A Family is a Family is a Family: Resources for Teachers and Librarians

A Family is a Family is a Family is available from Groundwood either in hardcover (fifth printing!) or in a digital version.

Groundwood has put together an educator's guide for the book. You can find it here.

They have also made a printable classroom poster available for digital download here.

There is an interactive read aloud with ideas for classroom use here. (Thank you, Mai).

Here's an interview I did with CBC Radio in Montreal when the book first came out. And here's a little profile of Qin Leng, who was an absolute joy to work with.

This book owes so much to our editor and publisher, Sheila Barry. Sheila is very much missed,,,by us and by many, many others. I wrote about her for Walrus Magazine here.

The book has been translated into French, Korean, Swedish, and Italian. It has also been picked up by Scholastic Book Club. 

My greatest joy is seeing online reviewers say things like "I wish this book had existed when I was a child" because that is precisely why I wrote it.


Michael said…
There is much to love in this, and I really appreciate what it strives to show. It was a little bit of a surprise (and please correct me if I’m wrong) to get through the whole book to find no reassuring mention of a step-mom. My daughters’ lives are so enriched and blessed by the presence of their step-mom, who nevertheless has to endure seemingly endless negative caricatures and outright ignorance everywhere she goes. I’d hoped to find that single bit of hopeful recognition. In so many other respects, you’ve provided that. It is a lovely, valuable text.
Sara O'Leary said…
I think you are right in that there is no direct mention of step-parenting and I'm sorry if you felt that was an omission. There are blended families depicted in the book--"some of the kids were Mom's and some were Dad's" which is meant to imply successful step-parenthood. The ugly stereotype of the stepmother is not addressed in the context of this book and I can certainly see that there could be a need for that. What we were trying for was a sort of openness in the representation in order to let as many children as possible "find" themselves in the story.

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