by Jane Kurtz; illustrated by E.B. Lewis$16; Gulliver Books
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When Desta’s father decides it’s time to go back to Ethiopia to care for his ailing mother, she learns how different his life was from her comfortable life in America. The story is told in a lyrical style, in sentences as beautiful as poetry: “Sometimes at night,” Desta’s father tells her, “the wind whooshed cold as old bones through the silver blue leaves of the eucalyptus trees outside my home.” And Desta—her name means “joy” in Amharic—imagines herself sleeping on the floor, wrapped in a gahbi.
For children who were adopted from Ethiopia at older ages, the lives of both Desta and her father may seem familiar.
Rita Radostitz is mom to 10-year-old twins Hanna and Sabella, adopted from Ethiopia. She works for Adoption Advocates International from her home in Oregon.
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