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A Story That Needed To Be Retold

Tom Tracy Author Interview

Scoochie & Skiddles: Scoochie’s Adoption Story follows a little girl who teaches her friends about adoption and different kinds of families. What was the inspiration for your story?

The character Scoochie is inspired by my oldest daughter. The book, Scoochie’s Adoption Story, chronicles our family’s experience in adopting her. However, the book is inspired by an actual incident at the park when another girl inquired about my daughter’s family. The book represents how my daughter proudly explained her adoption experience to this other girl. I could not have been more proud of her and, in that moment, I knew it was a story that needed to be retold.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Dusting James?

Thank you. Dustin has illustrated both of my books and has been a wonderful collaborator. He gets my vision, which makes the process easy. I offer a scene description and give him creative liberty to bring it to life. While Scoochie’s Adoption Story is primarily about the main character and her family, I wanted the images to represent a broad range of diverse families. Dustin and I paid close attention to the background characters in the park scenes to ensure this diversity. I am very pleased with how it all turned out.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

Most importantly, I wanted to concept of family diversity to come through. Every family is so different, and I wanted to celebrate those differences. I also wanted to normalize the adoption process as one way a family can be formed. Finally, I wanted to showcase same-sex parents and create greater visibility and representation of gay parents.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

There are several concepts on the storyboard. Since adopting our second child, my available time to write isn’t the same as it once was. At this point, I would project book #3 to come out sometime in 2023. Lifting up diverse families in children’s literature will continue to be the theme of my books.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

From the author of Scoochie & Skiddles in Fun at Gramma’s – a #1 top reader voted book (Reedsy Discovery), comes the much anticipated next release in the Scoochie & Skiddles series.  Scoochie’s Adoption Story is a multiple award winning book, earning a Readers’ Favorite Five Stars award, a Purple Dragonfly Book Award, and a Firebird Book Award in three categories – 1st place in the Adoption category, 1st place in the LGBTQ+ Families category and 2nd place in the Parenting & Families category.

Scoochie was adopted by her two daddies through an open adoption. In Scoochie’s Adoption Story, Scoochie takes you on the journey of her and her daddies’ adoption experience. She tells of the many distinct processes related to adoption such as the “match” process between her birth mom and daddies, the hospital and post-hospital experience, and the adoption hearing that legalized her adoption. Most importantly, she expresses her respect and positivity for her birth mom and birth family, while exuding immense pride and endless love for her two daddies and soon to be adopted sister. While the book’s theme is Scoochie’s adoption, it honors and celebrates families of all types and structures. The story is an uplifting story about the bond family.

Narrated by the book’s main character, Scoochie’s Adoption Story is told in child-friendly language with adoption concepts presented in a manner that are easy for children to understand. It is a celebration of family, regardless of family composition or how a family has been created. Through text and illustration, the story represents a wide variety of families and sends a strong message of diversity and inclusion. A perfect reading book for all families and especially for children of LGBT parents, diverse families, and families touched by adoption.

Those who may enjoy the book include:
All families and all children
Parents looking for books on diversity
Birth parents
Adoptive parents
Adopted children
LGBT parents and LGBT allies
Diverse families / mixed race families
Adoption agencies / Adoption case workers
Adoption attorneys
Adoption facilitators
Individuals and couples considering adoption
Social Workers and Counselors
Teachers and Guidance Counselors
Child Protective Services / Family Preservation
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) advocates
For more information, visit us on the web at scoochieandskiddles(dot)com or email us at hello@scoochieandskiddles.com

Scoochie & Skiddles: Scoochie’s Adoption Story

If you are looking for an inclusive and educational first introduction to a blended family book for young children, this is absolutely a great start. Scoochie & Skiddles: Scoochie’s Adoption Story by Tom Tracy follows a young girl named Scoochie who is playing at the park with her friends and tells them her story of why her family looks different.

