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Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite
The Journey to Max: An Adoption Story by Christopher and Alejandro Garcia-Halenar is the story of a couple who have one child and want another. They try for years without success before another child comes their way. The book is written from the standpoint of the first child, Xander, who wants a younger sibling as much as his parents want another child. They’re about ready to give up their quest when an unexpected phone call comes in. That call leads to the adoption of a newborn boy, who the mother has chosen to give up for adoption because she’s not yet ready for a family. From the start, Xander is delighted with his new brother and becomes even more so as the baby grows. Eventually, the newborn is old enough so that the two boys can play—and even get into occasional mischief—together. The parents, of course, are also thrilled with the new addition to their family.
This wonderful book teaches about understanding, perseverance, and happy endings. Although the writer doesn’t explicitly say so, it appears that Xander’s two dads are a gay couple. The book is written for children and through it they can learn about love, tolerance, and the value of every human life. Although again the author doesn’t explicitly say, I had the feeling that the young biological mother could have aborted, but didn’t. Instead, she gave up the baby for adoption to a loving family and stable home. Furthermore, to the joy of all, the biological mother and the family keep in touch, visiting each other twice a year and otherwise communicating through text messages. One text from the biological mother to the dads says it all: “Thank you for the beautiful picture of Max. It means so much to me. I’m so happy to have chosen such great parents for Max.” The illustrations by Lea Embeli are charming and fit the book perfectly. I highly recommend The Journey to Max: An Adoption Story by Christopher and Alejandro Garcia-Halenar to all readers.