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2001 Honor Book Society of School Librarians International When Lucy's class is given a family tree assignment Lucy asks her parents to write her a note to excuse her from the assignment Adopted from Mexico Lucy feels her family is too different but her parents gently and wisely challenge Lucy to think about it and to find three families that are the same Full color illustrations


10 thoughts on “Lucy's Family Tree

  1. says:

    Stellar I’ve always heard that short stories are challenging to write well than novels and this is a picture book short story from the very worthy Tilbury House Publishers that is perfect and complete as is though it left me yearning for a novel length work that covers the same subjectLast things first There is a “Rethinking a Family Tree Project” note in the back of the book that’s exceedingly valuable It addresses not only family tree projects but also a variety of common school assignments and activities It’s addressed primarily to teachers and is there to remind them to make assignments and projects sufficiently flexible to accommodate all children many whose circumstances are other than typical I know from personal experience and from the experiences of children I’ve known that many activities and assignments meant for all can cause embarrassment awkwardness and even deep wounding for children who can’t find a way to fit themselves into the parameters of the activity The charts that accompany the note and give examples of projects are a useful additionThis story is about Lucy whose parents adopted her as an infant from Mexico and how she’s first distressed by a family tree school assignment and then with the encouragement of her parents discovers not only how to skillfully do the assignment but asks some uestions of her friends her parents’ friends and herself and discovers that everyone has commonalities and that “being different” is the norm All children even those who live in conventional and relatively trouble free families will be able to identify with Lucy’s dilemma and with the other children and adults in this storyI very much enjoyed the illustrations too although between them and aspects of the story I was a little confused as to how old Lucy is supposed to be; perhaps she’s supposed to be around eleven or twelve? But my confusion about that did little to detract from my enjoyment and appreciation of this book


  2. says:

    When Lucy's class is given the assignment of creating family trees the young girl is forced to confront her feelings about being adopted and the way that in her mind this sets her own family apart from other typical families Insisting to her worried parents that she cannot do the assignment because she is different Lucy is presented with a challenge in turn if she can find three families amongst all her friends and acuaintances who are the same her father will help her with the flower garden she's been wanting Easy Lucy thinks But is it? Just what is normal and who ualifies?Although it seems to have gotten low marks from the professional reviewers I found Lucy's Family Tree uite moving and was even tearing up from time to time as I read it on my commute this morning The idea that families are diverse Lucy discovers that every family she knows is 'different' in some way whether because they are Jewish or have same sex parents or have lost a child is a valuable one and cannot be reinforced too much; while the realities of adoption particularly cross cultural and interracial adoption are sensitively depicted here I liked the eventual solution found to Lucy's family tree dilemma as well as the author's presentation of further resources about adoption and ideas for adapting the family tree assignment so that it is relevant for childrenAll in all this was an engaging book about an important topic with a narrative that works well and illustrations that are appealing even if not exactly my cup of tea Recommend to young adoptees who are asking uestions and to teachers who are considering assigning a family tree project


  3. says:

    When I first found the book Lucy’s Family Tree I was happy to find a book that addressed a common difficult experience for many children of creating a family tree for a class assignment It is one thing to be comfortable with a family structure that is anything other than traditional; it is another to share that picture with young classmates Elementary school aged children are all about rules – knowing them following them and seeing what happens when someone breaks them This book beautifully explores Lucy’s conflictual process of visually depicting her adoptive family for an audience of her peers The book begins with Lucy making the comment “I’m different” One of Lucy’s classmates Marco teased Lucy on the bus by saying that she couldn’t make a family tree assigned for homework because Lucy is different than her parents Marco like Lucy was born in Mexico but unlike Lucy Marco’s parents are also Mexican Lucy is the only member of her family that was born in Mexico and believes that her family background is too complicated for her to make the family tree Lucy struggles emotionally with wanting to have a “typical” family rather than feel different Lucy’s parents encourage her to find an example of a “typical” family among her classmates with a friendly wager As Lucy searches she finds a Jewish family in their Christian neighborhood a family with two moms a family in which the mother “brings home the bacon” and the father “fries it up in a pan” and finally a family that struggled through the death of one of their children None of Lucy’s friends felt that they had “typical” families In the story Lucy’s parents explain that they needed advice on how to help Lucy with the family tree project The parents contacted other parents as well as the adoption agency for suggestions Lucy felt embarrassed by her parents letting other families know that she was uncomfortable with the assignment Lucy wanted her parents to write her a note to “excuse” her from the assignment all together Her parents did not write any such note but did call Lucy’s teacher to explain the difficulties some of the students were having The parents gave the teacher some suggestions for multiple alternatives to the format of the family tree including a wheel a drawing of different houses connected with lines and a flower garden designed to connect families with multiple roots rather than a single trunked tree At the end of the book there are examples of many different ways to interpret the assignment with graphic organizers that would make it easier for any student to tackle the assignment with a little less anxiety This book was first published in 2001 The illustrations are done in water color mostly autumn colors and are not very clear I would recommend this book to families or classrooms of children in fourth grade and up I would also recommed the last couple pages of the book to any teacher that gives the assignment of creating a family tree for good ideas for multiple interpretations of the assignment


  4. says:

    This book deals with difficult topics like adoption and feeling different I like how Lucy deals with her doubts anger and frustration and tries to solve her problem in her own way This a book about diversity and finding common ground Helpful and informative for talking about the different types of families


  5. says:

    121183rd 5th gradeRealistic FictionI was not captivated by this story It seemed to fast paced for me and slightly outdated I do think the message is important but I don't think the story depicted it in a way that students would engage


  6. says:

    Lucy's family was different which caused her some trouble in doing the school project on Family Tree By the end of the book the girl discovers many interesting facts about the neighbouring families different in their special ways too At last she realizes a lot of important things At the back of the book there are some suggestions and resources that can be implemented by parents and teachers in such kinds of projects


  7. says:

    This picture book is entitled Lucy's Family Tree and is by Karen Halvorsen Schreck It is a realistic fiction which is geared toward younger children However it could be used in different ways in grades K 4 It presents the story of Lucy trying to make a family tree for a class project but she doesn't have a normal family because she's adopted I think this would be a great choice for teaching a lesson about family history writing about families and different people in a family


  8. says:

    Couldn't put my finger on the intended audience The word choices were sophisticated for maybe middle school but it's written in picture book format I also wasn't a fan of the illustrating style Some of the people depicted looked a little creepy


  9. says:

    odc this copy


  10. says:

    This book discusses adoption and how every family if different It has a lot of words probably appropriate for an older grade