A Child Called It Author: Dave Pelzer
This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games–games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother’s games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an “it.”
A Framework for Understanding Poverty Author: Ruby Payne
When viewed through an economic lens, poverty can be defined as an absence of resources. Since 1995, Framework’s basic premise is that the middle-class understandings of those who work with children and adults in poverty are often ill-suited for connecting with and helping people build up resources and rise out of poverty. Now, 18 years later, Framework has been revised, updated and expanded. This edition features an enhanced chapter on instruction and achievement; greater emphasis on the thinking, community, and learning patterns involved in breaking out of poverty; plentiful citations, new case studies, and data: more details findings about interventions, resources, and causes of poverty, and a review of the outlook for people in poverty and those who work with them.
A Mind at a Time Author: Mel Levine, M.D.
“Different minds learn differently,” writes Dr. Mel Levine, one of the best-known learning experts and pediatricians in America today. Some students are strong in certain areas and some are strong in others, but no one is equally capable in all. Yet most schools still cling to a one-size-fits-all education philosophy. As a result, many children struggle because their learning patterns don’t fit the way they are being taught.
Dr. Levine shows parents and those who care for children how to identify these individual learning patterns, explaining how they can strengthen a child’s abilities and either bypass or help overcome the child’s weaknesses, producing positive results instead of repeated frustration and failure.
Consistent progress can result when we understand that not every child can do equally well in every type of learning and begin to pay more attention to individual learning patterns — and individual minds — so that we can maximize children’s success and gratification in life.
An Invisible Thread Author: Laura Schroff
This inspirational story chronicles the lifelong friendship between a busy sales executive and a disadvantaged young boy, and how both of their lives were changed by what began as one small gesture of kindness.
She was a successful ad sales rep in Manhattan. He was a homeless, eleven-year-old panhandler on the street. He asked for spare change; she kept walking. But then something stopped her in her tracks, and she went back. And she continued to go back, again and again. They met up nearly every week for years and built an unexpected, life-changing friendship that has today spanned almost three decades.
Another Place at the Table Author: Kathy Harrison
The startling and ultimately uplifting narrative of one woman’s thirteen-year experience as a foster parent.
For more than a decade, Kathy Harrison has sheltered a shifting cast of troubled youngsters-the offspring of prostitutes and addicts; the sons and daughters of abusers; and teenage parents who aren’t equipped for parenthood. All this, in addition to raising her three biological sons and two adopted daughters. What would motivate someone to give herself over to constant, largely uncompensated chaos? For Harrison, the answer is easy.
This is the story of life at our social services’ front lines, centered on three children who, when they come together in Harrison’s home, nearly destroy it. It is the frank first-person story of a woman whose compassionate best intentions for a child are sometimes all that stand between violence and redemption.
Between the World and Me Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
This is the author’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder.
Blindspot Author: Mahzarin R. Banaji
“I know my own mind.”
“I am able to assess others in a fair and accurate way.”
These self-perceptions are challenged by leading psychologists Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald as they explore the hidden biases we all carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes about age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, and nationality.
“Blindspot” is the authors’ metaphor for the portion of the mind that houses hidden biases. Writing with simplicity and verve, Banaji and Greenwald question the extent to which our perceptions of social groups—without our awareness or conscious control—shape our likes and dislikes and our judgments about people’s character, abilities, and potential.
The authors reveal hidden biases based on their experience with the Implicit Association Test, a method that has revolutionized the way scientists learn about the human mind and that gives us a glimpse into what lies within the metaphoric blindspot.
Born Broken Author: Kristin Berry
A must read for prospective adoptive and foster parents as well as those already in the trenches of caring for a child affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and substance abuse, early childhood trauma, abandonment, and attachment issues. This book is an eyes-wide-open look into one family’s adoption journey.
Kristin Berry tells her family’s adoption story honestly and does not shy away from the challenges she and her family has faced, including isolation and depression. Written with her son’s blessings, in the hopes that others will learn about and understand what it is like to live with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders FASD.
Born for Love Authors: Bruce Perry and Maia Szolavitz
This is the definitive book on empathy. The authors explore empathy’s startling importance in human evolution and its significance for our children and our society. The authors of The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog present a powerful case that love is essential…and endangered.
Bridges Out of Poverty Author: Ruby Payne
A unique and powerful tool designed specifically for social, health, and legal services professionals. In a highly readable format you’ll find case studies, detailed analysis, helpful charts and exercises, and specific solutions you and your organization can implement right now to: Redesign programs to better serve people you work with; Build skill sets for management to help guide employees; Upgrade training for front-line staff like receptionists, case workers, and managers; Improve treatment outcomes in health care and behavioral health care; Increase the likelihood of moving from welfare to work. If your business, agency, or organization works with people from poverty, only a deeper understanding of their challenges-and strengths-will help you partner with them to create opportunities for success.
Building Cultural Competence Author: Kate Berardo
This book provides a cutting-edge framework and an innovative collection of ready-to-use tools and activities to help build cultural competence―from the basics of understanding core concepts of culture to the complex work of negotiating identity and resolving cultural differences.
