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Real Sisters Pretend by Megan Dowd

This reading guide is designed to accompany Megan Dowd Lambert’s picture book Real Sisters Pretend. We recommend that grownups read the focus book and the reading guide content BEFORE reading with young readers. We hold the belief that anti-racist practice is a process of learning (and unlearning) over time. Reading Is Resistance sees reading as an opportunity to seed deeper conversations and possibilities for action around racial justice in our communities.

Lesson content was written by Corra Brown and edited by Sarah Beatty and Kerolos Yaacoub as part of a partnership between Reading Is Resistance and the University Studies Program at Portland State University and was designed to start and deepen anti-bias/anti-racist conversations in families and other learning communities.





This heart-warming, enjoyable story is narrated through the viewpoint of two adopted sisters, Tayja and Mia. The author’s two daughters inspired the story after being overheard talking about how adoption made them sisters even though they have different birth parents and do not look alike. This story touches on the topics of adoption, two-mom families, and multiracial families. Real Sisters Pretend reminds readers of the importance of family, and that siblings Tayja and Mia are sisters because they are part of the same family. As an adoptee, Real Sisters Pretend is a must have on my bookshelf. What makes this story a great read is that it provides creative and warm illustrations by Nicole Tadgell. Teaching children about families who are formed through adoption is a step in the right direction.

Please preview the full-length lesson plan below:


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