Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: The Finding Place

Publish December 10, 2015

First-time YA author, Julie Hartley, presents readers with The Finding Place, a stunning debut about Kelly Stroud, an adoptee from China, trying to find her way after her father breaks up her family. Stubborn and determined, Kelly deals with her confusion over his sudden abandonment by lashing out at her mother. But as Kelly pieces together what really happened, and takes a trip to China, she must learn to let go to help herself. Yielding its’ own revelations, Kelly’s journey to her country of origin provides her with newfound knowledge of her inner strength and a solid foundation of love. Finding out where you come from and where you belong are universal themes of the teenage experience. When set against a backdrop of interracial adoption, however, one expects those questions to be complicated, and for Kelly they are. Questions about the motives of her birth parents and the uncertainty of being from a country she doesn’t even remember factor into Kelly’s identity, but it is the abandonment by her adoptive father that ultimately shakes her sense of self. Hartley explores this complexity with thoughtfulness and hope, bringing Kelly through a rending emotional and physical odyssey into a place of self-assurance. Along the way, family crises allow her to glimpse what being an adult means, and to step up for her family as needed. A powerfully written, emotionally vulnerable coming-of-age tale, The Finding Place delves into the meaning of family, and what real love is.

The Finding Place

Julie Hartley
Red Deer Press
ISBN 13: 978-088-995-533-2