Building Cultural Competence presents the latest work in the intercultural field and provides step-by-step instructions for how to effectively work with the new models, frameworks, and exercises for building learners’ cultural competence. Featuring fresh activities and tools from experienced coaches, trainers, and facilitators from around the globe.
Learn updates on classic models like the DIE (Description, Interpretation, Evaluation) framework and the U-Curve model of adjustment. Engage in new exercises to help build intercultural competence, using the practical step-by-step guidance on how to effectively facilitate these activities.
Building Resilience in Children and Teens Author: Kenneth Ginsbury
This guides parents and other caring adults how to help kids from the age of 18 months to 18 years build the seven crucial “C’s”–competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control. These are the critical ingredients young people need to bounce back from life’s challenges and thrive far into the future.
It provides a wide range of tactics, including building on children’s natural strengths, fostering their hope and optimism, guiding them to avoid risky behaviors, and teaching them the lifelong necessity of caring for their physical and emotional needs.
Building Resilience directly addresses how adolescents sometimes respond to stress by either indulging in unhealthy behaviors or giving up completely. It offers detailed coping strategies to help children and teens deal with stress due to academic pressure, high achievement standards, media messages, peer pressure, and family tension. Equipped with these strategies, our children will be more likely to be poised for success and less likely to turn to the dangerous quick fixes we fear.
This book includes content on the topics of strengthening grit, changing one’s perception of stressors so we can better manage them, and building the kind of family that will honor each individual’s independence while striving towards creating the interdependence that keeps us healthy and connected.
Burning Down the House Author: Nell Bernstein
Nell Bernstein eloquently argues that there is no good way to lock up a child. Making the radical argument that state-run detention centers should be abolished completely, her “passionate and convincing” This book points out that our system of juvenile justice flies in the face of everything we know about what motivates young people to change.
Bernstein’s heartrending portraits of young people abused by the system intended to protect and “rehabilitate” them are interwoven with reporting on innovative programs that provide effective alternatives to putting children behind bars.
Child-Centered Practices in the Courtroom and Community
Author: Lynne Katz
How can early childhood professionals provide the best possible services and supports to families in the child welfare system? This guidebook has the practical, real-world answers professionals need as they navigate the complex system, work with the courts, and plan interventions and treatment for the most vulnerable young children and families.
Developed by a psychologist, a judge, and an expert on early intervention and education, this accessible practitioner’s guide introduces early childhood professionals to the coordinated, evidence-based practices used successfully in Miami’s juvenile court and child welfare community. As they follow a gripping case study of one young mother and her children.
With these practical tools and evidence-based strategies, professionals will ensure coordinated, high-quality services that improve the child welfare system and have long-lasting positive effects on young children and families.
Childhood Disrupted Author: Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Your biography becomes your biology. The emotional trauma we suffer as children not only shapes our emotional lives as adults, but it also affects our physical health, longevity, and overall wellbeing. Scientists now know on a bio-chemical level exactly how parents’ chronic fights, divorce, death in the family, being bullied or hazed, and growing up with a hypercritical, alcoholic, or mentally ill parent can leave permanent, physical “fingerprints” on our brains.
When children encounter sudden or chronic adversity, stress hormones cause powerful changes in the body, altering the body’s chemistry. The developing immune system and brain react to this chemical barrage by permanently resetting children’s stress response to “high,” which in turn can have a devastating impact on their mental and physical health as they grow up.
Donna Jackson Nakazawa shares stories from people who have recognized and overcome their adverse experiences, shows why some children are more immune to stress than others, and explains why women are at particular risk.
Child Trauma Handbook Author: Ricky Greenwald
This is a user-friendly manual that teaches a comprehensive, research-based, phase-model approach to trauma-informed treatment for children and adolescents. Both new and experienced clinicians will find clear explanations and tips for making the connection between child/adolescent behaviors and traumatic histories; they’ll also learn practical skills for successful interventions. Each chapter and skillset is theory based and includes transcripts, case studies, exercises, and specific strategies for addressing problems.
Deep Denial Author: David Billings
Part popular history and part personal memoir, this book documents the 400-year racialization of the United States and how people of European descent came to be called white. Author David Billings focuses primarily on the deeply embedded notion of white supremacy, and tells us why, despite the Civil Rights Movement and an African-American president, we remain, in the words of the author, a nation hard-wired by race. A master storyteller, Billings starts each chapter with a disarming and intimate vignette from his personal life, beginning with his white, working-class boyhood in Mississippi and Arkansas. He then situates these telling moments in a broader historical context that will be new and disturbing to many readers. Part I covers the origins and evolution of white supremacy from 17th century Virginia through World War II. Part II focuses on the Civil Rights Movement, how it emerged in the post-WWII era, and why it subsequently devolved from a vibrant community-led, issue-based movement into the bureaucratic, government-sponsored, needs-based, nonprofit industry of today. An epilogue discusses strategies for dismantling white supremacy and undoing racism in America.
Dibs in Search of Self Author: Virginia Axline
The classic of child therapy. Dibs will not talk. He will not play. He has locked himself in a very special prison. And he is alone. This is the true story of how he learned to reach out for the sunshine, for life . . . how he came to the breathless discovery of himself that brought him back to the world of other children.
