Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata
7 word summary: Jaden’s adopted…why’re his parents adopting again?
Realistic fiction. Stand-alone novel. Share with ages 9-13.
Newbery medalist and National Book Award winning author Kadohata serves up a realistic story that hasn’t been told before. Jaden, a handful at best, is travelling with his adoptive parents to Kazakhstan to adopt another child, a baby. Thinking it’s because they don’t love him due to his difficult behaviors – which include setting stuffed animals on fire and repeated lying – he’s convinced they will abandon him and love the baby more. Halfway around the world, the adoption hits a major snag, and it’s at the orphanage that Jaden connects with another human on a deeply profound level for the first time in his life. An honest portrayal of the challenges of adoption from both a child and adult perspective with an almost too-neat ending.