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Pieces of Me: Who do I Want to Be Perfect Paperback – November 6, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Pieces of Me: Who do I Want to Be
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  • Adopted Teens Only: A Survival Guide to Adolescence
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  • Adopted: The Ultimate Teen Guide (It Happened to Me)
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—This title refers to the "pieces" that adoptees must identify, gather, and put together properly in order to make themselves whole. It is a compendium of poems, essays, drawings, quotations, and photos created by adoptees, from 12 to 60+, intended to "offer practical insight and hope" to other adoptees. Each contributor is introduced in a brief biographical sketch that provides readers with background information that helps place each work in context. A few contributors describe their delight at finding someone who "looks like me," while others explore the agony of being rejected, or ignored, by a birthparent. Several adoptees express regret for the suffering they inflicted on their adoptive families, who were often caring and loving. Although many contributors are adults, they focus on their experiences as teens. The raw emotions exposed here make this a rather painful, but extremely powerful read. Suzanne Slade's Adopted: The Ultimate Teen Guide (Scarecrow, 2007) offers practical, factual information as well as some first-person narratives. However, its tone is more restrained and matter of fact. Pieces of Me should be considered for older patrons who are adoptees, as well as adoptive parents.—Deborah Vose, Highlands Elementary School, Braintree, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Pieces of Me is good for teen adoptees because it portrays common adoptee feelings. Reading about people experiencing the same situations is comforting to teenagers, who live in a judgmental world. The style of the book is more interesting than a textbook or self-help book and will capture your attention. Nothing is more valuable then being able to know that there are people just like you in the world who are feeling the exact same way about their lives. Yoselin Corrales, 19, adopted from Tegucigalpa at 9 months, sophmore at Nebraska Wesleyan pursuing a double major in Vocal Performance and Psychology........................ I really enjoyed reading Pieces of Me. It makes me feel good to know there is someone else that feels the same way I sometimes feel. It s like there is a missing piece of me and I have now realized that a lot of adoptees feel that way. Every story is different, but they are the same too. I am happy to have this book! Jazz Pyne, 12, adoptee from China, budding musician ..................... Looking at the wide range of articles and topics in this book, this will be an invaluable book for our agency. We will definitely use it in our home study classes as we educate new families and we will encourage our older adoptees to purchase a copy. It will give many young people a voice. Julie Craft, Founder Adoption Support Center, Inc. .................... Pieces of Me is a powerful compilation I want to share with all the youth I work with in Get Real a group of youth in foster care. Each teen has expressed at least a part of everything in this book about identity and fitting in. As an adoptive mom of a 23 year-old, Columbian born daughter, I am sharing the book with her. We have lived the pieces and will continue to do so. --Valli Baba Spahn, MPA, LSW Child Centered Recruitment Coordinator Adoption Network Cleveland

Who was it that said relevance is talking to a man in the language of the man about what is in the heart of the man? By the power of that definition, Pieces of Me is hugely relevant. Created by adoptees for teen adoptees this book describes a unique culture as spontaneously as birds cry out warnings, make nests and sing. What are the pieces of the adoptive experience? Describing who, what and why things need to be found, what has been stolen, fitting the pieces together and sharing the pieces. There is no way you can be indifferent to it. Each story, poem, song or image is different, intimate and challenging. The contents is layered, just like human experience and collectively offer a relieving lifeline, I'm here to tell you, you're not alone. The point is adopted people have a connection through a culture all their own, a unique space they share only with others who have been moved from one family and perhaps country to another without choice. In the process they have lost their first culture, family, language, religion and the identity they would have had. Equally connecting is the unique need to combine the inheritances of both birth and adoptive cultures and fit in to wherever they find themselves, building a healthy identity based on wholeness. Pieces of Me is a much needed contribution to the world of adoption books for teens and has plenty to say to adults. Perhaps the best advise for parents is to read it yourself and leave it on the coffee table just waiting to be discovered by you know who. --Gail Steinberg, co-author Inside Transracial Adoption, adoption professional and adoptive parent

As I read Pieces of Me: Who I Want To Be?, I was moved to tears again and again. As a psychologist who works with many foster and adopted children, I recognized the deep pain that so many of the children have endured and some continue to experiences. I am struck by the courage of these individuals to be authentic, to not sugar-coat their experiences or to focus only on the challenges of adoption. Pieces of Me is for parents who wonder what their child might be going through. It is for adoptees of all ages who want to know their feelings are normal and to find gems of wisdom from others who have journeyed this path before them. --Kali Miller, PhD Corinthia Counseling Center, Inc. Licensed Psychologist

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: EMK Press; First edition (November 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972624449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972624442
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Pieces Of Me gives an honest account of what it's like to be an adopted teenager. The voices of adoptees are allowed to come through and give a clear picture of all the things that adoptees feel.

