Article Title

Red Butterfly


Emily Loveless


Outstanding, Primary, Intermediate, Young Adult, A.L. Sonnichsen, Amy June Bates, Children, Stories In Verse, Orphans, China, Family, Cerebral Palsy

Document Type

Book Review


Abandoned at birth, Kara has called an elderly American woman “mama” for the last eleven years. Now that she’s older, she’s looking for answers to questions like why Mama never goes outside, and why can’t they move to live with Daddy in Montana? It is sobering to learn that, according to the Chinese government, Kara doesn’t exist, and that Mama stayed in China illegally to care for her. Their secluded days make more sense, but when Kara’s visiting “sister” has to be taken to the hospital, their life is blown wide open. Suddenly, Kara is separated from the only family she’s ever known. She is taken to an orphanage and informed that she will be placed for adoption, and it is essentially impossible for Mama and Daddy to adopt her legally. Lost, hurt, and in shock, Kara can do little but say goodbye when an American family from Florida arrive to take her “home.” But Kara doesn’t want a new family, and accepting her new life is a challenge that seems impossible to overcome until kindness and understanding teach her how to really soar.