Dreamland Author: Sam Quinones
From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma to main streets nationwide, an explosive and shocking account of addiction in the heartland of America.
In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America–addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland.
Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma’s campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive–extremely addictive–miracle painkiller.
Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin–cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico’s west coast, independent of any drug cartel–assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico.
Introducing a memorable cast of characters–pharma pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors, and parents–Quinones shows how these tales fit together. Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America and its heartland.
Emotional Intelligence Author: Daniel Goleman
Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart.
Etched in Sand Author: Regina Calcaterra
Regina Calcaterra is a successful lawyer, New York State official, and activist. Her painful early life, however, was quite different. Regina and her four siblings survived an abusive and painful childhood only to find themselves faced with the challenges of the foster-care system and intermittent homelessness in the shadows of Manhattan and the Hamptons.
A true-life rags-to-riches story, this chronicles Regina’s rising above her past, while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together through it all.
Evicted Author: Matthew Desmond
Follow eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.
Far from the Tree Author: Andrew Solomon
Solomon’s startling proposition is that being exceptional is at the core of the human condition—that difference is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, or multiple severe disabilities; with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, and Solomon documents triumphs of love over prejudice in every chapter.
All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent should parents accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on ten years of research and interviews with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges.
Far from the Tree Author: Robin Benway
Being the middle child has its ups and downs.
But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.
And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.
Fostering Resilient Learners Author: Kristin Souers
Grounded in research and the authors’ experience working with trauma-affected students and their teachers, this book will help you cultivate a trauma-sensitive learning environment for students across all content areas, grade levels, and educational settings. The authors—a mental health therapist and a veteran principal—provide proven, reliable strategies to help you
Each chapter also includes questions and exercises to encourage reflection and extension of the ideas in this book. As an educator, you face the impact of trauma in the classroom every day. Let this book be your guide to seeking solutions rather than dwelling on problems, to building relationships that allow students to grow, thrive, and—most assuredly—learn at high levels.
Garbage Bag Suitcase Author: Shenandoah Chefalo
Shenandoah Chefalo is on a wholly dysfunctional journey through a childhood with neglectful, drug-and alcohol addicted parents. She endures numerous moves in the middle of the night with just minutes to pack, multiple changes in schools, hunger, cruelty, and loneliness. Finally, at the age of 13, Shen had had enough. After being abandoned by her mother for months at her grandmother’s retirement community, she asks to be put into foster care. Surely, she would fare better at a stable home than living with her mother?
It turns out that it was not the storybook ending she had hoped for. When a car accident lands her in the hospital with grave injuries and no one comes to visit her during her three-week stay, she realizes she is truly all alone in the world. Overcoming many adversities, and despite her numerous achievements in life though, she still suffers from the long-term effects of neglect, and the coping skills that she adapted in her childhood are not always productive in her adult life. Garbage Bag Suitcase is not only the inspiring and hair-raising story of one woman’s journey to over- come her desolate childhood, but it also presents grass-root solutions on how to revamp the broken foster care system.
Ghosts from the Nursery Author: Robin Karr-Morse
When Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence was published in 1997, it was lauded for providing scientific evidence that violence can originate in the womb and become entrenched in a child’s brain by preschool. The authors’ groundbreaking conclusions became even more relevant following the wave of school shootings across the nation including the tragedy at Columbine High School and the shocking subsequent shootings culminating most recently in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Following each of these media coverage and public debate turned yet again to the usual suspects concerning the causes of violence: widespread availability of guns and lack of mental health services for late-stage treatment. Discussion of the impact of trauma on human life—especially early in life during chemical and structural formation of the brain—is missing from the equation. Karr-Morse and Wiley continue to shift the conversation among parents and policy makers toward more fundamental preventative measures against violence.
Half-Broke Horses Author: Jeannette Walls
“Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.”
So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith, Jeannette Walls’s no-nonsense, resourceful, and spectacularly compelling grandmother. By age six, Lily was helping her father break horses. At fifteen, she left home to teach in a frontier town—riding five hundred miles on her pony, alone, to get to her job. She learned to drive a car and fly a plane. And, with her husband, Jim, she ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette’s memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle.
Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds—against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn’t fit the mold.
Hand to Mouth Author: Linda Tirado
As the haves and have-nots grow more separate and unequal in America, the working poor don’t get heard from much. Now they have a voice—and it’s forthright, funny, and just a little bit furious.
Here, Linda Tirado tells what it’s like, day after day, to work, eat, shop, raise kids, and keep a roof over your head without enough money. She also answers questions often asked about those who live on or near minimum wage: Why don’t they get better jobs? Why don’t they make better choices? Why do they smoke cigarettes and have ugly lawns? Why don’t they borrow from their parents?
Enlightening and entertaining, Hand to Mouth opens up a new and much-needed dialogue between the people who just don’t have it and the people who just don’t get it.
Heroes Wanted Author: Rodney D. Bullard
The World Needs Heroes…Like You!
With all the hardships and unmet needs in the world, it’s difficult to believe one person can make a difference. Where can you even begin? What do you have to offer?
