Book Review - Adopted Ed

I am pleased to have been chosen by the One2One Network to review Adopted Ed by Darren Maddern.  Adoption is a cause near and dear to my heart, having adopted Robyn when she was 3 and a half years old.  November is Adoption Month and gives us another excuse to celebrate having Robyn in our lives.

From the Publisher:

ADOPTED ED is a simple, easy-to-read and understand children’s book with important underlying messages of personal empowerment and social pressures and acceptance.
It focuses on the life of Eddie, an adopted little boy, who is just like every other boy and girl. At school, when he is teased by bullies about being adopted, his mom offers words of wisdom, which ultimately gives him self-confidence to deal with the situation.

This book teaches us that being different is okay and in fact, should be celebrated (“I’m adopted, I’m special,” he proclaimed aloud. Then he said it again and grew very proud.”). This message could not be more applicable for children growing up in today’s environment where bullying – simply because of one’s hair color, race or size - has become a national epidemic.  Adults, just like Eddie’s mom, also need to embrace their responsibility of educating children to help them understand the concepts of tolerance, patience and kindness. Instilling these principles begin at home, which will nurture a child’s self-confidence over time. 

Thus, this book is for everybody - not just those who are adopted - as everybody is different in his or her own way.

My Review:
I love the illustrations by Erin Fusco - they really helped draw my son into the book.  At four years old he's just coming to understand that Robyn doesn't call Wayne and I "dad" and "mom", and he does, so this was the perfect time to start reading about adoption with him.  Robyn, at twelve, really enjoyed the empowerment angle of the book, the message to  to not be defeated by bullies because you are different and special.  I think this helps make the book more universal, while still celebrating adoption.  Robyn's favorite page was the list of famous and notable people who were adopted - especially Edgar Allen Poe and Crazy Horse, although others might find it interesting that Marilyn Monroe and Jesse Jackson were also adopted.

This book is well written and appropriate to read aloud to younger children, while still providing excellent messages for older children and even teenagers.  If you are looking for a book with excellent anti-bullying and great celebration of differences messages, I highly recommend adding Adopted Ed to your home library!

You can learn more about Adopted Ed on his website, like him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

ADOPTED ED is the first of a series of children’s book. The second one, Tall Molll, is written in same the style and spirit as ADOPTED ED. In TALL MOLL, we meet Molly, who is just like all the other boys and girls until she encounters a growth spurt and is and foot and half taller than all the other kids – – – including the boys. How does she feel about it? How does it affect her and how does she find her moment of empowerment? Meet and discover Molly’s journey in TALL MOLL in early 2011.

About the Author, Darren Maddern (from the Publisher):
Darren is just one of the many millions of adopted people throughout the world today.

Born in England, Darren was adopted when he was only 10 days old by Don and Dolly Maddern, an American military couple who were stationed at an American Air Force base just outside of Oxford.

After spending three years in England, the Madderns were transferred to Tehran, Iran where they settled for the next five years and where Darren attended first and second grades. When Darren completed second grade, the Madderns were transferred again, this time to Fayetteville, North Carolina. Shortly after arriving in North Carolina, Darren was naturalized as an American citizen. Three years later, the Madderns moved one last time to Colorado, where Darren spent the rest of his formative years.

The Madderns made the decision to tell Darren he was adopted at an early age.

Like many adoptees, Darren became curious about his birth parents. Sympathetic to the feelings of his adoptive parents, when Darren turned 18, he secretly hired a private investigator to learn the address of his biological grandparents, who were still living in the Oxford area of England. He contacted them through a letter and enclosed a separate letter with the request that it be passed along to his biological mother. Shortly thereafter he received a phone call, and knew immediately who it was from the accent on the other end. This was the first contact with his birth mother.

During the emotional phone call, a plan for a reunion was discussed. However, after giving it serious thought Darren just felt he wasn't emotionally ready. It would be another four years before Darren would make his fateful trip overseas.

A 22 year old more emotionally mature Darren flew back to England to meet both his biological mother and grandparents. The reunion was everything he could have wished for.

At 26, Darren found his biological father and went back again to England to meet him. During this visit he discovered he has two half-brothers.

To this day, Darren still enjoys a close relationship with his British family. He also had an extremely close relationship with his adoptive parents, who always encouraged his journey through life.

Throughout his life Maddern has been asked about being adopted. 
Through candidly sharing his story, he’s helped many adoptees, parents of adopted children and parents considering adoption.

ADOPTED ED is dedicated to both his adopted and biological parents with a special dedication to his mom, Dolly Maddern who passed away in 2000 and his pops, Don Maddern who joined her in 2009. It's also dedicated to every adopted man, woman and child to remind them that they too are indeed – SPECIAL.

You can learn more about Adopted Ed and Darren on his website, like him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book at no cost by the author and One2One Network for the purposes of completing this review.