The author is able to capture to perfection the spirit of curious young children when they ask Scoochie the innocent question of why she has two dads. The character of Scoochie was incredibly well developed, and I connected with her emotionally; this is due to the exquisite writing skills of the author.

This story is such an important conversation starter and easy enough to follow for young readers. It gives lots of education on how adoption works and how different families look. It also shows how important it is to show love and respect to our children, whether it is biological or not, because all children and people deserve love and family.

I definitely would recommend this book to anyone thinking of adopting or who has adopted. I love that this story really displays positive attention to adoption and its process, and I hope it opens people’s minds and their hearts.

Scoochie & Skiddles: Scoochie’s Adoption Story is a beautifully written picture book that teaches children all about the adoption process in a language that young children can understand. It also sheds light on how all families look different, and that is okay and a good thing. This is an amazing story for families and schools to share about diversity and acceptance.

Pages: 33 | ASIN : B09RN18H11

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Clara & Mr. Milo’s Adventures

Five-year-old Clara’s deepest wish is to have a pet of her own. Clara’s wish soon comes true as a sweet orange kitten, Mr. Milo, enters her world. With her caring mother by her side, Clara learns about the responsibilities and fun of caring for a pet. From playing and exercising to a visit to the vet, Clara and Mr. Milo share seven adorable adventures in one gorgeously illustrated volume.

I love pets, and I love this collection of sweet stories about the special bond between humans and animals. Clara’s journey to find a pet is informative, gently taking young readers through the process of adoption, vaccination, and settling both yourself and a pet into a new routine. Striking a perfect balance between explaining the responsibility of caring for a pet and showcasing the joy a pet can bring, this book has such a beautifully optimistic tone that it touched chords deep within my heart. Pet adoption is an important and relevant topic, and I am impressed by the author’s expert handling of the subject. The illustrations by Lana Lee are bright and joyous, each infinitely adorable picture of Clara and Mr. Milo adding an additional layer of life to an already marvelous collection of stories. The only negative is that we never get to see Clara’s mother’s face. However, this is the tiniest of possible detractions from such an incredibly perfect storybook.

Clara and Mr. Milo’s Adventures: Episodes 1-7 by Clara Donis-Girma contains exceptional storytelling and endearing illustrations. This collection of seven stories is perfectly suited for ages four and up, showing the importance of adoption and the fun of caring for a pet. Wonderful for reading independently or sharing with a large group, these charming tales of Clara’s adventures with her best friend Mr. Milo, is a collection certain to brighten your day and warm your heart.

Pages: 156 | ASIN : B0BB5SVDMC

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Child of Sorrow 

Child of Sorrow by Gloria Taylor Weinberg is a fictional short story, based on a true events, that follows a woman who is forced to give up her baby for adoption in the late 1950’s. Seventeen-year-old Vicki Bayle plans to be the first person in her family to attend college. However, her plans are derailed when she becomes pregnant and is sent to the Safe Haven Home for Unwed Mothers in Jacksonville, Florida. She is sent three hundred miles away from her home in Clewiston to have her baby in secret. Her parents are ashamed of her situation and want to hide the truth from their friends and neighbors, telling people that she has enrolled in cosmetology school. After Vicki is forced to give up her baby boy, will she ever see her son again?

This heart wrenching story, about being forced to give a child up for adoption, clearly describes a situation that many young girls and women can relate to. The story is told from a first person perspective, which I thought was a perfect choice for this book since it helps readers connect with the main character. Readers will understand Vicki’s emotions and be able to imagine themselves in her place, dealing with this challenging situation, even if they have not ever had to face it themselves. Residents of Safe Haven ranged from a girl of twelve to women in their forties. This book brings to light a lot of unexpected aspects of a home for unwed mothers, including the emotional struggles, as many are there against their will and do not always want to give up their child.

Sadly, many things about Vicki’s situation will not surprise readers, such as her ex-boyfriend refusing to take responsibility and help Vicki when she told him she was pregnant. Him choosing not to believe that the baby was his. As well as her unsupportive parents that cared more about appearances than their daughter’s wellbeing. The story is bittersweet because it is based on real-life and not merely fiction.

