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Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child Hardcover – February 5, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 756 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Cannot fail to move those who read it.' Adoption-net 'Heartbreaking.' The Mirror 'A truly harrowing read that made me cry.' The Sun 'A true tale of hope. ****.' OK! 'Foster carers rarely get the praise they deserve, but Cathy Glass's book should change all that.****' First Magazine 'A hugely touching and emotional true tale.' Star Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Cathy Glass has been a foster carer for over 20 years, during which time she has looked after more than 50 children, of all ages and backgrounds. Cathy runs training courses on fostering for her local Social Services, and helps draft new fostering procedures and guidelines. Cathy has three teenage children of her own; one of whom was adopted after a long-term foster placement. David Haviland is an experienced journalist and ghostwriter as well as being a freelance script editor for a number of leading film and television companies.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Element (February 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007236344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007236343
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (756 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book sat on my Mom's shelf for over a year...it was given to her by her friend from England and she never really intended to read it.

I picked it up and read it in one sitting...beginning at 9 PM and finishing somewhere around 3 AM. I kept saying, "Just one more chapter...just one more page...then I MUST go to bed" but I could not put down the story of Jodie and Cathy.

This story evokes a gamut of emotions...from harrowing sorrow to fierce anger. But, ultimately, it left me feeling hopeful...and grateful. Grateful that there are people in this world who stand up for the Jodies of the world.

Jodie is a little girl who spent her first eight years in an abusive nightmare with her biological parents and their revolting circle of "friends". Once freed from that prison, she went through four foster carers in five months. You see, Jodie *is* damaged...damaged by her parents and damaged by the social system that failed her. Her violent personality reflects that. How can anyone come out of the other side of what she has been through and not be damaged/fragmented/lost. But her one, small, stroke of luck was ending up in Cathy's home. She and her amazing children provided Jodie with a safety net that she would never have been granted with from, most likely, any other family.

This book will make you very, very angry. It may possibly make you weep. But you will also rejoice...and, like me, be thankful for the amazing Cathy...and the love she provided that saved a little, lost girl.
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Format: Hardcover
Cathy Glass writes a powerful visual book which cannot fail to unleash a stream of emotions in the reader. The disturbing account of little Jodie's eight long suffering years filled me with despair, and more. The incompetence and short sightedness of the Social Services brought intense anger. But, thanks to her carer, Cathy, who introduces stability, structure and most of all love to this damaged child, made me realize there is always hope.
This is a well written page turner.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Overall: 5 Stars

Plot/Storyline: 5 Stars

Cathy Glass does a brave thing in this book by telling the story of one of her "failures." By "failures," I mean that the child was not "repaired" to the point of being able to enter society by finding a permanent family. This was by no means a failure on Cathy's part, as she did everything that anyone, outside of a trained psychiatrist, could have done.

What amazed me about the story was Cathy's perserverance in keeping Jodie. Sure, a couple of times she admitted to wanting to "send her back." However, she never did so voluntarily, as I feel that many foster parents would have done. Ms. Glass was supremely honest in what she considered to be her shortcomings, but I considered to be her bravery and strength of spirit.

Jodie's story was a horrifying one that will leave the reader gasping and crying. Unfortunately, it was also a story of something that is too often an occurance in our society. Cathy does a terrific job of detailing Jodie's past with the knowledge that she gained from Jodie. She tells of her experiences in a succinct manner, shocking the reader without resorting to blatant tactics.

I think I was most horrified by Cathy's portrayal of the Social Worker's failings.

Character Development: 5 Stars

Cathy not only does an excellent job of allowing the reader to get to know Jodie; she also reveals much of herself in the telling. I felt as though I was getting to know her as well as her charge and her family.

The reader is also privy to the personalities of her children, which gives the story a more rounded effect. It particularly shows the major contrast between Jodie and "normal" children.
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Format: Paperback
The author (and I use author rather than Cathy Glass because Glass is a pseudonym she writes under)of this book is a foster carer in Great Britain. It was interesting, as an aside, to compare the foster care/children's social service systems between the United States and Great Britain. Other than that, I wouldn't say "Damaged" was interesting. It was heartwrenching, profoundly moving, tragic. It made me sob and feel vengeful, not only for "Jodie" but for all of our innocent children that are defiled across this world by the very people who should be protecting them the most fiercely - their parents.

I have the utmost admiration for most foster caregivers and most social service people. To some it is just a job but to people like the author it is their life's calling, one that I could never do.

I would not recommend this book for early teens, at least without adult supervision and discussion, or for people who don't deal well with graphic sexual content and violence, especially if it is directed towards children. I thought the author handled these sequences in the book very professionally but they are what they are- child sexual abuse. The title of the book should be "Destroyed" because this little girl was permanently, irrevocably destroyed - she will never be whole. And what does that say for the neighbors that turned a blind eye or the social service system that didn't follow through as it should have?

This book reminded me of the impact another author had on my life - Torey L. Hayden, who is a special education teacher writing about some of her special needs students. The first of her books I read was One Child and she went on to write more. I highly recommend both authors. Just be prepared.
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