A Different Home: A New Foster Child's Story ISBN: 9781849059879
Published by Jessica Kingsley, 2014
Jessie is plucked out of her class at school and taken to the office, where it is explained that she won't be going home because her mum (mom in this story - it is American) is ill and needs help. It seems a long wait to Jessie before her foster parents arrive, Jim and Debbie, and she is taken to their home where she meets their children. Everyone is kind and welcoming, but Jessie desperately wants her mother. As she experiences life with the new family, she begins to discover some good things about living with them. There is lots of food, the house is warm, and she gets to sleep in a bed by herself, but she still cries because she wants to be home. She steals some sweets from the boy in the family, because she is afraid she will be hungry, but he makes nothing of this, and she wonders at his patience. Breakfast is amazing, and the new clothes she is given for school are nice even though she misses her old ones. She is glad to be back at school because she likes her teacher and knows 'her rules' - an important point to a child whose life has changed so drastically and so suddenly. When Debbie collects her after school, she is very upset; surely she must be able to go home to mommy now? 'I wanted to be with my mommy, not somebody else's mommy.' She and Debbie have a long talk and Jessie is able to ask questions such as 'Did I do something wrong? Is my mommy mad at me?' and be reassured by Debbie, who must tell her that they don't know how long Jessie will have to stay with them but that they understand it is difficult and frightening. A happy Saturday in the park with a picnic and ice cream helps Jessie to settle in better, and she understands that all will be well. The really lovely pictures in this sensitive picture book are a huge asset and show clearly Jessie's feelings as well as her development from fear to acceptance, and some advice to foster parents from the authors, experienced at fostering, are an asset too. The book is available from Amazon, from bookshops, or from the publisher at www.jkp.com.