Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review: The Best Single Mom in the World: How I Was Adopted

Mary Zisk shares from her heart in this self-illustrated story. The narration is in the voice of the young daughter, who re-creates the family’s ritual recitation of her adoption story. Mom was single and happy, but wanted to share her life with a child. She went to an adoption agency who searched “high and low, near and far, all over the world” for a child in need. They found one overseas, who had a birthmother who “wanted the best for you but… couldn’t take care of you.” So the mom flew overseas, met her, and brought her home.

I appreciate that this book addresses single parenthood; most adoption kids’ books show two-parent families. This book allows the child to admit, “sometimes I wish we had a dad in our family.” It also highlights positive male influences in the child’s life, and affirms the child’s happiness with her mother (the book starts and ends with the child affirming that her mother is the best mother in the world.)

The book is good in that it provides a rare resource for children in a not-very-rare situation.
I have some reservations, though. Although the book acknowledges that the birth mother could not take care of the child, the feel of the book really is more about “finding a child for a mom” rather than “finding a mom for a child.” I imagine that wasn’t the author’s intent, but it is quite possible to read that message in the book. We know very little about the birth mother. Why couldn’t she care for the child? Will there be any contact? What is her name? We’re not told anything.

If you’re a single adoptive parent, this book could be helpful, but you’ll probably need to add quite a bit of your child’s own story into it to make it more complete. As it stands, it’s missing quite a bit.

Did you find this article helpful? You might want to subscribe to this website by email or Sit In The Front Row. Also, check out our other Review of Kids' Adoption Books.

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