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Three Little Words: A Memoir Paperback – May 5, 2009
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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
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
To be honest this book was assigned to all incoming freshman at Mississippi State University. I started reading the book before my son. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
So good I read it in one day into the wee hours of the morning. I could not stopPublished 2 days ago by Duchess
Really good book that shows Ashley's experiences in the system. Things ultimately work out for her but there and many ups and downs. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Oxford 55
True story about a child's navigation thru foster care. How she managed to become spokesperson and even meet the presidentPublished 9 days ago by Rhoda W.
I work in the court system that handles children in foster care. I hear on a daily basis what these innocent children endure. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Carrie C
I absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it to so many people- not just those who work in the foster/adoption care world or are considering adoption.Published 15 days ago by Michelle M.
Three Little Words is a moving tale of a foster program in distress. If ever there was a need for new policies and procedures, it is in this program. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Robert A. Green
This is a book I share with everyone I meet who shows an interest in the plight of foster children.Published 1 month ago by smoaks
Very compelling read. As a foster parent who has only taken infants (due to the ages of my own youngest children), it gave me a stronger desire to foster older children/adopt those... Read morePublished 1 month ago by A. Yen