Half a world a way – through the eyes of a damaged child.

Half a World AwayHalf a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Powerful insight into the mind of a young boy battling with the trauma commonly suffered by adopted children who have experienced many separations and broken relationships before finally having a permanent family. . His difficulties in ‘connecting’ to his family and others, the significant effects of his lack of trust and poor attachment, are particularly challenged when his parents decide to adopt a second child from overseas – this time from Kazakhstan.

From an Australian perspective, the ‘process’ of the adoption is far removed from what would happen here, and parents may need to explain differences in what would be permitted in this country – and the very tight regulations that monitor all inter-country adoption. However the dynamics of a challenging family life, and the difficulties experienced by both child and adults are sensitively explored without masking the problems. This makes it a story that is powerful to share between parent and child readers.

The reading level is suitable for middle primary to lower secondary, but for those where this could be a very ‘real’ issue, I would recommend a more emotionally mature 11 year old+ as it will raise some potent conversations.

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