Tess Brooks is an eleven-year-old who believes that if she acts a certain way luck will follow. For example, she believes that if you touch blue then your wish will come true. She lives on a small Maine island with her family. However, the state of Maine is threatening to shut the school, because there are not enough school children. Her own mother is the school teacher. Tess and her family may have to move to the mainland until the reverend thinks of a creative idea to get more children to live on the island. He thinks of the idea of people taking foster children into their home to expand the school population. Tess and her family take in Aaron, a thirteen-year-old trumpet player. It takes time for Aaron to feel comfortable in the family. Tess hears how wonderful Aaron plays his trumpet and talks to busybodies for him to play at the 4th of July picnic. Every chapter begins with a superstition that Tess follows that relates to the story. I thought this was an enjoyable book about different family relationships.
Every Year On Your Birthday is based on the author’s experience adopting a girl from China. The story begins when the woman thinks back to how she wasn’t there at the girl’s birth, but she was home waiting to be her mother. The girl gradually grows up as the book celebrates to her fifth birthday. Each birthday brings something new. On her first birthday family celebrates as she blows out candles, her second birthday she becomes a United States citizen, her third birthday she flies a kite at the beach, her fourth birthday she receives a puppy, and her fifth birthday is celebrated at a picnic watching the dragon boat festival. The story also goes back to the girl’s time in China, such as when she was in the nursery with other Chinese baby girls waiting for adoption. Every Year On Your Birthday is a wonderful book with beautiful illustrations. There is a good mix with Chinese and American cultures to celebrate her birthday. Rose Lewis wrote another book, I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, based upon her travels to China when she adopted the girl.