Rodney D. Bullard, Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, wants to share with you the surprisingly simple but incredibly powerful ways you can impact others and create a legacy of service.
Hillbilly Elegy Author: J.D. Vance
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.
But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, this is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Futures, A Judges Guide
Author: American Bar Association
A recent explosion of research on early brain development highlights how crucial the early years are in the health and development of young children is. This very young population is especially vulnerable to the effects of abuse and neglect that set the stage for their long-term health outcomes. IT is important to educate ourselves not just about the laws and regulations that govern what happens in the courtroom, but also learn from other disciplines about the health needs of this population.
This guide provides you a comprehensive source of information about the health needs of very young children in care within the context of permanency decision-making.
Hope for the Future Author: Shannon Daly-Harris
The author draws from her twenty-four years of work with the Children’s Defense Fund to offer twelve meditations for those working to create a better world for our children. Each meditation focuses on passages of Scripture and weaves together moving stories of children, startling statistics about the challenges facing children, and inspiring examples from other movements and faithful leaders that came before us. Questions for faithful response after each meditation will prompt further reflection and action.
Invisible Kids Author: Holly Schlaack
The real story on foster care and real solutions for making it better. When Marcus Fiesel s story of torture, abandonment, and a slow, agonizing death came to light, it was not exactly news to Holly Schlaack. She was an insider in the foster care system and Marcus s horrible experience was just an extreme example of how she knew the system could fail.
Happily, Holly had also seen some success stories that were as inspiring as Marcus s story was appalling.
It is too easy to think that all children have a reasonably happy childhood. Sadly, we learn, some children have no childhood at all. In this day and age, this is neither necessary, nor acceptable. If you care about children, here are ways to put your caring into action.
I Speak for This Child Author: Gay Courter
This author recounts her experiences as a Guardian ad Litem, a volunteer court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for children involved in the legal system due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Her story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and is an inspiration for anyone who has ever looked up from a newspaper and wondered, “What can I do to help?”
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption Author: Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
Lost at School Author: Ross W. Greene, PH.D
School discipline is broken. Too often, the kids who need our help the most are viewed as disrespectful, out of control, and beyond help, and are often the recipients of our most ineffective, most punitive interventions. These students—and their parents, teachers, and administrators—are frustrated and desperate for answers.
Dr. Greene’s Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach helps adults focus on the true factors contributing to challenging classroom behaviors, empowering educators to address these factors and create helping relationships with their most at-risk kids.
No Matter How Loud I Shout (A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court)
Author: Edward Humes
In an age when violence and crime by young people is again on the rise, This book offers a rare look inside the juvenile court system that deals with these children and the impact decisions made in the courts had on the rest of their lives. Granted unprecedented access to the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, including the judges, the probation officers, and the children themselves, Edward Humes creates an unforgettable portrait of a chaotic system that is neither saving our children in danger nor protecting us from adolescent violence. Yet he shows us there is also hope in the handful of courageous individuals working tirelessly to triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds.
Weaving together a poignant, compelling narrative with razor-sharp investigative reporting, No Matter How Loud I Shout is a convincingly reported, profoundly disturbing discussion of the Los Angeles juvenile court’s failings, providing terrifying evidence of the system’s inability to slow juvenile crime or to make even a reasonable stab at rehabilitating troubled young offenders. Humes draws an alarming portrait of a judicial system in disarray.
One Kid at a Time Author: Jake Dekker
This true, heartwarming story reveals that miracles occur in everyday life. Enjoyable and uplifting, One Kid at a Time will empower—and encourage—everyone who reads it.
Danny had no chance. His mother abandoned him. His father in prison didn’t know him. His grandmother beat him so badly that the doctors couldn’t count the bruises. He lived nonstop days of unending anxiety, loneliness and terror. Ordered into foster care, the system isolated, drugged and betrayed him.
Jake lived the good life. Warm friendships, plenty of money and freedom to do what he enjoyed. From the outside he had the perfect existence. But inside he longed for a child.
One Small Boat: The Story of a Little Girl, Lost then Found
Author: Kathy Harrison
This story of one little girl’s journey through our foster-care system forms an intimate portrait of foster care in America and the children whose lives are forever shaped by it.
Harrison tells the story of one little girl who arrived on her doorstep and describes how caring for this child was an experience that challenged everything she thought she knew about foster-care parenting and the needs of the children she shelters.
Daisy was five when she arrived in Harrison’s bustling home. Mother of three children by birth and three by adoption, and with a handful of foster kids always coming and going, Harrison had ten children under her roof at any given time. But Daisy was in many ways unique. Daisy’s birth mother wasn’t poor, uneducated, or drug addicted. She simply couldn’t bring herself to take care of her little girl, and the effects on the child were heartrending. Daisy was unwilling to eat—even frightened of it—and seemed to have a severe speech impediment. After two weeks in Kathy’s loving home, however, Daisy began to thrive. What had happened to her? And how can a foster-care parent give back all that has been taken from a childlike Daisy—knowing that she might leave one day very soon? Harrison had seen many children pass through her doors, but this one touched her in a way she didn’t immediately understand.
