Book Review: Just Like Me

10 Sep

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Ever since a heritage report in school, Julia has had a lot of questions and thoughts swirling around her brain about her adoption, her birth mother, and trying to figure out exactly who she is.  Her mom decides to send her to summer camp with her Avery and Becca, her “Chinese sisters” to bond and better understand her Chinese heritage.  But there’s just one problem, Julia would rather be anywhere this summer than at Camp Little Big Woods with her “Chinese sisters” bonding and journaling about her adoption for a newsletter article created by the adoption agency.  Because even though the three girls were all adopted as babies from the same Chinese orphanage, they have very little in common.

Add three more girls to their cabin and the six girls spend the week learning to work together and get along when it seems like it could never happen. Can they pull together against all odds to win first place in the camp tournament or will all their fighting cost them the win?

I was intrigued to pick up this book because not only is it a middle-grade novel about finding your place in the world when you’re not even sure who you are, but also because its a story of adoption as well. Adoption is something I have always thought of as an option to add to my family and although I don’t have any plans to adopt currently, it is still something that I’m considering.  Plus, as I’ve discussed before, diversity is such a HUGE topic and it’s about all sorts of things – not just race, disabilities, religion, culture or class but about being in a different situation than others and adopted children need to see themselves in books just as much as any other kid, if not more as they find themselves with a heritage and family story they grow up with and one they may or may not know from their birth families. And just like any other child, an adopted child’s story will be unique to them, but there can also be familiar ties that are shared and books can help kids better understand and see themselves.

Twitter Booktalk (14o characters or less): 3 very different girls all adopted from the same orphanage in China spend a week at summer camp to bond in a story of unlikely friendships.

Title: Just Like Me
Author: Nancy J. Cavanaugh
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Publication Date: 2016
Page Number: 246 pgs.

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