Pieces of Me Book Review

Susan Merkel

Book Review: Pieces of Me Edited
by Robert L. Ballard
ISBN: 9780972624442

“Who am I?” is a question everyone asks themselves at least once in their life. But for adopted people, especially during their teenage years, the answer can be more elusive, which makes for a much more complicated experience in adolescence and early adulthood.

This struggle to fit in and find a place in the world is the subject of “Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? Voices for and by adopted teens”, a poignant and revealing collection of essays, drawings, poems and songs written by adoptees aged 11 to 63 from private and public domestic, as well as international adoptions.

The writings and art in this tome are quite unique, and many depict the darker and more difficult aspects of adoption, and all are evidence that adoption is a lifelong process for all members of the triad. Additionally, some of the book’s author/adoptees bear the burden and wounds from years of racism and feeling different their entire lives. Some author/adoptees are curious about their birthmothers and some are angry at their birthmother. Some want their birth family to know that they are ok and feel thankful for their adoptive family. Some feel lost and others have established a sense of their place in the world. Some are part of interracial adoptions while others were raised in families of the same race. The stories are gritty, real, very honest, and eye opening. They also include communication from a few adoptees that died prior to publication. Readers will be amused by some pieces and may cry at others.

One thing is for sure. By the time you finish “Pieces of Me” you will not feel alone in your adoption experience.

Adoptees in their teen years may be more reluctant to talk about their feelings but this is a crucial time to keep the lines of communication open.  Adoption books are wonderful tools to start conversations about adoption and can often help adoptee speak about feelings they may not have revealed previously. Anyone who has looked for adoption books for tween and teen audiences know that they are quite rare and Pieces of Me is a welcome addition. We highly recommend this book and hope you add it to your library.

, , , , ,

Based in Pennington, NJ