I had the privilege of reading the story “Jaden Goes to Foster Care,” by Corine Hyman. This book is an great story to read to children who are new to foster care, or even those that have been in for a while. It will help them sort out feelings they may have about why they were placed.
This book is good for children in elementary school, and maybe even early middle school ages. The content in the book and the way the sentences are written is simple. The fewer words the better, I feel. It allows young readers to get the gist of the writing. The illustrations portray the feelings of the boy and his biological and foster moms very well. Children will understand the meaning. My son is seven, and he decided he wanted to read this book because he loves to read. He understood the content and enjoyed the illustrations.
I love how at the beginning the author has the mom have a “problem” and she has to get better before she can take care of her son again. I like how the “problem” is not specific. This is perfect. A generalized statement helps the book reach more children and families.
This story shows how a parent is usually not happy about having to get better and give a child to foster care. It shows how the parents may feel sadness just like their child.
This book depicts the importance of tradition and routine for a child who is placed into foster care. It illustrates this importance in a way a child would understand. It takes a simple activity (making cookies) to show how a foster parent can create continuity by maintaining the traditions and routines the child had before foster care. This book is not just for foster children. It can be read by foster parents to get ideas on how to bond with a foster child. It stresses routine and traditions from the birth mom and the child.
I strongly encourage social workers, psychologists, and adoption agencies to have this book on hand. I encourage birth parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, and anyone touched in some way by foster care to read this book. It is a simple, quick read, but its messages are invaluable in creating a loving, caring, and trusting environment for a foster child.