On My Bookshelf: Far From The Tree by Robin Benway

October 19, 2020

In Far From the Tree by Robin Benway, siblings separated from birth are reunited. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom use.
The basic plot from Amazon: Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

In Far From the Tree by Robin Benway, siblings separated from birth are reunited. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom use.
Why I liked it: In Far From The Tree the narration alternates between three siblings separated from birth. The oldest Joaquin is biracial and has spent his life in the foster care system. He is currently close to being adopted despite his age, but is afraid of getting too close to others. Grace, the middle child, has recently given up her own daughter for adoption. That experience sparked her interest in finding her birth siblings and possibly also her birth mother. The youngest, Maya, feels like an outsider in her own family because she was adopted and her sister was a natural birth. Her parents are in the midst of separating and her mother’s drinking problem escalates to a stay in rehab. 

Maya and Grace meet first and then seek out Joaquin together. The three begin bonding and quickly begin to rely on their relationships with each other. They decide to look for their mother together and learning her story helps each of them to better accept themselves and appreciate their adopted families.

Classroom application: The novel has mature themes including teen pregnancy and alcohol and drug use, and would be appropriate for high school and up. 

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Far From The Tree for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

In Far From the Tree by Robin Benway, siblings separated from birth are reunited. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom use.


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