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child Author: John Gottman, PhD
This is a guide to teaching children to understand and regulate their emotional world.
Every parent knows the importance of equipping children with the intellectual skills they need to succeed in school and life. But children also need to master their emotions. Gottman shows, once they master this important life skill, emotionally intelligent children will enjoy increased self-confidence, greater physical health, better performance in school, and healthier social relationships.
Say You’re One of Them Author: Uwem Akpan
Each story in this jubilantly acclaimed collection pays testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances.
A family living in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya scurries to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday. A Rwandan girl relates her family’s struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. A young brother and sister cope with their uncle’s attempt to sell them into slavery. Aboard a bus filled with refugees—a microcosm of today’s Africa—a Muslim boy summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride across Nigeria. Through the eyes of childhood friends, the emotional toll of religious conflict in Ethiopia becomes viscerally clear.
Selected Writings Author: Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day (1897-1980) was co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, and currently a candidate for sainthood in the Catholic Church. In her lifelong compassion for the poor and her unstinting devotion to active nonviolence, Day fashioned a new face for the gospel in our time.
This is widely recognized as the essential and authoritative guide to her life and work. The writings collected here reflect her spirit: meditative, ironical, combative, filled with love for the Catholic Worker family, and suffused with her special sense of the ‘holy sublimity of the everyday.’
Somebody Else’s Children: The Courts, The Kids, and The Struggle to Save America’s Troubled Families Authors: John Hubner and Jill Wolfson
With the narrative force of an epic novel and the urgency of first-rate investigative journalism, this important book delves into the daily workings and life-or-death decisions of a typical American family court system. It provides an intimate look at the lives of the parents and children whose fate it decides.
Spilled Milk Author: K.L. Randis
Brooke Nolan is a battered child who makes an anonymous phone call about the escalating brutality in her home.
When social services jeopardize her safety condemning her to keep her father’s secret, it’s a glass of spilled milk at the dinner table that forces her to speak about the cruelty she’s been hiding. In her pursuit for safety and justice Brooke battles a broken system that pushes to keep her father in the home. When jury members and a love interest congregate to inspire her to fight, she risks losing the support of family and comes to the realization that some people simply do not want to be saved.
Spilled Milk is a novel of shocking narrative, triumph and resiliency.
Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America Author: Ibram X. Kendi
Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America–more sophisticated and more insidious than ever.
In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America.
In shedding much-needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Kendi offers us the tools we need to expose them–and in the process, gives us reason to hope.
Street Child Author: Justin Reed Early
A shock-inspiring story of a young boy who escapes his increasingly dysfunctional and violent middle-class home. Remanded into state custody at ten years old, he embarks on a journey through the foster care system only finding safety from unlikely skid-row heroes on downtown streets of Seattle and San Francisco – where children are victims and victims are considered criminals.
While dodging serial killers and predators, including a juvenile court judge who oversees his custody, these children develop familial bonds while protecting each other in an increasingly dangerous – yet invisible world. By telling these authentic stories with often times devastating outcomes, he articulates the stark reality of life on the streets for countless young people.
Street Child is a powerful and intimate depiction into these homeless children’s actual lives during their most desperate times of survival. Their sweet camaraderie, funny antics, and intimate relationships will move your heart and soul into a new understanding and personalization of their noble plight.
Teaching with Poverty in Mind Author: Eric Jensen
Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged students.
Jensen argues that although chronic exposure to poverty can result in detrimental changes to the brain, the brain’s very ability to adapt from experience means that poor children can also experience emotional, social, and academic success. A brain that is susceptible to adverse environmental effects is equally susceptible to the positive effects of rich, balanced learning environments and caring relationships that build students’ resilience, self-esteem, and character.
Too often, we talk about change while maintaining a culture of excuses. We can do better. Although no magic bullet can offset the grave challenges faced daily by disadvantaged children, this timely resource shines a spotlight on what matters most, providing an inspiring and practical guide for enriching the minds and lives of all your students.
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma
Author: Bessell Van der Kolk, M.D.
Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. The author uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog Author: Bruce D. Perry
How does trauma affect a child’s mind–and how can that mind recover? Dr. Perry explains what happens to the brains of children exposed to extreme stress and shares their lessons of courage, humanity, and hope. Only when we understand the science of the mind and the power of love and nurturing, can we hope to heal the spirit of even the most wounded child.
The Connected Child Author: Karyn Purvis
The adoption of a child is always a joyous moment in the life of a family. Some adoptions, though, present unique challenges. Welcoming these children into your family–and addressing their special needs–requires care, consideration, and compassion.
Written by two research psychologists specializing in adoption and attachment, The Connected Child will help you: Build bonds of affection and trust with your adopted child; Effectively deal with any learning or behavioral disorders; Discipline your child with love without making him or her feel threatened.
The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity
Author: Nadine Burke Harris
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris was already known as a crusading physician delivering targeted care to vulnerable children. But it was Diego—a boy who had stopped growing after a sexual trauma—who galvanized her to dig deeper into the connections between toxic stress and the lifelong illnesses she was tracking among so many of her patients and their families. A survey of more than 17,000 adult patients’ “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs, like divorce, substance abuse, or neglect, had proved that the higher a person’s ACE score the worse their health—and now led Burke Harris to an astonishing breakthrough. Childhood stress changes our neural systems and lasts a lifetime.
