17 New Books in the ARW Library


Throughout the year, we add new books and materials to our free adoption- and foster care-related lending library. Our library is available to guests who come in during our regular business hours or when we are hosting trainings or events at the office, as well as to online guests. We happily mail materials across Wisconsin for free – and we even include return postage!

We just added a batch of 17 new items:

1. Getting Solid: A Youth’s Guide to Permanence – Establishing permanent connections for young people is essential to ensuring their success. This guide helps young people understand and prepare for permanency by providing: a youth friendly format, youth perspectives about permanence, interactive worksheets, ideas and questions to inspire discussion, information regarding permanence options, and discussion about the advantages gained through permanent relationships.Whether a young person works through this book on their own, with a supportive adult or in a group setting, the lessons and stories inside will inspire youth to form the permanent connections crucial to future success.


2. Fostering Love: One Foster Parent’s Journey – This journey as a foster parent is the most difficult thing John DeGarmo has done. Through the sleepless nights with drug-addicted babies, the battles with angry teens, and the tears from such tremendous sadness, John DeGarmo learns that to follow God’s call in his life means to take up His cross in his own home. Fostering Love: One Foster Parent’s Journey is the true-life account of his experience as a foster parent, along with his wife and their own three children, as he followed God’s call to take foster children into his home. This is a story of heartbreak, sadness, and ultimately love as he came to find God in the tears and smiles of many foster children.

3. Hootah’s Baby – Hootah is a young mother owl whose life-style issue renders her an ineffective parent. Try as she might, she is unable to overcome those problems. Eventually, the great Parliament of Owls steps in to ensure the safety of the baby owl. But does it mean that Hootah does not love her baby? No. Hootah does love her baby, but unfortunately, love alone will not be enough to raise a baby owl. And so, a new, safe and loving home is found.

4. I Will Never Give Up (DVD) – Watch Derek share his inspiring story and sing the journals of his life in front of a live audience. Derek knows first-hand the power of attitude in coping with adversity and overcoming hardship. His story is one of resilience and redemption. At five years of age, Derek’s mother and stepfather (his biological father was in prison) turned him over to the California foster care system, where he would spend the next thirteen years of his life, contending with rejection, humiliation, emotional distress and overwhelming anxiety. Yet through it all, Derek never gave up. His dark past has never held him back from accomplishing whatever he has set his mind to.

5. I Will Never Give Up — Special Book to Build Hope and Trust in a Child – Former foster child/youth, Derek Clark, reveals how to connect to your child and build trust. This is his special autobiographical book that will help you share hope with your children in the foster care system.

6. Postcards from the Soul – When you open Postcards From The Soul, you’ll see into the depths of the often-hidden emotions of people who have shared extraordinary experiences. This collection of postcards is both moving and illuminating. The emotions are raw and genuine. Every postcard tells a piece of the life story of a real person. Maybe even somebody you know.

7. Flux: Life After Foster Care – Flux: Life After Foster Care is FCAA’s new book. It is a real labor of love from more than 100 members of the alumni community to our younger brothers and sisters in care who are facing the transition from foster care to adulthood. The purpose of FLUX is to describe, predict and support some of the emotional aspects of that journey and addresses issues like dealing with your biological family, developing a new identity, or creating intimate relationships.

8. Sunny – Sunny is the story of Mandy, a foster child, who is given a puppy. Struggling with her own emotions of loss and belonging, Mandy tries to return the puppy to its mother, only to discover with the help of her kindly neighbor, Mr. Johnson, that sometimes puppies, just like people, can find love, care and belonging with a foster parent.

9. The Family Book – The Family Book celebrates the love we feel for our families and all the different varieties they come in. Whether you have two moms or two dads, a big family or a small family, a clean family or a messy one, Todd Parr assures readers that no matter what kind of family you have, every family is special in its own unique way.

10. Plenty Good Room – A heartfelt debut novel of old families ripped apart by the child welfare system and new families knitted together by the grace of God.When child care worker Tamara Britton is asked to temporarily take 14-year-old foster child Sienna Larson into her home, she agrees-but only because it is temporary. Soon, Tamara finds the outspoken, church-going teenager to be almost more than she can bear. Yet, despite herself, Tamara begins to open her heart as well as her home. It is the bond that they come to share that awakens Tamara to newfound truths about herself, her family history, and God.

