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Archive for the ‘Foster Care’ Category

Review: I Beat The Odds by Michael Oher

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Like many movie goers, I was swept up by the magical story of “The Blind Side” the 2009 movie that brought Sandra Bullock her Oscar for the role of the foster/adoptive mom of Michael Oher, the professional football player for the Baltimore Ravens.  But with many years’ experience in child welfare, I wanted to know the child’s side of the story– and this is the book!  The story of the foster child, nearly homeless, who found the right family to help him reach his goal – to amount to something in spite of his rocky beginning in life.

 As told to Sports Illustrated writer Don Yaeger, this book tells how Michael decided at an early age to resist the streets of Memphis’s poor section, and to find a way out of the ‘hood.  His chosen path was athletics.  He found a way to play baseball, basketball, track and – yes—football and to work to achieve his goal.  His determination shines through this book, and trims away the ‘cutesy’ from the movie.  Yes, Miss Sue is there; yes, so is S. J., the younger brother (who last year emerged as his own man in the field of basketball) and Collin (the sister whose life revolved around cheerleading),as well as the parents, Sean and Leigh Ann – all the characters from the movie are there, but Michael is clearly the star of this telling of his story.

 Which is as it should be.  He encourages other children of the ghetto to hold onto their dream — that they CAN amount to something in a positive way.  I gave the book to a young client fighting her way to respectability at age 17.  Her review was:   “This is better than the movie!  It tells the ‘real’ story!” So take it from me and Lupita:  This is a great book for teens!

Written by bethkoz

August 27, 2011 at 6:07 am

Damaged books!

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Ah!  Something burst in the ceiling at my office, above my credenza.  Five books were ruined by the ensuing flood!  Today I went online to look up the prices for replacements.  I was amazed at the prices of two of the books, which are out of print (I think) but available as used or library copies.  They were all children’s books, which I had on display:  A is for Adopted by Eileen Tucker Cosby.  Life sure feels different living in a separate house from my brother by Pamela and Camela Rollins.  Lucy’s Feet, by Stephanie Stein.  Sacred Connections by Mary Ann Koenig. and Active Interventions for Kids and Teens by Jeffrey Ashby, Jerry Kottman and Donald DeGreat.  I’ll soon be back in business!

And grateful that nothing else was ruined!

Review: Life Sure Feels Different Living in a Separate House from my Brother

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There are few topics in adoption that haven’t been written about. Newly published authors Pamela and Camela Rollins have found one. Life Sure Feels Different Living in a Separate House From My Brother (Halo Publishing Company, 2010) highlights a unique situation: siblings separated through the foster care system. In the book, five year old Camela remembers the special times she shared with her brother when they lived together. Now, her brother lives with his biological father and Camela and her baby sister have been adopted by a family that values ongoing contact between siblings. Illustrations by Kim Sponaugle capture the special closeness of siblings in a whimsical way.

This book could be used to help prospective foster parents understand the bond that exists between siblings, and to help them understand the advantage of keeping the connections alive between separated siblings. It would also help a child growing up in foster care to realize that longing for sibling contact is acceptable; it must be: someone wrote a book about it!!

Written by bethkoz

June 11, 2010 at 10:50 pm