Thursday, November 10, 2011

Interview with Picture Book Author Juliet Bond

Juliet Bond (center) with two of her favorite authors: Carolyn Mackler and Chris Crutcher

Juliet Bond is a professor of Humanities, a social worker, and a writer represented by the Jennie Dunham Agency. She was motivated to write her picture book, Sam's Sister, from experiences she had working as a private adoptions counselor. The book is the only picture book to address open adoption from a birth sibling's perspective. You can read more about her at

Sam's Sister
"Sam's Sister is a work of beauty. The author and the illustrator have done an impeccable job of representing the emotional aspects of open adoption from a child's perspective."
    -Julie Jarrel Baily, Author of The Adoption Reunion Survival Guide  

KVS: The genesis for Sam's Sister happened when you were working with pregnant women who were deciding whether to give their children up for adoption. Tell us about it.

JB: Although society has some widespread stereotypes about who birthmothers are (that they are all naive teenagers who are pregnant for the first time), the truth is that at least sixty percent of birthmothers are between the ages of 20-24 and are already parenting children. As a result, they are making informed decisions based on the financial and emotional realities of parenting.

KVS: Sam's Sister is written from the point of view of the biological sister of a boy given up for an open adoption. What was your goal in writing it?

JB: Sam's Sister was meant to educate about open adoptions and to give birthmothers who are choosing open adoption a model for discussion and intervention for the birth child. For example, in the story, the birth child uses a journal, sees a therapist, visits her mother in the hospital, and her feelings are validated by both the birthmother and the adoptive family. Additionally, the birthmother receives a powerful thank you letter from the adoptive family. These are all clinical tools we use in adoption to care for the emotional health of everyone involved.

KVS: You've also written three stories that appear in Chicken Soup of the Soul series books. What prompted you to write them?

JB: I was interested in the book topics [Tough Times, Tough People: 101 Stories About Overcoming the Economic Crisis and Other Challenges and Teens Talk Middle School: 101 Stories of Life, Love & Learning for Younger Teens] and thought I could contribute something joyful. I love how stories can uplift, provide connection and move readers. One of my favorite quotes is by a female physicist named Muriel Rukeyser who said, "The universe is not made up of atoms. It's made of stories."

Juliet Bond is offering a critique of a picture book manuscript as part of the Swagger Swag Giveaway. ONLY FIVE MORE DAYS TO ENTER. She's also giving away a copy of Sam's Sister and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People, as additional prizes. If you haven't entered to win yet, all you have to do is share the following link:
somewhere on the Internet - on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc., advertising our site AND follow us. Then, leave a comment below with proof that you shared one of these links. For details on our other prizes for following and promoting us, go to the post for 10/12/11.

Kim Van Sickler


  1. My niece gave up a son in an open adoption nearly 14 years ago, & the 2 of them have a very close bond. He has a relationship with all of her family, as do his adoptive parents. He even escorted her mother up the aisle when my niece got married last year. I'm glad you did a book on this subject, Juliet, & I can't wait to read it.


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