Friday, May 10, 2013

In Our Mothers' House

Featured Book: Polacco, P. (2009). In our mothers’ house. New York, NY: Philomel Books.

Polacco stepped aside from her usual books based on personal experiences and heritage to write a book for children and families that she has met in schools, at speaking engagements, etc. In Our Mothers’ House is the story of three adopted children and the love and devotion they received from their two mothers in their mothers' house. Polacco’s story highlights the love of this family but also showcases some of the challenges and discrimination that “non-traditional” families face. 

I particularly enjoyed the scenes in which the mothers sewed the children’s homemade Halloween costumes and dresses for a special tea. Despite all the love and support the two mothers offered their children, there was one mother in the neighborhood that was not accepting of their non-traditional family and it is beyond sad that these children had to deal with the hateful confrontation of this cold, bitter woman in such a public manner. Fortunately, Marmee and Meema were loving individuals and they did not let the hateful comments of one person impact the love in their hearts. 

I admire their strength and respectful response to hatred. The book follows the three children into their adult lives. Sharing their marriages at their mothers' house, capturing the first steps of their own children at their mothers' house, and coming together for family events/gatherings after their mothers have passed...this story is remarkably touching and  brought tears to my eyes.

Beautiful, beautiful story of unconditional love. Polacco at her finest!

* In Our Mothers' House is an excellent resource for discussing aspects of empathy and promoting acceptance of two mother and adoptive families. Regardless of your values and beliefs, it is essential to discuss different family forms with children. For more book reviews come back to the Bibliotherapy Hangout or visit Randie’s Book Reviews.

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