Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Perfect Parent Project” as Want to Read:
The Perfect Parent Project
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Perfect Parent Project

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  29 reviews
From the award-winning author of THE BUBBLE BOY comes a heart-warming and unforgettable story? that follows one boy’s search for the perfect family, with surprising and unexpected results. Perfect for fans of Onjali Q. Rauf and Lisa Thompson.

'Friendship, laughter, suspense and more!' - Ross Welford, author of TIME TRAVELLING WITH A HAMSTER and THE 1000-YEAR-OLD BOY

Published January 21st 2021 by Simon Schuster Audio UK
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Perfect Parent Project, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Perfect Parent Project

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  103 ratings  ·  29 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Perfect Parent Project
Wendy Bamber
Jun 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They are not quick reads, Stewart Foster’s books, you don’t blast though the story to find out what happens quickly, you read every word to absorb the character and understand their world. I came to understand Sam’s need to reject the attention of his foster mum, when at first it felt forced and unnecessary, I began to understand how that feeling of rejection must make a child build a wall every time they met knew people. Lovely non-stereotypical friendship with Leah who he wants to tell she’s h ...more
Stephen Connor
Sam is a looked-after child who has been passed from family to family, and is desperately seeking stability. Along with best friend Leah - who is an absolutely wonderful character - he concocts a plan to advertise himself to the perfect parents.

It is a moving read, and for me, what stood out was Sam’s lack of self-esteem, which in turn led to a naivety and a sense of hopelessness that he shows in his efforts.

Stewart Foster voices, as ever, the relationships in the story perfectly.
Aug 21, 2022 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book and it didn't end how I expected it to. I tried this author for the first time, and I was very glad that I did! The character descriptions were very good, and the characters were very likeable. I enjoyed every page, although it did get a little samee in places! I'm hoping to find more books by Stewart Foster, and I reccommend this book. ...more
Katy Kelly
Aug 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartstring-tugging foster-child story about finding your own family.

I've been reading this to my 10 year old over many weeks of bedtimes.

I've read Foster before and like his concepts, characters and the kind of areas of children's lives he covers. He picks slightly not-average situations but makes them very relatable.

And now I also want to watch Bugsy Malone again.

Sam is fostered. He's been through many homes, many families. But nobody has ever kept him, he's bounced around, lost friends, moved
Jenny Caddick
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Perfect Parent Project – Stewart Foster

11 year old Sam is a sensitive and disillusioned foster child who has been in temporary home after home for most of his life. He longs for his “ forever” family ; a proper home and not just a house he happens to live in for a while. He longs for a hug from someone who loves him ( and a trip to Disneyland and an Xbox – after all he’s still a regular 11 year old !)
Sam decides to take matters into his own hands , and with best friend Leah, he sets about ad
Matt Peet
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stewart Foster has a way of presenting the trials and tribulations that children face in a way that portrays the most deepest, profound and complex situations. The characters in his latest novel are on their personal journeys of discovery - allowing the reader an insight into the emotional rollercoaster of feelings associated with being in the foster care system. Sam, to those looking in is a confident young man, yet the turmoil he faces - simply longing for that “perfect parent”, takes him on a ...more
Jun 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Ah Sam, canım Sam! Bağrıma basmak istediğim kitap karakterlerinden biri oldun. Sen karşındakinden empati bekledin vermediğinde ben sinirlendim, kalbin kırıldı benim gözlerim doldu, kahkahalarını içinde tutmaya çalıştığında benim gözlerimden gülmekten yaşlar geldi. Kitap nasıl başladı, nasıl bitti anlayamadım su gibi aktı gitti.

Ailemizin bizi olumlu/olumsuz ne kadar etkilediği üzerine harika bir kitap. 11 yaşındaki Sam'in koruyucu ailelerin yanında olmaktan, kimseye, hiçbir yere bağlanamamaktan b
Kirsten Barrett
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was rather excited to read this and joined netgalley in the hope that I could read it early. I was very lucky to get a copy. My first netgally book!

What I loved is that this is a story about Sam, who is a foster child. I can't think of many stories about foster children and when I do they are always very violent, unsettled and the reason they are in care is their behaviour. This is not the case for this book and it's perfect to read about a child that the system is a way has failed.

The number
Mar 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Yes, the book was interesting but too predictable. From the middle of the book, I managed to figure out what will happen at the end. Can you believe me? I was absolutely correct. Being a fan of mysteries I love to solve the mystery before the detective does it but in this type of books I prefer to be wrong or don't even know the answer; when I don't know the answer it makes the book more engaging and I want to finish it and find out what happens next.
In this book, I just finished it to check if
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Having been moved on so many times in his life, it's not surprising that Sam feels unable to put down roots with his current foster family, With the assistance of his friend Leah, he hatches a plan to find himself the Perfect Parents', ones who can take him to Disneyland, drive a BMW and, most importantly, will love him.
It's a story that will make you sigh, smile, and make you want to reach through the pages of the book (or your ereader screen) to give Sam a bone crunching hug and, on occasion,
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I found this a well written, sensitive portrayal of a boy whose experience of multiple foster homes has made him both desperate for a more permanent family and distrustful of the one he's with now. Sam is on occasion a heart-breaking character, his journey through the story full of moments the reader finds frustrating and hopeful. I really liked the positive depictions of the adults in this, from the social worker, Sam's foster parents and all the others he comes into contact with. I also did pa ...more
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
11 year old Sam is a foster kid. He currently lives with Reilly and Reilly's mum and dad. But he is worried that he will be moved yet again so, with the help of his friend Leah, he starts The Perfect Parent Project, to try and find his forever home.

