©2008 Ashley Rhodes-Courter; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
What a bright young girl who was passed from foster home to foster home and happened to be a gifted writer and grow up to tell it all.
If you ever wanted to be in the heart and mind of a child living a life very different from the norm, Ashley provides an articulate recounting. From her early days with her troubled mother to all the stops along the way to adulthood and a family who (finally!) loves her and adopts her, this story is irresistible.
The voice of the young narrator is perfect -- you feel as if Ashley is sitting next to you, wistfully sharing the truths and realities of her unbelievable life.
As a social worker this audio book really hit home. Our children are our future and they sometimes need to be protected. If we are their protectors then we need to make sure that we are doing our job. Ashley is a remarkable young woman and is a reminder of when systems go wrong there ARE people affected. Her, her birth family, her adoptive family and the many of thousands of children in foster care.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
This is just one of those stories that breaks your heart, but then puts it back together when you realize that this kid, with every imaginable strike against her, has made something of her life. She is an excellent writer, and although she likely had a ghost writer, I would not be surprised to learn that she did the whole thing on her own. That is the kind of person she is.
Having an adopted daughter who went through a lot of trauma in the foster care system, and having a lot of residual problems because of everything that went on in her young life and with her adoptive parents, this story really struck close to home. So many times I found myself thinking, "Yup, been there done that," "Oh yeh, I sure know how THAT feels," "Uh-huh, you did the right thing," and on and on. I am so happy for Ashley and admire her strength so much. Not being a professional narrator, she did an admirable job of telling her story.
This was heart wrenching at times. It is hard to believe that in this country we can't seem to do more to keep our children from such horrific treatment. The author seemed to keep herself together despite the poor care, disappointments, etc.
I read this book over a 24-hour period (and that included 8+ hours for sleeping). Ashley Rhodes-Courter is a gifted writer and a talented speaker/narrator. While it's clear she's not an actress, she depicts her own experiences with such raw power that you have no choice but to keep on listening.
Her memories as a child - all the foster homes and foster families and case workers and confusion - is depicted so well that you feel the fear and confusion right there. Your heart breaks as Ashley - not understanding what is happening to her - takes her frustrations out on her brother, bites her thumb so hard it becomes raw, buries herself into whatever school she's attending at the time. She distrusts everyone because she doesn't feel safe and secure, believing that any arrangement is temporary.
Though Three Little Words was compellingly written and narrated, I had a hard time listening to this book. It depicts a truly broken foster care system that doesn't protect the children that it claims to protect from abusive or neglectful parents. The Note to the Listener speaks volumes - that among an administration of nearly 200 people, only a handful (primarily volunteers) truly improved Ashley's life for the better.
I am looking forward to reading what Ashley's life has become in the years since this book was published.
A must read for anyone working with or interested in the foster care system. Very hard on the heart at times, but impossible to put down. A true account from the perspective of the child in the system. I highly recommend especially to case managers, social workers, and foster families.
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