Mother Number Zero
age 8-12, 13-18
Written by author: Marjolijn Hof, Translators: Johanna W. Prins, Johanna H. Prins
Synopsis from Groundwood Books:
Fay was adopted when he was a baby. He knows only that his birth mother escaped the war in Bosnia and that he arrived in his new home with nothing more than a squeaky toy and a few clothes. His older sister Bing was adopted too, from China, where she was found abandoned on the street. When Fay’s friend Maud discovers he is adopted, she urges him to search for his birth mother, but this creates mayhem at home, since there is no possibility of Bing ever being able to find her birth mother. Gradually Fay’s complicated feelings about searching for his mother and his ambivalent feelings for Maud unfold.
As kids get older and start to carve out their own identity, they also look to understand who they are and why they have interests in certain things and not others. Many kids trace this to their current family but for adopted children, this can lead to more questions. Mother Number Zero is a wonderful coming of age story, following Fay’s journey into discovering his family history, finding his biological mother, and the impact this decision has on those around him. I enjoyed that the book focused more on the dreams, questions, fears, and anxieties leading about the decision around looking for Fay’s mother, versus the actual reunion (which doesn’t happen). Mother Number Zero is a wonderfully told story for a family going through a similar adoption discussion or for kids dealing with friends going through this process.
You can find a copy of Mother Number Zero by visiting your local bookstore or Groundwood Books. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations.
I have to thank Groundwood Books for my review copy.