Sam is a complicated character. His life so far has been full of upheaval and he finds it difficult to trust anyone. This leads to him getting into all sorts of trouble as he attempts to get what he thinks he wants.

This is a really great read from Ste
Natalie Gardner
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-with-boys
We read this book over quite a few nights and WOW! Not only did the boys love it, but I loved it too.

Sam is a fabulous main character who you really wish the very best for. I loved that a foster child is the main character and the boys learnt about how this can feel for a person who is often moved from house to house and has little knowledge of his birth parents. They were both really invested in him finding happiness and it led to some really insightful conversations with them.

I must admit, the
Denise Forrest
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sam has lived in lots of foster homes so he fully expects to have to leave his current one. Rather than wait for his social worker to tell him its time to move on, he decides to take matters into his own hands and embarks on a project to find the Perfect Parents.

This is the best book I’ve read this year and the easiest five star review I’ve given. It is both melancholy and heartwarming at the same time. The way the author describes Sam’s emotions and thought processes is utterly believable. I ju
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
We have too few books about foster children! In that sense, this is an important book, taking one through the turmoil of being “unwanted”. I really wanted to have liked it more, but it was way too predictable and took much too long to get to the conclusion that was obvious right from the beginning. Plus, the “perfect parents” were a big red flag to me. Dave was always making fun of Michelle, her cooking, her driving, etc. At first I thought there was more to it, but apparently it was just humour ...more
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for allowing me an ARC to review.

Such a lovely but heartbreaking book about a foster kid who just wants parents who love him. I felt such a range of emotions throughout this story it was hard to keep a grip on what was going on, but that was mirrored by Sam’s experiences which made it a fairly unique read. All the characters were gorgeously written and I particularly loved the relationship between Sam and Reilly. I think this is a really important book for all chil
A Jones
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
A really good insight into the feelings of a foster child, the frustration and fear of never having roots and the workings of social services around them. Also, a lovely positive ending! I just felt the story went on too long for a middle grade reader without a pacy plot to keep them gripped. Also, as an adult reader (and I appreciate this wasn’t aimed at me!) I was frustrated with the many unanswered questions and the unrealistic premise of a loving, concerned foster parent letting a vulnerable ...more
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 20, 2022 rated it really liked it
The positives were that this story had dynamic characteristics and felt real. The family were able to resolve the issues in their prior assumptions, and learning that now means they will do well going forward.

My main issue is that I am pretty sure that local authorities wouldn't let a 6-year-old bio kid and an 11-year-old foster kid in the same room. The age gap is far too great and they have another room despite it currently used as an office.
Paul Nolan
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A truly magnificent and heartwarming story about Sam, a Foster child who decides to find his perfect parents before he gets moved to another home.

It'll make you laugh. It will make you smile. It will definitely make you cry.
Fantastic story that I would recommend to anyone.
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding MG novel about fostering and the importance of family.
You can read my full review here: http://vsviewfromthebookshelves.home....
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
In absolute bits by the end of this heart-wrenching insight into the emotional turmoil of a child in foster-care. My heart broke for Sam who simply wanted to be wanted and to be properly hugged. Thanks @stewfoster1 for appreciating the precious gift of a loving family
Aug 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful and realistic portrayal of 11 year old, Sam, who is in the foster system. He desperately wants to have parents and be part of a real family, rather than keep moving on from foster family to foster family, with all the stress and upheaval that entails.
The author doesn't sugar-coat Sam's situation, but portrays his feelings and experiences, and how Sam tries to create his future. The ending is hopeful, but not happy-ever-after.
Lauren King
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The story of Sam who doesn't feel wanted or that he belongs. Another story which breaks my heart as it gives voice to those in foster care yet warms it to the very end ...more
Laura Mitchell
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written. I was really rooting for Sam throughout!
Sep 01, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantastic-book
wow!!!!!! this is really good!
Apr 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
Awesome book- would recommend!
A Severs
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So here I am, ready to enter into another year of reviewing children's books, and kicking things off with the latest book from, I will admit, a favourite children's author of mine: Stewart Foster with his 'The Perfect Parent Project'.

'The Perfect Parent Project' is in the vein of Stewart's previous books in that it centres on a character who represents a potentially marginalised group of children. Sam is a foster kid, and although he loves his support worker, Rock Star Steve, he dreads the day w
K Spurrier
May 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Perfect Parent Project paints a very moving picture of one boy’s experience of foster care, which no doubt resonates with others. Peppered with humour and loveable characters, as you’d expect from a Stewart Foster book, bringing warmth to this emotional story: you’ll want to reach into the pages to give Sam and Reilly a hug! The value of friendships and finding people who believe in you shines through, along with realisation that although life might not be perfect, who you are inside is what ...more
rated it liked it
May 01, 2022
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh
  • The Shark Caller
  • When the Sky Falls
  • The Valley of Lost Secrets
  • The Last Bear
  • Show Us Who You Are
  • The Kid Who Came From Space
  • The Edge of the Ocean (Strangeworlds Travel Agency #2)
  • The Night Bus Hero
  • Escape Room
  • Julia and the Shark
  • October, October
  • The Weather Weaver
  • Arsenic for Tea (Murder Most Unladylike, #2)
  • Ways To Be Me
  • Ella on the Outside
  • Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow
  • Kid Youtuber 2: Hungry for More (a hilarious adventure for children ages 9-12): From the Creator of Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja
See similar books…
Stewart Foster lives in Bath and wishes he'd never left school. So he went back to university far too many years later and he wrote a book, We used to be Kings, and then he wrote another, The Bubble Boy, that was loved by The Guardian and many others. It won Sainsbury's book of the year 2016 (10+) and The Trinity Schools Book Award 2017 and many other library awards

'All the things that could go Wr

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
37 likes · 2 comments