Through storytelling that delivers both scientific insight and moving stories of personal impact, Burke Harris illuminates her journey of discovery, from research labs nationwide to her own pediatric practice in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point. For anyone who has faced a difficult childhood, or who cares about the millions of children who do, the innovative and acclaimed health interventions outlined in The Deepest Well will represent vitally important hope for change.
The Glass Castle Author: Jeannette Walls
The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.
The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.
The Glass Castle is truly astonishing—a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.
The Gift of Fear (and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence)
Author: Gavin De Becker
True fear is a gift. Unwarranted fear is a curse. Learn how to tell the difference.
A date won’t take “no” for an answer. The new nanny gives a mother an uneasy feeling. A stranger in a deserted parking lot offers unsolicited help. The threat of violence surrounds us every day. But we can protect ourselves, by learning to trust—and act on—our gut instincts.
This empowering book, shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger—before it’s too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, including…how to act when approached by a stranger…when you should fear someone close to you…what to do if you are being stalked…how to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls…the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person…and more. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss.
The Great Gilly Hopkins Author: Katherine Paterson
Eleven-year-old Gilly has been stuck in more foster families than she can remember, and she’s hated them all. She has a reputation for being brash, brilliant, and completely unmanageable, and that’s the way she likes it. So, when she’s sent to live with the Trotters—by far the strangest family yet—she knows it’s only a temporary problem.
Gilly decides to put her sharp mind to work and get out of there fast. She’s determined to no longer be a foster kid. Before long she’s devised an elaborate scheme to get her real mother to come rescue her. Unfortunately, the plan doesn’t work out quite as she hoped it would…
The Language of Flowers Author: Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
The Lost Boy, Author: Dave Pelzer
Imagine a young boy who has never had a loving home. His only possessions are the old, torn clothes he carries in a paper bag. The only world he knows is one of isolation and fear. Although others had rescued this boy from his abusive alcoholic mother, his real hurt is just beginning — he has no place to call home.
This is the sequel to A Child Called “It”. In The Lost Boy, he answers questions and reveals new adventures through the compelling story of his life as an adolescent. Now considered an F-Child (Foster Child), Dave is moved in and out of five different homes. He suffers shame and experiences resentment from those who feel that all foster kids are trouble and unworthy of being loved just because they are not part of a “real” family.
Tears, laughter, devastation and hope create the journey of this little lost boy who searches desperately for just one thing — the love of a family.
The Lost Children of Wilder: The Epic Struggle to Save Foster Care
Author: Nina Bernstein
In 1973, a young ACLU attorney filed a controversial class-action lawsuit that challenged New York City’s operation of its foster-care system. The plaintiff was an abused runaway named Shirley Wilder who had suffered from the system’s inequities. Wilder, as the case came to be known, was waged for two and a half decades, becoming a battleground for the conflicts of race, religion, and politics that shape America’s child-welfare system.
Bernstein gives us the galvanizing history of this landmark case and the personal story at its core. Nina Bernstein takes us behind the scenes of far-reaching legal and legislative battles, but she also traces the life of Shirley Wilder and her son, Lamont, born when Shirley was only fourteen and relinquished to the very system being challenged in her name. Bernstein’s account of Shirley and Lamont’s struggles captures the heartbreaking consequences of the child welfare system’s best intentions and deepest flaws.
The Measure of Our Success Author: Marian Wright Edelman
This is a thinking person’s Life’s Little Instruction Book, with simple yet inspirational messages about living.
The Panic Workbook for Teens Author: Debra Kissen, PhD
If you’re like many other teens with a panic disorder, you may sometimes feel like walls are closing in on you, or that something dreadful is about to happen. The most frustrating thing about panic attacks is that they can happen anytime, anywhere—sometimes when you least expect them—and you may go through your day fearing another attack. So, how can you start managing your panic before it gets in the way of school, friends, and your life?
In this workbook, three anxiety specialists will show you how to identify anxiety-causing thoughts and behaviors, mindfully observe your panic attacks instead of struggling against them, and experience sensations associated with panic until you discover that these sensations may be uncomfortable—but not dangerous.
No matter what situation you find yourself in, by learning how to objectively monitor your panic attacks, you’ll gain a sense of control and learn to work through even the toughest moments of extreme anxiety—whether you’re taking a test, on a first date, or at a job interview.
The PBIS Tier Three Handbook Authors: Jessica & John Hannigan
Students needing Tier Three help are few in number, but they can have the biggest impact on classrooms and school culture. With this interactive handbook, you’ll round out your PBIS system by developing, implementing, monitoring, and sustaining flexible Tier Three interventions to address the most challenging behavior issues.
The Resilience Breakthrough Author: Christian Moore
Christian Moore is convinced that each of us has a power hidden within, something that can get us through any kind of adversity. That power is resilience.
Moore delivers a practical primer on how you can become more resilient in a world of instability and narrowing opportunity, whether you’re facing financial troubles, health setbacks, challenges on the job, or any other problem. We can all have our own resilience breakthrough, Moore argues, and can each learn how to use adverse circumstances as potent fuel for overcoming life’s hardships.
