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New book "Adopted Ed" has positive message, not-so-good rhyme scheme

I’m a promoter of adoption. While not adopted myself, I encourage and admire anyone who has the desire to adopt a child who needs a good home. I hope one day to adopt or foster a child, so when I was given the opportunity to review Adopted Ed, I jumped at the chance.

Adopted Ed, written by first-time and adopted author Darren Maddern, follows the life of young Eddie, who finds out from an early age that he is adopted.

As Eddie enters school, his friends embrace him for who he is, but he does come across bullies who say horrible things about him.

Eddie eventually realizes that he is special because he is chosen, and as he grows up he develops a sense of self-confidence, but still wonders who his biological parents are.

Eddie’s biological parents tell him, and the book ends with a list of famous people who also were adopted.

It’s a great message – not only for children who are coming to terms with their adoption, but also for adoptive parents. It also passes along the message that everyone is different in his own way.

The illustrations in this book are colorful and bright – and illustrator Erin Fusco perfectly matched the colors and moods with each page in the book. The illustrations are reminiscent of the Tex Avery days of animation, and are simple, yet have a wonderful and positive impact on the story.

In addition to the soft hues you see here, there are dramatic reds and bright blues to illustrate the emotions felt when being bullied and when finding happiness with yourself and others.

But with all the wonderful things about this book, there’s a big part of it that cannot be ignored: The writing style.

The reader may have problems getting through the poorly-executed rhymes throughout the book. For example:

But while in his mother,
a decision was made.
He was to be adopted
and by new parents be raised.

Also, we find this in the portion of the book that discusses famous people who are adopted:

Alexander The Great and Nelson Mandela is,
and as the Good Book tells us,
so was Moses.

I completely appreciate the book’s efforts to make adopted children feel confident with themselves. However, this is still a book for children, and should thus teach children good writing and rhyme scheme. I think if this book were not in rhyme and told the story without any attempt to find words to rhyme, it would have been an excellent story instead of just a good tool for adopted children and their parents.

Maddern is currently working on his second book,  Tall Moll, about a girl who gets taller than the boys at an early age. This book that aims to empower and encourage self-esteem in young girls is due in early 2011. Since I do think Maddern has good intentions with his message, I hope he continues to grow as a writer.

For more information, you can visit the Adopted Ed web site or purchase his book for $9.99 at Amazon.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Adopted Ed by author Darren Maddern to review for my blog as part of One2One Network. All opinions are 100% mine. I have not been compensated for my review, but I will be entered to have a family member illustrated in McFadden’s upcoming book Tall Moll or to win a $25 gift card.

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