11. I Love My Hair – A young African-American girl describes the familiar mother-daughter nightly ritual of combing the tangles out of her hair. When she cries because it hurts, her sympathetic mother tells her how lucky she is to have such beautiful hair. Imaginatively, the woman goes on to say that she can spin it into a fine, soft bun or “”plant rows of braids”” along her scalp, prompting her daughter to think of other wonderful things she likes about her hair. The superb watercolor illustrations move from the intimacy and security of Keyana’s bedroom to the neighborhood streets and finally to the whole world as her mother’s imagery becomes reflected in the art. Keyana’s hair is spun on a spinning wheel, becomes part of rows of plants in a garden, and merges with a globe of the whole world. The child’s favorite style, however, is two ponytails that flap like wings on each side of her head, and the final picture is of Keyana triumphantly flying free against the blue sky. Pictures and text reflect the expanding horizons of the child’s world as she learns to be proud of her distinctive hair and her heritage. A very special book about self-acceptance.

12. The Boy Who Didn’t Want to be Sad – The story line is simple; the truth concealed within is life changing. It is the story of a boy who was sad and did not want to be sad anymore. So, he devised a plan. His plan was to get rid of everything that made him sad. He methodically gets rid of things as soon as he realizes they make him sad or have the potential to make him sad. Eventually he realizes that getting rid of everything that could make him sad also got rid of everything that made him happy. This is a lesson about facing sadness so that we can also have a happy and fulfilled life. The Boy Who Didn’t Want To Be Sad is a very highly recommended children’s book.

13. Behavior With a Purpose – Behavior with a Purpose provides a practical understanding of and clinically relevant interventions for common problems of youth in adoptive, foster and kinship homes. Specific attention is placed on food hoarding, wetting, defiance, lying, stealing and negative attention seeking behavior. The book also explains how the positive intent of adoptive, foster and kinship parents can often work at cross purposes with the motivations of the child. Numerous case examples illustrate the dynamics of a problem. The book firmly endorses the healing power of the family and is written from a strengths-based perspective.

14. Brain-Based Parenting: The Neuroscience of Caregiving for Healthy Attachment – In this groundbreaking exploration of the brain mechanisms behind healthy caregiving, the authors guide readers through the intricate web of neuronal processes, hormones, and chemicals that drive—and sometimes thwart—our caregiving impulses, uncovering the mysteries of the parental brain.

15. Creating Loving Attachments – Children who have experienced trauma need to be parented in a special way that helps them feel safe and secure, builds attachments and allows them to heal. Playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy (PACE) are four valuable elements of parenting that, combined with love, can help children to feel confident and secure. This book shows why these elements are so important to a child’s development, and demonstrates to parents and carers how they can incorporate them into their day-to-day parenting. Real life examples and typical dialogues between parents and children illustrate how this can be done in everyday life, and simple stories highlight the ideas behind each element of PACE.

16. Non Drug Treatments for ADHD – The prolific use of drugs to treat ADHD stirs heated debate in therapy and parenting circles today. Is this medication really going to improve my son’s symptoms? How best can I help my patient and her parents manage this difficult disorder? Will the side effects of this drug outweigh the benefits? What are my other options?

17. On the Edge of Unthinkable – Twelve-year-old Paula Kyle was still mourning the death of her mother a little over a year before when, in 1974, she found herself riding down the road in a stranger’s car to another stranger’s house. Freshly torn from the arms of her sisters, she was now heading for a place called a foster home. Anything would have to be better than the past year with what she had endured with her stepmother, Lynn. In this memoir, Kyle narrates the story of her life before, during, and after her placement in foster care-her turbulent beginnings as an army brat, being shuttled from base to base along with her siblings; the trauma and heartache of losing her mother at the age of eleven and the horrors that followed; living in seven foster homes; and eventually becoming the confident and charismatic woman she is today. Heartrending and brutally honest, On the Edge of Unthinkable provides insight into the foster care system and affirms that it’s possible to change the lives of children who have fallen through the cracks. Kyle demonstrates that it truly does take a community to raise a child.

Click here to visit the ARW lending library now.

What are your favorite books about foster care or adoption?


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