Young Milly is the heroine in Julia Alvarez’s Finding Miracles, which was featured as our Tiger’s Choice last month. Born Milagros, and adopted by an American couple from an unnamed country in Latin America, Milly is in many ways a typical high school girl grappling with issues of identity. As Janet points out in her review of the book, “In her journey to learn how to be Milagros as well as Milly, this extraordinary young woman learns that family is an expandable concept.”
Whereas Milly’s tale isn’t “about adoption,” Julia Alvarez sensitively weaves in the theme around the book’s other topics—which makes it a very timely read for National Adoption Awareness Month, when we celebrate adoption as one of the special ways in which families are formed.
Adoption added complexity and depth to Milly’s journey of self-discovery, as it did to Joseph Calderaro’s personal quest in Rose Kent‘s Kimchi & Calamari, about a Korean teen who was adopted as a child by Italian-American parents. Whereas Finding Miracles and Kimchi & Calamari don’t deal exclusively with issues of adoption, by portraying well-rounded, well-adjusted adopted teens they emphasize the true, positive nature of adoption and help dispel the stereotypes that abound in literature and the media. For these and many others reasons, I highly recommend them.
Click here for ideas on how to celebrate and advocate for children who have yet to find a loving family to be a part of, and check out Marjorie’s The Ties of Love post for more book ideas and resources on the theme. You don’t need be a member of the adoption community to appreciate and enjoy this celebration!