka Madison is bullied for her dark skin. Maleeka’s father died two years ago, and Maleeka’s mom struggles to pay the bills. Making Maleeka’s clothes read more
Bayou Magic

Book Corner – July 2023

Bayou Magic Jewell Parker Rhodes  Ages 8-12 Focus: Girls, African folklore, Slavery, Environmentalism Almost ten-years-old, Maddy goes to Bon Temps, a mystical place in the Bayou, to spend the summer with her grandma. While there, she makes friends with a boy named Bear who shows her where to fish, swim and explore. Queenie, her grandma, teaches Maddy to cook, be a good steward of the earth and a little of their family’s ancestral magic. Queenie also tells Maddy the story read more
Second Dad Summer Book Recommendation

Book Corner – June 2023

Second Dad Summer Benjamin Klas and Fian Arroyou Grades 4-7, Ages 9-12 This story about friendship and family takes place over a hot summer near downtown Minneapolis. Jeremiah is spending the summer with his dad and his dad’s boyfriend, Michael. Jeremiah is sometimes embarrassed by Michael’s outgoing, colorful personality, and he’s reluctant to let down his barriers with his dad’s boyfriend. However, a new friendship, gardening and a rocky relationship with a grumpy, elderly neighbor work to build a relationship read more