When you write a book, you gets a lot of opportunities for feedback. Some come in the traditional form of reader reviews left on sites such as Amazon whereas others, such as book reviewers, are by invitation. Regardless of how a review comes to you, it is a precious gift. Whether good or "bad", reviews provide insight to how others are receiving your work. As a children's author, when I have the privilege to actually hear what children think of my books, it is incredibly special. Today, I am sharing some feedback related to Scoochie's Adoption Story.
I am so happy to have found Bentley's Book Club. As if the Bentley book series wasn't already doing enough good promoting kindness, diversity and acceptance, the author also runs an amazing program called Elite Books 4 Kids. This is a six person panel of children ranging in age from 5-8 who provide reviews for children's books. Both my books have had the honor to be reviewed and the kids comments melt my heart and inspire me to keep writing.
Amazon has had some equally impactful reviews as well. Damian, who is an adoptive parent, shared that his daughter now wants to bring Scoochie's Adoption Story to school to help explain her adoption to her class. And Nicholas, who is also an adoptive parent of a four year old daughter, shared that Scoochie's Adoption Story is perfect book to engage his own daughter in a conversation about her adoption.
There is no greater reward than hearing these beautiful reactions, comments and stories about a book I have written. It is the most uplifting experience to hear that my book can have such an impact. Thank you all for your support and keep those stories coming ... they mean the world. 💕❤️🥰 Email me your story here.
Writing Scoochie's Adoption Story was a deeply meaningful experience for me. First, I wanted to tell our family's story in a way that normalized adoption as one way in which a family can be formed. Our oldest daughter, who is the inspiration behind the main character Scoochie, has always known about her adoption. We are proud of it and want her to have that same sense of pride. Because our two daughters' adoptions are open adoptions, we also have a relationship with their birth families. Collectively, we are all our daughters' family.
Because we are two dads who have adopted daughters of different races, our family doesn't look like what most families in children's literature look like. As I thought about the book, I knew that I also wanted it bring greater diversity into children's literature. For families like mine, we desperately search for that representation. So, as I began to construct the varying components and the associated imagery that would help advance the story, I paid particular attention to the characters that would appear throughout the pages. This was a painstaking process, at times. Just ask my illustrator. He'll tell you that I kept pushing for more families, more diversity, more representation. The more that children (and adults, for that matter) can see themselves and families like theirs reflected back to them in media, in print, in the arts, etc. the stronger our messages are that they and their families are valued and are important.
So, when Scoochie's Adoption Story achieved #27 ranking on Amazon in the "Children's Books on LGBTQ+ Families" category and #36 ranking in the "Children's Multiculturism & Tolerance" section just 5 days after its release, I was nearly brought to tears. With little to no promotion or marketing, the book started climbing the ranks on its own. People are searching every single day for representation and this book, in its small way, is helping to meet that need. Scoochie's Adoption Story is as much a story about our family as it is about uplifting diverse families everywhere!
To our daughters - you and your family are worthy of being seen and people want to know your story. Keep telling it!
To adoptive families - your family story is an amazing love story. Please share it (hint, email us your story)
To diverse families everywhere - your family is valued and important and you deserve to be represented. Keep fighting to be seen.
To my amazing readers - your purchase supports the continued story telling about and representation of diverse families. Thank you and keep buying ;)