The Resiliency Workbook
This is a one-of-a-kind self-help book for teens and adults based on decades of social science research about how people bounce back from all types of trauma, crises, problems and adversity. It shows how building resiliency builds mental health. The information in this book will help anyone facing any life challenge.
The Same Kind of Human Author: Christine McDonald
Prostitute. Addict. Homeless. Criminal. Christine “Clarity” McDonald, survivor of human trafficking and author of the memoir Cry Purple, challenges the biases and assumptions we commonly hold about exploited and marginalized populations. Through stories of her own lived experiences, Scripture, thought-provoking commentary, and practical resources, she unveils the humanity of these individuals and helps us to see them through the eyes of Jesus — eyes of grace. In helping us see the humanity of those we often judge or shun, she empowers us to instead reach out with arms of love and a message of hope.
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace Author: Jeff Hobbs
When author Jeff Hobbs arrived at Yale University, he became fast friends with the man who would be his college roommate for four years, Robert Peace. Robert’s life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the 1980s, with his father in jail and his mother earning less than $15,000 a year. But Robert was a brilliant student, and it was supposed to get easier when he was accepted to Yale, where he studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics. But it didn’t get easier. Robert carried with him the difficult dual nature of his existence, trying to fit in at Yale, and at home on breaks.
A compelling and honest portrait of Robert’s relationships—with his struggling mother, with his incarcerated father, with his teachers and friends—The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace encompasses the most enduring conflicts in America: race, class, drugs, community, imprisonment, education, family, friendship, and love. It’s about the collision of two fiercely insular worlds—the ivy-covered campus of Yale University and the slums of Newark, New Jersey, and the difficulty of going from one to the other and then back again. It’s about trying to live a decent life in America.
The Social Work Interview Authors: Alfred and Goldie Kadushin
The only textbook to outline the skills social workers need to conduct effective client interviews, this volume synthesizes recent research on interviewing and demonstrates its value in unique settings and with a variety of clients and issues. Connecting evidence-based approaches to the quality of practitioner-client relationships and the achievement of different objectives at each phase of the interview, the text shows students how to apply their learning systematically and develop specialized techniques for culturally competent interviewing and challenging client situations.
Three Little Words: A Memoir Author: Ashley-Rhodes-Courter
An inspiring true story of the tumultuous nine years Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent in the foster care system, and how she triumphed over painful memories and real-life horrors to ultimately find her own voice.
Ashley spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, she is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system.
Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative, humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed – and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice.
Three More Words: Author: Ashley-Rhodes-Courter
In the sequel to Three Little Words, Ashley Rhodes-Courter expands on life beyond the foster care system, the joys and heartbreak with the family she’s created, and her efforts to make peace with her past.
Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent a harrowing nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes. In this book, she reveals the nuances of life after foster care: College and its assorted hijinks, including meeting “the one.” Marriage, which began with a beautiful wedding on a boat that was almost hijacked (literally) by some biological family members. Having kids—from fostering children and the heartbreak of watching them return to destructive environments, to the miraculous joy of blending biological and adopted offspring.
Whether she’s overcoming self-image issues, responding to calls asking for her to run for Senate, or dealing with continuing drama from her biological family, Ashley Rhodes-Courter never fails to impress or inspire with her authentic voice and uplifting message of hope.
To the End of June-The Intimate Life of American Foster Care
Author: Cris Beam
Who are the children of foster care? What, as a country, do we owe them? Cris Beam, a foster mother herself, spent five years immersed in the world of foster care looking into these questions and tracing firsthand stories. The result, an unforgettable portrait that takes us deep inside the lives of foster children in their search for a stable, loving family.
Beam shows us the intricacies of growing up in the system—the back-and-forth with agencies, the rootless shuffling between homes, the emotionally charged tug between foster and birth parents, the terrifying push out of foster care and into adulthood. Humanizing and challenging a broken system, this book offers a tribute to resiliency and hope for real change.
Trauma and Recovery Author: Judith Herman, MD
When this was first published in 1992, it was hailed as a groundbreaking work. In the intervening years, it has become the basic text for understanding trauma survivors. By placing individual experience in a broader political frame, Judith Herman argues that psychological trauma can be understood only in a social context. Drawing on her own research on incest, as well as on a vast literature on combat veterans and victims of political terror, she shows surprising parallels between private horrors like child abuse and public horrors like war. A new epilogue reviews what has changed–and what has not changed–over two decades. Trauma and Recovery is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand how we heal and are healed.
Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness Author: David Treleaven
From elementary schools to psychotherapy offices, mindfulness meditation is an increasingly mainstream practice. At the same time, trauma remains a fact of life. This means that anywhere mindfulness is being practiced, someone in the room is likely to be struggling with trauma.
At first glance, this appears to be a good thing: trauma creates stress, and mindfulness is a proven tool for reducing it. But the reality is not so simple.
