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Book: Forever, or a Long, Long Time

Author: Caela Carter

Year Published: 2017

Book summary: “Flora and her brother, Julian, don’t believe they were born. They’ve lived in so many foster homes, they can’t remember where they came from. And even now that they’ve been adopted, Flora still struggles to believe in forever. So along with their new mother, Flora and Julian begin a journey to go back and discover their past—for only then can they really begin to build their future,” from

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

What this book did well

Throughout Caela Carter’s “Forever, or a Long, Long Time,” the main character, Flora, is trying to understand the world around her. She struggles to speak to anyone besides her brother, Julian, and she doesn’t remember much about her past. Carter brilliantly conveys these struggles in this book with simple language and Flora’s train of thought. Because Flora is a character anyone can sympathize with, the story is meaningful and emotionally driven.

The author also breaks down complicated subjects, like adoption, foster care, and the definition of family, into easily understandable ideas. Through conversations between Flora and her mother, who Flora simply calls Person, these subjects are broken down into bite-sized, digestible bits that anyone can understand.

Many adopted children feel like they’re alone and going through something no one else understands, too. However, through Flora and Julian, Carter shows that all children struggle with change and family life. For more information about adoption, take a look at other articles posted on the Adoption Choices’ website.

What this book could improve upon

Oftentimes, there were miscommunications between Flora and Person in this book. These were a little bit frustrating at times, despite being realistic and conveyed as unhealthy. Although these miscommunications improved by the end of the book, if there had been less of them or a better understanding of how Flora managed to overcome them, “Forever, or a Long, Long Time” would have gotten a higher rating.

Who should read this book

This book can and should be read by anyone at a middle school reading level, especially those going through the adoption process. Many of the ideas strewn throughout this book are great for pondering and improving one’s critical thinking skills. Also, the many struggles of the foster care system were projected in a helpful way and weren’t overwhelming.

Flora’s feelings on being adopted, trying to understand one’s past and going through change drove the entire story, and many children and parents can relate to them.


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