Child of Sorrow is a heartbreaking story, based on real-life events, of unwed mothers and the experiences they had to endure in the 1950’s. This is an impassioned novel that will appeal to readers looking for an emotional and authentic fictional memoir or anyone looking for a story that provides a clear-eyed view at dark truths.

Pages: 67 | ASIN : B00DRHK6MK

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No Names to Be Given

Spanning over fifty years, No Names To Be Given is a moving and heartbreaking historical novel about three different women from the 1960s who had to give up their children out of wedlock. Inspired by actual events, it takes the reader through the roller-coaster lives of Becca, Faith, and Sandy – from the day they met in the Magnolia Home Hospital to 25 years later, where their darkest secrets are threatened to be exposed. 

This is author Julia Brewer Daily’s debut novel, but it feels like she’s been writing this story all her life. Perhaps that is the case, given that she was one of those babies adopted from a maternity home hospital during this period. While there were probably mountains of research to write this novel, it would be believable if Daily wrote this story purely from memory and family history.

Her tender prose shows that she’s writing from the heart. Despite that, she tells the story with some emotional distance. The journeys of the three women are told in alternating chapters that are so unflinching that the whole novel almost feels like a documentary. Additionally, this is based on very real traumas. Daily allows the story to shine on its own with the respect it deserves. She writes with an assured and confident voice and isn’t afraid to challenge the reader if it means telling the story the way it’s supposed to be.

It’s clear why Daily chose to alternate the story between chapters. It’s a complicated story, spanning generations, that would not have felt complete if done in a singular manner. The alternating chapters also emphasize the diversity of the characters’ situations. Becca falls in love with an African American man during the height of racism in America; Faith gets sexually assaulted by one of her father’s employees; Sandy becomes involved with a married mobster. If only one of these stories were told, it would not have done any justice for this disparaging historical truth. 

No Names To Be Given is a through-provoking historical fiction novel. Readers will experience the heartbreak and fear these women live through, having their worst moments in life brought back to haunt them. A look into women’s history, adoption, and motherhood from the perspective of women in the 1960s.

Pages: 334 | ASIN : B09B157HLR

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Abraham’s Tears

Bruce Stein’s novel, Abraham’s Tears, takes readers on an educational and eye-opening journey surrounding the conflict in the Middle East. We learn the values and beliefs of two families- one of Israeli/Jewish decent and the other with a Palestinian/Muslim background. The question of what can be done to bring peace between the religions and the ethnicities is explored through an emotional and exciting tale, supporting Ghandi’s prophecy of “An eye for an eye makes a whole world blind.”

The two protagonists are Jamil Monsour and Jacob Goodman. Proud of their religion and heritage, they have strong views surrounding the reasons for the divided state of the middle East and solutions for peace. Jamil grew up believing he was a Shiite, then learns he was actually born a Sunni that had been adopted as a baby. Jacob grew up believing he was Jewish and was even serving in the IDF, only to learn that he was also adopted and had been born to an Arab/ Muslim family. The revaluation of their previously unknown identities comes as a shock to both young men, making them question their beliefs. This realization brings into question if someone is who they are born as, or who they are raised as. Through horrible loss and tragedy, hope is instilled in the end, as two women from opposing sides are brought together to fight for peace and an end to the senseless fighting and killings. Author Bruce Stein creates rich, believable and empathetic characters in his thought-provoking novel. I really enjoyed the thoughtful character development and the emotional journey the characters embark on.

Abraham’s Tears will appeal to readers looking for an educational novel. This is a thought provoking story that provides readers with different viewpoints and reasons for the events that are happening in the Middle East. This book brought a humanistic aspect to the topic, making it feel close to home. Bruce Stein has created characters that are easy to identify with. Seeing the way this conflict affects everyone involved, no matter where they are living, was an eye-opening realization.

