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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Finding Family in a Far-Away Land: An Adoption Story is a children’s book written and illustrated by Amanda Wall. Spending their childhood on the streets of India, two sisters (Priya and Ari) are adopted by a family that lives far away in a different land. The girls are shocked at first to see people who looked nothing like them, with fair skin, light-colored hair, and blue/green eyes. Although cautious, Priya and Ari board a plane with their new parents and new brother, ready to embrace the uncertainty and incredible new future ahead. Initially, they are cautious of the many differences in lifestyle, education, language, people, and animals in their new lives but soon are very excited to have become a big part of their adoptive, multicultural family, while retaining important customs of their own culture.
I very much enjoyed Amanda Wall’s delightful tale of the entwining of two completely different cultures. Having been raised in Indigenous Australia only to find myself emerged in Finland’s culture, foods, and new ways of doing things, the changes can be very hard to take in, yet so very rewarding. Reading of their initial anxiety towards new foods and new animals actually made me smile. When life suddenly springs you into something adventurous and so far from the home life you once knew, it is understandable to be cautious, yet also very exciting. Learning to become part of a family which you had never before known not only brings hope, but also a unique experience in learning new languages, new skills, and seeing a whole world that you never knew existed.
Finding Family in a Far-Away Land: An Adoption Story touches on every single aspect of my own cultural experiences and I applaud Amanda Wall’s writing and illustration skills which convey the message that new does not mean scary, and different does not mean evil. Embracing everything that life brings your way is the most wonderful outlook in every step you take. I suspect that adoption brings a whole new sense in the feeling of being loved while taking steps to achieve something amazing and wonderful each and every day. I wholeheartedly recommend Finding Family in a Far-Away Land to readers so that families can consider giving a new life and bright future to children who need it, regardless of where they live.