Drawing on a decade of research and clinical experience, psychotherapist and educator David Treleaven shows that mindfulness meditation―practiced without an awareness of trauma―can exacerbate symptoms of traumatic stress. Instructed to pay close, sustained attention to their inner world, survivors can experience flashbacks, dissociation, and even retraumatization.
This raises a crucial question for mindfulness teachers, trauma professionals, and survivors everywhere: How can we minimize the potential dangers of mindfulness for survivors while leveraging its powerful benefits?
Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness offers answers to this question. The result is a groundbreaking and practical approach that empowers those looking to practice mindfulness in a safe, transformative way.
Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others Author: Laura van Dernoot Lipsky
A longtime trauma worker, Lipsky offers a deep and empathetic survey of the often-unrecognized toll taken on those working to make the world a better place. We may feel tired, cynical, or numb or like we can never do enough. These, and other symptoms, affect us individually and collectively, sapping the energy and effectiveness we so desperately need if we are to benefit humankind, other living things, and the planet itself. In Trauma Stewardship, we are called to meet these challenges in an intentional way—to keep from becoming overwhelmed by developing a quality of mindful presence. Joining the wisdom of ancient cultural traditions with modern psychological research, Lipsky offers a variety of simple and profound practices that will allow us to remake ourselves—and ultimately the world.
Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes Author: Peter Levine
An essential guide for recognizing, preventing, and healing childhood trauma, from infancy through adolescence—what parents, educators, and health professionals can do.
Trauma can result not only from catastrophic events such as abuse, violence, or loss of loved ones, but from natural disasters and everyday incidents such as auto accidents, medical procedures, divorce, or even falling off a bicycle. At the core of this book is the understanding of how trauma is imprinted on the body, brain, and spirit, resulting in anxiety, nightmares, depression, physical illnesses, addictions, hyperactivity, and aggression. Rich with case studies and hands-on activities, Trauma Through A Child’s Eyes gives insight into children’s innate ability to rebound with the appropriate support and provides their caregivers with tools to overcome and prevent trauma.
Treating Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents
Authors: Margaret Blaustein & Kristine Kinniburgh
Grounded in theory and research on complex childhood trauma, this book provides an accessible, flexible, and comprehensive framework for intervention with children and adolescents and their caregivers. It is packed with practical clinical tools that are applicable in a range of settings, from outpatient treatment centers to residential programs. Rather than presenting a one-size-fits-all treatment model, the authors show how to plan and organize individualized interventions that promote resilience, strengthen child–caregiver relationships, and restore developmental competencies derailed by chronic, multiple stressors. More than 45 reproducible handouts, worksheets, and forms are featured; the large-size format facilitates photocopying.
Treating Traumatized Children: A Casebook of Evidence-Based Therapies
Author: Brian Allen
Featuring extensive case studies, this volume provides a unique window into implementation of evidence-based treatments in real-world community settings. Experienced therapists illustrate the use of three effective therapies for traumatized children and their caregivers: trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), child-parent psychotherapy (CPP), and parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT). Covering the entire process of assessment and intervention, the cases highlight ways to maintain treatment fidelity while addressing complex clinical challenges with diverse clients. Experts in the respective therapy models offer instructive commentaries at the end of each case. The book also provides a concise introduction to each model, including its theoretical underpinnings, empirical support, and applications.
Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk
Author: Marc Parent
Why does an infant die of malnutrition? Why does an eight-year-old hold a knife to his brother’s throat? Or a mother push her cherished daughter twenty-three floors to her death? Marc Parent, a city caseworker, searched the streets–and his heart–for the answers.
Waking the Tiger Author: Peter A. Levine
Levine offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.
Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.
Walk to Beautiful Author: Jimmy Wayne
That’s the real-life story of country music star Jimmy Wayne. It’s a miracle that Jimmy survived being hungry and homeless, bouncing in and out of the foster care system, and sleeping in the streets. But he didn’t just overcome great adversity in his life; he now uses his country music platform to help children everywhere, especially teenagers in foster care who are about to age out of the system.
Walk to Beautiful is the powerfully emotive account of Jimmy’s horrendous childhood and the love shown him by Russell and Bea Costner, the elderly couple who gave him a stable home and provided the chance to complete his education.
It also chronicles Jimmy’s rise to fame in the music industry and his Meet Me Halfway campaign: his walk halfway across America, 1,700 miles from Nashville to Phoenix, to raise awareness for foster kids.
Whatever It Takes Author: Paul Tough
What would it take?
That was the question that Geoffrey Canada found himself asking. What would it take to change the lives of poor children—not one by one, through heroic interventions and occasional miracles, but in big numbers, and in a way that could be replicated nationwide? The question led him to create the Harlem Children’s Zone, a ninety-seven-block laboratory in central Harlem where he is testing new and sometimes controversial ideas about poverty in America. His conclusion: if you want poor kids to be able to compete with their middle-class peers, you need to change everything in their lives—their schools, their neighborhoods, even the child-rearing practices of their parents.
Whatever It Takes is a tour de force of reporting, an inspired portrait not only of Geoffrey Canada but also of the parents and children in Harlem who are struggling to better their lives, often against great odds. Carefully researched and deeply affecting, this is a dispatch from inside the most daring and potentially transformative social experiment of our time.