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Three Little Words: A Memoir Paperback – May 5, 2009
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100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
Amazon's editors chose their list of the one hundred young adult books to read, whether you're fourteen or forty...Learn more
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"Nine years in the foster care system could ruin a kid. But [Ashley] not only survived, she's thrived." -Teen People
"The author's ability to form intelligent, open-minded conclusions about her traumatic childhood demonstrates her remarkable control and insight, and although there are plenty of wrenching moments, she succeeds not in attracting pity but in her stated intention, of drawing attention to the children who currently share the plight that she herself overcame." --Publishers Weekly
"Quiet scenes cut deepest: the author's description of her only after-school visit to a friend's home lingers heartbreakingly in one's mind. This gifted young writer's moving and eye-opening story will especially appeal to fans of Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle and David Pelzer's autobiographical books." --School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
As I started to read thoughts of laundry disappeared, as I was riveted by this compelling story, of a little girl who just wanted to be loved by her mother, or a family.
I could not put this book down until I finished.
It was like I was there looking on as she went through these various ordeals/ adventures.
If you are considering adopting or fostering a child, this book is a must. As you read, you will understand what these children have to go through. That understanding brings compassion. You will also understand what would be parents go through because both sides of the story are told effectively.
If you work in childcare services, this ought to be required reading.
If you are like me, this is an inspiring story about surviving and succeeding against the odds. You may notice this story has a mythical quality, reminiscent of other stories like Oliver Twist, a Roald Dahl story, or even Anne of Green Gables or Harry Potter which the author refers to, except this is for real.
It is shocking to me how a system which is designed to protect children, can fail so miserably at times. How is it possible for a home that is only licensed to have two children end up with 10. How come foster children end up living in a trailer? The children do not have a voice that is heard.
I particularly commend Gay Courter her adoptive mother who also persisted against the odds, where some adoptive parents would have given up. She ended up with a remarkable child who has written a remarkable book, who I feel sure will continue to be a voice for foster children, and orphans.
Hope this was useful.
Rhodes-Courter can write. She vividly describes her years in foster care, being totally honest about herself and the families who were paid to care for her. Mercifully, she knows just how far to go before reader fatigue sets in, and she knows exactly where to stop to leave us disturbed but not overwhelmed.
Anyone who read the author's New York Times piece knows the happy ending: Rhodes-Courter was adopted by a loving family that was uniquely qualified to appreciate her gifts and help her grow as a writer and speaker. As a bonus, she gained two older brothers (they look like teddy bear types) and a houseful of cats.
But we're made to realize there was no fairy tale magic. Ashley Rhodes arrived in the Courter family as a scared, suspicious kid. She didn't know how to hug and she was a picky eater who would drive most people mad. She tested her family over and over again.
Gradually, she became a real family member. Her new brothers teased her when she avoided helping with the dishes ("Hey, are you a guest?") Her mother went along with the food fuss. Her dad was, well, a dad. And she admits she came to realize just how lucky she was,
In what may be the most powerful part of the book, Rhodes-Courter asks a very good question. Why do states pay a fortune for foster care instead of subsidizing the birth parents? What would have happened if her own mother had been given money and support to keep her own children? And why does the state ignore reports of abuse in a foster home yet whisk children away from their own parents at the slightest hint of a problem?
Just stay away from this book if you're on deadline. It sucks you in.
-Suzanne Buckingham Slade, author of Adopted: The Ultimate Teen Guide
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a CASA volunteer, I found it very instructive. It's an astonishing story of courage and resilience. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
Ashley Rhodes-Courter is not only an amazing woman, but she is an exceptional writer. I was privileged to hear her speak about her experiences in the foster care system at the... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
Lorraine Rhodes was a single teenage mother who shared parenting duties for Ashley with her twin sister. They lived in a trailer and worked different shifts. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Donna Acosta
Important view of kids and foster care - a nation with misplaced priorities - put kids first!Published 1 month ago by Frank Kashner
I was riveted to this book. Amazing story telling of her journey with all its hope, despair, tears, abandonment, guilt, displaced loyalties and all the other stuff foster kids go... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Steve
This was a good book - told through the eyes of a very difficult foster child. it has a very good ending ; unfortunately most dont end that great. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gramhibbs