Over the years, we’ve collected quite the library of books related to orphan care. Since we know you’re passionate about orphans, but may not have the time to plow through all the resources available, we thought we’d share our absolute favorites with you. Click the book covers for more info.


Our favorite for gaining global perspective of the orphan problem:

The Global Orphan Crisis by Diane Lynn Elliot

A primer on orphans around the world, The Global Orphan Crisis explores the causes and realities of the global orphan crisis and what we all can do about it.

This book engages with the roots of the global orphan crisis all over the world, from low-income countries to high-income countries, the overwhelming size of orphan injustice, and the dangers that orphaned children face on a daily basis. It is packed with valuable and enlightening information, all backed by research and studies.

The second half of this accessible book explores God’s heart for orphans and practical solutions to the large and frightening problems that plague them, from large-scale systemic changes to small lifestyle changes we can all incorporate into our lives. How will you respond?



Our favorite for understanding a child’s need for attachment and how to create it:

The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis

When asked to recommend just one resource to parents of children from traumatic backgrounds, children who appear unable to attach, or children with behavioral issues, I always choose The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, Ph.D., David Cross, Ph. D. and Wendy Lyons Sunshine.

This gem of a resource is a breath of fresh air for parents in the midst of the firestorm that often follows adoption, especially adoption of children from institutions. With a compassionate tone, the authors explain the science behind many of these children’s behaviors and give practical, proven techniques for dealing with them.

The book candidly addresses topics many adoptive parents are hesitant to admit they’re dealing with, such as hoarding, lying, and even violent outbursts.

By helping parents identify the root cause of certain behaviors, this book helps parents turn their children’s tantrums into opportunities to connect. Used consistently, these strategies often help children begin to feel safe. Only then can they connect with their new parents.

I personally recommend this book not only to the parents of children from hard places, but also their grandparents, teachers and friends!


Our favorite for understanding how orphan care reflects God’s heart toward each of us:

The Orphan’s Abba by April Jurgensen

Written by The Boaz Project’s executive director, The Orphan’s Abba is a beautiful and inspiring work containing moving illustrations about orphan care as a reflection of the gospel. Her message rings clear: We are all chosen by God. April’s love and passion for orphan care is evident inside every page. ..Her inspiring words ultimately leap from the page and into a reader’s heart.

After reading The Orphan’s Abba, you can’t help but walk away with a greater sense of God’s wonderful love for each of His children.
—Adrian Collins
Writer, Adoption Advocate, Editor for Hope’s Promise Adoption and Pregnancy Blog



Our favorite for understanding childhood trauma and how to overcome it :

Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Childhood Disrupted is an insightful and fascinating look at the groundbreaking ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study and how childhood wounds can affect your health for the rest of your life, as well as what you can do about it.

Weaving together neuroscience, personal stories, and the power of one’s own past, this accessible and insightful book can help you understand both the struggles that orphans face as they grow up, as well as those of your friends and family…and maybe yourself. More importantly, it tells us all what we can do to reverse the damaging effects of early trauma, so as not to fall prey to the many physical, mental, and emotional issues often faced by those who suffered trauma.



Our favorite written from the perspective of an orphan:

The Boy from Baby House 10 by Alan Philps and John Lahutsky

The Boy From Baby House 10 is the harrowing story of a Russian boy’s first 9 years of life spent in the state-run orphan-care system.  Alan Philps helps John Lahutsky tell his story of sheer determination and will to survive.

Born prematurely and with cerebral palsy, then abandoned by his mother at 18 months, John (known as Vanya) was diagnosed by the state authorities as an “imbecile” and “ineducable.” He was assigned to a bleak orphanage for those with physical and mental disabilities called Baby House 10.

The rest of the book is a detailed picture of the nightmarish orphanage system through the eyes of a little boy who, despite his dire surroundings, did not lose his spirit and intellectual curiosity.  It is also the story of…

those who found him in the orphanage and sacrificially fought to help him escape a life of confinement.

This emotionally draining book fulfills the stated purpose of bringing awareness of the neglect and cruelty to children in the Russian orphanage system.  It is also an amazing, miraculous example of God’s divine intervention through people committed to coming to the aid of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.

What books have you read that have shaped your thinking about orphans? Which are your favorites and why?

Believing in Miracles,

1 Comment

  1. Mitul Patel

    I am so excited to read The Orphan’s Abba! I have it, I’m just waiting for that chance to crack it open


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