Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Lost Children of Wilder

Excellent!!! This book has been so eye opening to me. The book was written by a New York Times writer who researched thoroughly and managed to make a non-fiction book interesting and fun to read! This book follows a young girl in New York City who gets placed in foster care. It follows her horrible life and all of the things that happen to her through her years, until she gets pregnant inside a state-run mental health facility. Then, the book follows her son, Lamont, through his equally horrible stay in the foster care system. The girl, Shirley, was born in the 70's, and the story ends with Lamont exiting foster care system in the early 90's, with a brief history of how the foster care system came to be in the early 1900's. You would not believe the state of the foster system at that time! It is unreal to me how bad those kids had it and still have it. When people talk about how horrible foster care is, I always assumed that was a thing of the past and it was taken care of. It is still not okay and needs a LOT of work to truly service those kids who need it.

Now, I realize that this book only talked about New York's system. I have no idea if the entire U.S. is under this same system, but I can't imagine that it's much different anywhere else. The saddest thing is the lack of foster homes, the quality of foster homes, and the even worse alternatives for those children that aren't placed in neighborhood foster homes.

I STRONGLY suggest reading this book if you are interested at all. Even though the topic and story are not particularly "fun" to read, it is so good to know now what kinds of things those children are going through. I feel inspired to treat human beings better because of this book--what have they gone through?

1 comment:

Ben Jensen Family said...

Hurry and post your review. We have some friends who want to be foster parents and we need to know if we can recommend this to them and look smart.