Pages: 185 | ASIN: B009368OLE

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Dogs That Are So Often Forgotten

Will Lowrey Author Interview

Will Lowrey Author Interview

Chasing the Blue Sky follows the life of a shelter dog from one home to the next. Why was this an important book for you to write?

There are so many animals in our shelter and adoption system that it is often improbable for people to actually place an individual face or story with many of them. They are often relegated to statistics or ambiguous shadows behind kennel fencing. I wanted to write a story to help capture for people the vibrant life that exists in every one of those statistics or shadows. Having spent a great deal of time around shelters and dogs that have otherwise been abandoned on chains or in backyard kennels, I have seen so many dogs with great possibilities for life who were restricted based on their circumstances. The intent of the book was to try and show people that every one one of those dogs is rich, hopeful, and brimming with the chance to bestow the amazing gifts that all dogs give to us. I wanted to bring people behind the kennel walls using Toby’s story as a vehicle to share the voice of so many forgotten animals.

The story is told from the eyes of a dog, and delivers innocent but intuitive views of the world. What were some inspirations for Toby’s character?

Toby was particularly inspired by my first dog, Mack. Mack was a black and white pit bull mix who was adopted as a puppy from a city shelter. He was such an amazing dog – loving, kind, smart, and patient. He was everything anyone could ask for in a dog. But before I adopted him, he was a dog in a kennel. He may have been overlooked a hundred times and depending on the circumstances he found himself in, he may never have had the deserved chance to show everything he was capable of showing. He inspired me to let the world know that there are countless dogs just like Mack that, if given the chance, will be the greatest gift you may ever know.

The story is heartfelt and beautifully told. What were some of your driving ideals throughout the story?

As mentioned above, I wanted to bring people closer to so many dogs that are so often forgotten. My driving ideal was to be true to the reality of the world. It would have been very easy to write a book that was upbeat, and happy, and full of feel-good moments, but that would have been disingenuous. The book tells stories that I have personally seen over and over again over the past 15 years. This is real life. Often it is gritty and tough to see. Sometimes the situations in the book are tough to read but to address the problems facing thousands of dogs in our country, we must first face the truth. I also wanted to portray some of the unique challenges facing pit bull type dogs. These situations are also based on real stories and scenarios I have come across or personally dealt with. The world is harder if you’re a pit bull type dog and it is important for people to understand the obstacles arrayed against these dogs.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My focus is on books that promote the integrity, rights, and interests of animals. I am currently working on a second book which takes a very different theme. This book is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel set in the aftermath of a pandemic. The story follows the owner of a neglected roadside zoo, his personal journey to survive, and the evolution of his view of animals in light of the savagery of man that has suddenly engulfed his world. I expect it to be released early Summer 2019.

Author Links: Website | GoodReads

Chasing the Blue Sky by [Lowrey, Will]

When life with his loving family takes a sudden turn, Toby finds himself fighting to survive in the unforgiving world of the county animal shelter. But he’s not alone – a motley cast of homeless dogs and a devoted pair of shelter workers will give anything to make sure he finds his forever home.

Chasing the Blue Sky is the compelling, emotional story of one dog’s journey to find his place in the great big world. Readers have described it as “Beautiful,” “Brilliant,” “Poignant,” “Powerful,” and “Gripping.”

If you’ve ever adopted, rescued, or fostered a dog – this book is for you.

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Lamellia: The Wicked Queen – Trailer

Can a human baby possibly be a mushroom?

When King Polipoli, the ruler of Lamellia, finds a human baby in his mushroom kingdom, he adopts it immediately to satisfy his wife’s desire to be a mother.

But when the baby mysteriously grows weaker and weaker under the queens care, suspicions start to arise.

What is the queen doing to the baby? How did the baby get there? Will it survive and fulfill its purpose before its too late?

Get your copy now to find out the answers and reveal to your children the importance of showing kindness, following the rules, and understanding consequences.

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