Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review: Mary Scary

I really wish I could whole-heartedly recommend Andrew Cosby’s 2007 kids’ book, Mary Scary. The lyrical poem flows with a light, nearly perfect meter, and the artwork is friendly, and cartoonishly beautiful.

Here's what I like about it: Mary is eventually adopted by a stable, loving family. She feels unhappy because she doesn't feel peace with her identity. This is resolved when she meets her birthparents (who happen to be Mr. and Mrs. Boogeyman.) And the book ends with a very positive affirmation that all four of Mary's parents "made it work, 'cause that's what family does." I love that it gives hope that openness in adoption can work - and that sometimes, openness can be the way through which an adoptee finds peace. '

There are some challenges that still might make the book too hard for your kids, though: Mary is placed in a bassinette at an orphanage, and “the last thing they needed was one orphan more.” Still, the nuns take in Mary after reading an anonymous note that said, “I am forced to give up this wonderful girl.” No explanation is given, though. Mary is seen to be different and “wrong.” Mary is adopted several times, but returned each time. Kids being read this book could probably latch on to Mary being unwanted, teased, different, “wrong,” and rejected.

Want something kid-friendly, scary, and positive tonight? Try Monsters, Inc.!

And here's a bonus family activity! Make these together:

Recipe here!

Happy Halloween!


  1. ehhhh that's creepy!! Geez, we have got to get a good kids book out there about open adoption! My son's birth mom and I have been talking about it for years!

    1. Yes, write it! I'd be so excited to find a "bullseye" book. I think "Mary Scary" tried - but I think someone with the real-life experience that you've had could do a much more sensitive job! I'd support it :)


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