While very age appropriate, anyone who is involved in adoption can learn much from this book. As an adoptee myself, I identified with many of the essays and some brought out things that I had never considered before.

I's recommend Peices Of Me; Who Do I Want To Be? to anyone who is adopted, loves an adoptee, or just wants to know what it's like to be adopted.
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Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? gives voice to a striking range of adolescent perspectives on adoption. In this astonishingly vivid collection of essays, poetry, art work and songs, young adoptees give direct, honest voice to their inner thoughts and feelings about struggling to fit their personal pieces together. These contributors from around the world reflect highly diverse adoption experiences. The few adult contributors extend the process by revealing how later-life pieces fit together over time. Yet no matter how wonderful or problematic their adoptive experience, each piece reflect a sense of being different. This book, beautifully designed for adolescent readers, addresses the challenges of gathering pieces, losing pieces, reclaiming pieces and sharing pieces of one's identity.

Just as no two snowflakes are the same, no two adoption experiences match perfectly. Each of these 107 compelling stories, conveyed in extraordinarily varied ways, reveals a unique perspective on growing up with an identity that sets one apart. Yet each voice reflects a journey toward identity. Some contributors struggled greatly in their journeys, others found an easier path. The voices speak to experiences of domestic or international adoption, interracial adoption and living in foster care. Some contributors grew up as only children; others lived with siblings -adoptive or biological. Whereas certain voices talk of ongoing anger, pain and struggle; others reflect joy, peace and comfort. Every young adoptee will resonate strongly with many of these voices and find a unique connection to a special few. Adult adoptees will wish they had read this in their teenage years. Yet these voices speak eloquently not only to other adoptees but to all members of adoptive and birth families.
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This is a powerful and important book! For the first time ever, adoptees and foster care teens tell their own stories in their own voices. I was so overcome with emotion I found I could only read a few entries at a seating. My high school age daughters (one international adoptee and one bio child) were captivated by the book. I asked my 12-year-old, adopted as an infant, if she wanted to read some of the articles with me at night before she went to bed. She said "no" and stated firmly that she wasn't interested. I had the book on my night stand and, a few nights later opened the door to my bedroom and saw my daughter reading the book--in secret. When I later discussed an article in the book with my older daughter, it was apparent my 12-year-old had read this article already.

And that is the power in this book --the things that adopted and foster teens are thinking about--and don't always want to share with their parents--are the contents of this book. My daughter obviously WAS interested in the contents, she just wasn't ready to share that with me.

I am grateful beyond words that a book like this was published. I highly recommend this to all adoptive families, schools and adoption professionals.
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"One of my pet peeves is that many discussions about adoption and adoptees box the adoption experience by "alls" and "shoulds". All adoptees are ________ (take your pick: angry, happy, sad, confused). All adoptees should ________ (feel grateful, want to search for birth families, need therapy). Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be avoids that trap by including essays by adoptees that reflect the diversity of reality. Some adoptees are angry, some are content, some are confused, some need to search, and on and on.

Pieces of Me encompasses the whole of the adoption experience--the deep love, the confusion, the living with empty places and unanswered question, and yes, even the gratitude. It is not always an easy book for an adoptive parent to read, but for just that reason, it is an important book for us to read.

Dawn Davenport, host of the radio show Creating a Family and Director of Creating a Family, a nonprofit providing education and resources for adoption and infertility
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My husband and I work with teens and young adult adoptees who are struggling with many unanswered or unanswerable questions about their identity and existing attachment difficulties in relationships. This book has quickly become one of our most referred to titles for helping this population. Kudoos!
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This book is very powerful! It is a collection of 107 stories, poems and art works. Most contributors are now adult adoptees. Yet, in this book, they look back on their adolescent experience of being adopted. The "pieces" are what the adoptee needs to gather in order to become whole. Each "piece" of this book is unique. We often have preconceived beliefs about adoptees. Most typically we describe them as "angry." Pieces of Me will dispel this type of stereotyping. It gives depth and breadth to our understanding of what adolescent adoptees actually feel and think.

As a therapist for children with histories of trauma, I particularly like some of the candid "pieces" like Why I Cut Myself and The Queen Redeemed. This is the story of moving from being the "oral sex queen" to reclaiming self-worth. These are particularly poignant selections--essential for the troubled teen who can learn that he or she is not alone in thought, actions and feelings. Information relating to sexuality and sexual behavior are rare among adoption literature. It is great to see this type of content put forth!

There are also anecdotes about moving from the birth home; prejudice, discrimination and all out feeling hatred from others; search and reunion and the profound and bottomless pit of feelings for the loss of the birth family.

The pain and triumph of these young people will move you from tears of sadness to tears of joy! This book is absolutely a must read for all in adoption!

Brothers and Sisters in Adoption
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