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Three Little Words: A Memoir Paperback – May 5, 2009
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“I felt as worthless as the junk in my trash bag . . . once again, I was the one being tossed out and thrown away.” Taken from her mother when she was scarcely four years old, Rhodes-Courter spent the next nine years in foster care with “more than a dozen so-called mothers.” “Some were kind,” she acknowledges, “a few were quirky and one . . . was as wicked as a fairy-tale witch.” She names names in this memoir, which is also a searing indictment of an often sadly deficient system of child care. Given her experiences, one can understand why she is angry and often bitter, but the unrelieved stridency of her tone makes for sometimes difficult reading. Nevertheless, she gives a voice to countless thousands of children who continue to be abused, abandoned, and ignored, and one hopes her book will make a positive difference in their lives. Grades 8-12. --Michael Cart --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"Ashley Rhodes-Courter is triumphant in her quest to overcome insurmountable odds. I celebrate her courage to seek out the best in humanity in spite of its failings." - Victoria Rowell, New York Times bestselling author of The Women Who Raised Me: A Memoir
"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
The book also illustrates the role of Guardian ad Litem volunteers or CASAs. I'm one and this helped me to feel like I need to take very seriously how I work for the child, digging deeper into not just what is said or reported but what ISN'T said.
It's corny to say children are our future but it's true. When you have a set up where the government will pay strangers to care for children rather than assist the actual, willing parents to do so, you have a problem. Sure, some parents have proved to fail their kids but some genuinely could make a success with a little help. Instead, by going to foster care, sometimes the kids get lost in the system.
This book seems slanted in no particular direction, and the pain is palpable. But it shows how valuable volunteers are to the system and how children appreciate when someone designated to help them is doing it out of a sense of community rather than a paycheck. If interested, there's much info on how to volunteer with foster kids, and you don't have to feel at odds with the foster family, but actually be a supportive influence as you speak for the child.
Highly recommend this book to anyone interested in fostering and those who work with foster children (teachers,etc).