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Foster Child: A Biography of Jodie Foster Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1998

4.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Buddy is Jodie Foster's older brother; both were child stars. He is no longer a star. The hook: the effects of being raised by a controlling mother and her lesbian companion. Bonnie Smothers --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (March 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451195612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451195616
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,687,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The advantage of having a biography written by a close relative is that the author doesn't have to rely on interviews with strangers and be at the mercy of other people's agendas or outright lies. The disadvantage is that the author is usually much less famous and successful than the subject and the book tends to try to increase the author's importance. This is the case with "Foster Child". Along with all the childhood stories, the first half of the book is a comparison of Buddy's childhood career with Jodie's and no one is buying this book to read about Buddy Foster. The second half of the book is more on track. Its main advantage is that only someone who grew up with Jodie could go into the details of her more than unusual childhood, including the shocking explanation of how someone named Alicia Christian Foster came to be known as Jodie. I was under the impression from what I had read previously that Jodie's father was an evil cad who ran away from home never to be heard from again. Well, he may have been an evil cad, but the real story is much more complicated than that. The book is hardest of all, by far, on their mother Brandy. From how she used her children to live off of (she spent every penny of Buddy's several hundred thousand dollar acting nest egg before he was 21), to how she tried to shape the children's thinking and poison them against their father, she is the underlying villain of the book. The mother's attention follows the money. When it is clear that Jodie is the star of the family, and the main breadwinner, she gets her mother's attention to the detriment of the rest of the family. Other than subject of their mother, this is not a particularly gossip filled book, so those that are looking for that may want to look elsewhere.Read more ›
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By A Customer on June 26, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was shocked to read such negative reviews of this book. The historical background and her family experiences were not only extremely interesting, and accurate (since her brother, who wrote the book, saw all of this first-hand), but also has made me respect and admire this wonderful actress even more. There is nothing slanderous in the book, and nothing that Jodie seemingly would be ashamed to tell herself. The book merely retells the life that she grew up in. Fascinating.
My whole family read the book, one after the other. Our edition is falling apart after so much use. I highly recommend this book. Perhaps the best biography I have ever read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book, and I read "The Royals" by Kitty Kelly. There is all the difference in the world between the two books. The first is an unpleasant book written by an unpleasant woman, which uses second and third hand gossip who has nothing but contempt for its subject matter. "Foster Child," on the other hand, has a great deal of respect for the woman at its core, which does not stop it from dwelling on her weaknesses, as any good biography should.

Those familiar with what is known about Jodie Foster will find few real surprises. It is generally known, for instance, that she is frightenly intelligent; and that she has, with one or two exceptions, never acted in or directed a movie she didn't really want to do, but once committed devotes herself wholeheartedly. It also been surmised that in terms of a love life, she looks at the person and not the gender; a common trait with highly educated, irreligious people. That she is understandably guarded with her privacy, that she does not suffer fools gladly, or that she has something of a cold streak personally, do not come as a surprise either. All of these are elaborated on in this book.
What is particularly germaine in the book is Buddy's revelations of the Foster family, a high strung, tumultuous family if there ever was one. Speaking first hand, we have his account of the wars between the ambitious mother of the Foster brood, Brandy, and their USAF officer father Lucius. They divorced while Brandy was pregnant with Jodie, but they had several break-and-smash reunions afterward.
Buddy's respect for his sister particularly shines in the analysis he gives her movies, notably her directorial efforts "Little Man Tate" and "Home for the Holidays.
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By A Customer on September 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book provides exactly the sort of information that it purports to in its advertisements. This is why I find it perplexing that readers express such indignation upon having purchased it themselves. If you want to understand the family history and background of Jodie Foster, this book certainly covers that subject matter thoroughly. In fact, an examination of these relationships could be extended towards an understanding of relationships in general. It is reasonably well-written and, based on what the author says in the book, he apparently holds the subject of his biography in high regard. The issue of whether the book should have been written is a separate one from a judgment of the quality of the work and whether it achieves its stated purpose. My rating reflects the latter standard.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If I were Buddy, I'd probably be equally bitter. If you ever watched Mayberry RFD Buddy Foster was the co-star, son of the lead, and Jodie was the day player with a few lines as one of the town kids. He was on the cover of TV Guide, he voiced that old favorite film "The Point." He was poised to be a star. However, like so many boys, testoserone was unkind during his teen years and there was no work for him once he matured. We've had modern equivalents with Haley Joel Osment and Fred Savage. Most of the 80s "Brat Pack" disappeared. Reese Witherspoon, got lucky. And let's face it, former teen star Katie Holmes, isn't exactly working much as an actress anymore.

Jodie almost didn't make it into an adult career. If she hadn't done The Accused, that would have been just about the end. She still had to produce Nell herself, starting her own production company.

Jodie was a child superstar. She could handle a co-starring role with grace and ease beyond her years, and fill a film role like Freaky Friday like a complete pro. But she was on a set from a very tender age, so she paid her dues.

Mom a lesbian? who cares? But he was right about Jodie - even if it took until 2013 to finally come out. We knew, or at least we all had strong suspicions. And Kristy McNichol was no surprise either. We loved them, they were both adorable and the epitome of the 70s tomboy. I caught these on reruns.

The Coogan Laws are supposed to protect kids by keeping some of their money in a trust until they turn 21. Makes me sick that he had nothing left.

Check out photos of Buddy here. Most are from Mayberry RFD [...]
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