My Lifebook Journal: A Workbook for Children in Foster Care

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Therese Accinelli
Instant Help Books/New Harbinger Publications
126 pages. $16.95.

With clear instructions from a therapist who works with foster children, this workbook contains 38 activities, starting with a self-portrait. The first eight activities provide a personal record, with details of a foster child’s birth; medical information; biological family, foster family and best friend profiles; an address book and a list of schools. Together, these items make a valuable document to keep. Subsequent activities progress from lists of preferences and achievements to explorations of feelings and the creation of an “Anger Emergency Kit.” Dreams, memories and values, such as helping others, are explored. Beyond writing and drawing are ideas for picture journals and collages.

Recommending adult supervision of these exercises, a note advises adults to allow children to “lead the way toward their own healing.” The ideal audience for the workbook is probably 8 to 12 years old. Teens might enjoy adapting it for their own use. Counselors could use it as a therapeutic tool, and social workers could suggest this worthwhile project to foster parents or use it with children entering the system. (800) 748-6273,