Summer Reading List for Adoptive Families

Books about Parenting and/or Discipline

Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child : Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries by Robert J. MacKenzie – This book is my absolute FAVORITE of any book I’ve read so far!  With a strong-willed child himself, Dr. MacKenzie really understands the challenges of raising a difficult child. Highly recommend this one!

Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman – I actually listened to this book as a free download through’s 30-day trial.  Try Audible Now and Get A Free Audiobook Download with a 30 Day Trial. I enjoyed hearing about the French parenting style of raising independent children, with topics such as sleeping through the night and independent play.  The chapter on teaching children to not be finicky eaters through serving courses at meals and persistence is FABULOUS. The book is worth it for that chapter alone; however, skip the chapter on discipline.

Parenting With Love And Logic (Updated and Expanded Edition) by Foster Cline – I haven’t actually read this book yet, although MANY parents have highly recommended it!

Books about Adoption

Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches by Russell Moore – I LOVED this book by Christian adoption advocate, Dr. Russell Moore. I actually listened to him narrate the book in his charming Southern drawl FREE through’s trial membership. (They keep sending me free book credits.)  He discusses adoption through a Biblical view and covers in detail topics such as name changes, integrating culture into family, etc. I highly recommend.

Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis – This is another book I listened to FREE from A very inspiring book about an 18-year-old that postponed college to spend a year in Uganda. She ended up making Uganda her home, creating a ministry, and adopting 14 little girls.  Hers is a true heart for adoption.

Shield: A Framework of Self-Care for Foster and Adoptive Families by Sharla Kostelyk – Read my review of this book for foster and adoptive families about self-care and avoiding burnout.

The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family by Karyn Purvis – So many have recommended this book, yet I’ve yet to read it.  This book is based on actual research on healing children from neglect. I WILL read this book next!

Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child Updated and Revisedby Beth O’Malley – Mama Lark of the Lark’s Nest highly recommends this book. “This book is seriously a LIFESAVER for an adoptive mom that wants to tell their child the correct story- THEIR OWN! I sat for weeks wondering how I could tell my daughter that she was born addicted to drugs…Beth O’Malley is a genius in this department!! She explains things so clearly and concise. Everything is told on the level that a child needs to hear it at that time.

Adoption Is a Family Affair: What Relatives and Friends Must Know by Patricia Erwin Johnston – I have not read this book, but it was recommended to me: “It’s great because it’s written to the families of adoptive families and covers a lot of the emotions and struggles of adoptive families as well as ways that friends can help during the process. Unfortunately, it mostly talks about private infant adoption or international adoption. But, it’s a good read.

Books about Foster Parenting

I haven’t read any of these books, but were recommended by other foster parents:

Success as a Foster Parent: Everything You Need to Know About Foster Care by the National Foster Parent Association

Another Mother: Co-Parenting with the Foster Care System by Sarah Gerstenzang

The Foster Parenting Toolbox by Kim Phagan-Hansel

A Guide to Foster Parenting: Everything But the Kids! by Mary Ann Goodearle

Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison

Invisible Kids: Marcus Fiesel’s Legacy by Holly Schlaack – I haven’t read this book, but it was recommended: “This book really helps you understand the system and how easily the kids get lost. It is based on a murder of a foster child in Cincinnati a few years ago. Warning: there are parts that are difficult to read.”

Books about Special Behaviors

What Your Explosive Child Is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to Solutions by Douglas Riley – Just the first chapter helped me tremendously in realizing that expectations and transitioning from one activity to another may be causing some of my child’s explosions. Great book if you have an explosive child!

Is This Your Child? by Doris J. Rapp – This book explores child behavior associated with food allergies. Just by skimming this book, I noticed my Stinkpot had rosy cheeks after eating applesauce one day – indicative of a food allergy to apples! Wow!  I still haven’t done a full elimination diet of gluten and corn yet.  I recommend that you take a look at this book if your child has unexplained explosions.

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook–What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About by Bruce Perry – This book was recommended by Stinkpot’s therapist. I read the free sample pages of this book, and I was mesmerized by this story of a psychiatrist and his journey to help a young child through a traumatic past of sexual abuse. Very well written!  Dr. Perry heads The Child Trauma Academy.

When Love Is Not Enough: A Guide to Parenting Children with RAD by Terena “Nancy” Thomas – I haven’t yet read this book, although it is highly recommended from parents of children that suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Books for Children in Foster Care

The Star: A Story to Help Young Children Understand Foster Care by Cynthia Miller Lovell

Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care by Jennifer Wilgocki

Fostergirls by Liane Shaw – This book would be perfect for a tween girl that is in the foster girl system and might have some learning disabilities.  This book was written from the girl’s perspective and at times, I laughed at loud at the dialog between her and her friends.  Good story about belonging, even if it isn’t with a biological family.

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What books would you recommend? Any other books that I missed?