Eric Smith’s anthology WELCOME HOME is a collection that explores the emotional complexities of adoption, featuring new, multi-genre short stories from an array of authors.
Contributing authors include: Adi Alsaid, Karen Akins, Caela Carter, Dave Connis, Erica M. Chapman, Libby Cudmore, Helene Dunbar, Julie Eshbaugh, Lauren Gibaldi, Shannon Gibney, Jenny Kaczorowski, Julie Leung, Sangu Mandanna, Matthew Quinn Martin, Mindy McGinnis, Lauren Morrill, Tameka Mullins, Sammy Nickalls, Shannon M. Parker, C.J. Redwine, Randy Ribay, William Ritter, Stephanie Scott, Nathasha Sinel, Eric Smith, Courtney C. Stevens, Nic Stone, Kate Watson, Tristina Wright
Are you a teen with an adoption story to tell? Please share at Your Story is Welcome!
PRAISE FOR WELCOME HOME:
School Library Journal: “Authors across a variety of genres share stories that range from the fantastical to gritty, but all will touch readers’ hearts (and cause a few to shed some tears).”
VOYA: “Twenty-nine short stories, by an equal number of YA authors, brave the volatile emotions surrounding those who are chosen to be adopted and those who still hunger for a home and family to call their own. A girl bound for college agonizes over telling her mother, who is in prison, that her high school coach has offered to adopt her; a deeply-disturbed birth mother attempts kidnapping and murder to regain her daughter; a boy builds a fantasy kingdom to shut himself off from the real world; and a sixteen-year-old girl cannot understand why anyone could ever love her.
It is amazing that each of these stories examines adoption from a different perspective; none of them are the same in any way. Fantasy, science fiction, and realistic fiction keep the reader guessing as to what will come next. The protagonists are teens, not children, and they exemplify the yearning to be loved and to be part of a family unit at any age. Most suffer from low self-esteem, wondering what made their birth mothers relinquish them in the first place. Most striking of all is the thread of hope that runs through this book. Authors such as Adi Alsaid, Julie Eshbaugh, or Shannon Gibney offer the characters the possibility of belonging. This volume earns a place in every YA library and it is up to YA librarians to put it into the hands of teens who need it most.~Nancy K. Wallace.
VOYA Teen Reviewer: “Welcome Home is a beautiful collection of stories about adoption, family, and love that will leave readers keenly aware of their own families. The characters are relatable and loveable. This book highlights the various ways that young people can find their forever homes. This book will touch the hearts of many readers. Welcome Home covers issues about the adoption process about which most people are not aware. ~Helena Kalantzis, Teen Reviewer.
Children’s Literature Review: This collection of short stories has something to appeal to almost any young adult reader dealing with issues surrounding adoption or foster care. They are not limited to happy endings, nor are they limited to real life stories, as there is a bit of fantasy and science fiction included among the selections. For example, fifteen-year old Carlos, who lives in Mexico City, has adoptive parents who are stuck in 1985—living the year over and over again while watching their son get older. Another teen comes face to face with the daughter she is giving up for adoption—sixteen years into the future. There are kids who are desperate to find their birth parents, some who aren’t sure, and some who will never know them. There are those anxious to adopt and mothers giving up their children. There are straight teens, gay teens, teens adopted across race/culture, and supernatural teens, and even a few supernatural “parents.” These tales offer heartbreak, reunion, love, and loss. Many of the young adult authors of these twenty-nine stories have some personal experience with adoption and/or foster care, which is particularly validating. This is a valuable addition to any school or public library collection. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.; Ages 13 up.