Customer Reviews for

Hope's Boy

Average Rating 4.5
( 33 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Hope's Boy is a touching story.

Hope's Boy is a biography of Andrew Bridge's life as he remembers growing up within the California Foster Care System. He survived a loveless foster home although they cared for him the entire eleven years he lived in foster care. It is a touching story about how he use...
Hope's Boy is a biography of Andrew Bridge's life as he remembers growing up within the California Foster Care System. He survived a loveless foster home although they cared for him the entire eleven years he lived in foster care. It is a touching story about how he used his schooling and teachers to get through each day and never gave up on all the love he had for his mother who left in the foster system. What Andrew didn't know was that his mother was institutionalized during most of his foster care years. Read this book to understand how he grew into a professional lawyer as well as an advocate to helping children living in the foster care system.

posted by Sunflower6_Cris on May 26, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Not so much

I hate to sound unsympathetic, but as I neared the end of the book, I found Andy less and less 'likeable.' I love memoirs, I love against-all-odds story, but what I kept picking up from the book was a 'poor me' attitude. The italicized lines maddened me because he sho...
I hate to sound unsympathetic, but as I neared the end of the book, I found Andy less and less 'likeable.' I love memoirs, I love against-all-odds story, but what I kept picking up from the book was a 'poor me' attitude. The italicized lines maddened me because he should have spoken up. I tend to think maybe the Leonards weren't quite as bad as he made them sound, and even if they are, they still gave him so much. They changed their license to keep him, he could have been shuffled around A LOT more and been dealt a much worse destiny. My own mother was more like Mrs. Leonard, but Andy had known pure unconditional love from not one person, but 2. I could have hoped for so much. When he said things like they didn't ask for weeks where the college was, why didn't he open up and offer more? He is as guilty for the relationship as they are. He did not open up to them or others and I guess I just found that frustrating, like he may have missed the whole lesson there for the reason for his life. It did not inspire me, it left me just a little annoyed after awhile at all his negative portrayals of everyone. I wish for him tolerance, love, healing, peace....

posted by Masha123 on November 1, 2009

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  • Posted May 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hope's Boy is a touching story.

    Hope's Boy is a biography of Andrew Bridge's life as he remembers growing up within the California Foster Care System. He survived a loveless foster home although they cared for him the entire eleven years he lived in foster care. It is a touching story about how he used his schooling and teachers to get through each day and never gave up on all the love he had for his mother who left in the foster system. What Andrew didn't know was that his mother was institutionalized during most of his foster care years. Read this book to understand how he grew into a professional lawyer as well as an advocate to helping children living in the foster care system.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2009

    Inspirational

    The human spirit is alive in Hope's Boy as the reader is taken on a heartwrenching journey with this young man who survives against seemingly insurmountable odds. It is extremely well written and highly recommended for anyone who has ever known or worked with children in foster care, but certainly not limited to that profession.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2009

    English 12 block 7th

    Hope's boy a memoir is a shocking, inspiring, and unforgettable story about Andrew Bridge. Andrew and is mother hope shared a love for a son and mother unheard of and was moving to everybody. But as hopes mental health steadily declined, the authorities took Andrew out her screaming arms at the age of seven. After that hope was institutionalized. And Andrew was placed in a foster care for the time being. After awhile Andrew was thrust into a savagely loveless foster family that refused to accept him as one of there own. Since his foster family didn't accept him as their own he grew on to academics and the kindness of his teachers. He had a deep feeling in side of him for his mother that the family didn't approve of. That probably why they didn't accept him was there own and he wanted his own last name not there foster families last name. Since Andrew had a liking for academics, he earned a scholarship to Wesleyan, and later moved on to Harvard law school and became a Fulbright scholar. The reason being the novel is so inspiring, is because he was forced out of his mother hopes arms screaming because they shared a deep love. But she couldn't take care of him at the age of seven, let alone her self with her mental health decaling so dramatically. And he was faced with that and he had to over come being apart for his mother at a young age and later had a successful life. It's amazing how you can have a dermaic childhood and then come back and have a successful life. He was a graduate of Harvard and later became the CEO/general counsel of the Alliance for Children's Rights. Because of his childhood experience. He didn't other children have the same experience he did. He believed if you were placed in a foster home you shouldn't have a terrible experience. You should live life how you want to. Not how your foster family wants you to be. The novel was to me, inspiring, amazing, and turning the odds against faith. I think no other memoir can even compete to this novel. Because the story of Andrew bridge it tells. To me Andrew Bridge over came everything to get what he wanted. He is inspiring person to me and if you read this novel he will soon be inspiring to you also.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Read.....

    This was a great book. One that you can't put down. The story of this boy growning up in foster care is moving, and you never have a hard time putting yourself right in his place, and feeling what he was feeling. I am happy that he was courageous enough to share his story with the world, because it is a truly amazing one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2008

    A tribute to Hope, Healing and Overcoming

    Hope's Boy'- A memoir written by Andrew Bridge made me cry. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons! This young man accomplishes the seemingly impossible with the courage and grace of a champion. None of us chooses our parents - but rarely does life dole out the circumstances and conditions that are handed to Andy. Imagine being six years old living with a mother who is loving but definitely showing signs of mental illness. Hope'his mother' hears voices and has frequent breakdowns on the street. She is a victim of a broken home 'herself' and of poverty, facing life on the streets of Hollywood and North Hollywood at the age of 22 with a young boy in tow. The young mother tries to get a job and is even helped by a few good samaritans but eventually she is overcome by the stress and circumstances of being mentally ill with all that that implies. I am happy when the county takes Andy from his mother, but that happiness quickly turns to sadness and disbelief when he encounters the horrors at MCLaren Hall and the sadistic treatment from his foster mother.'herself a child of the holocaust.' Being innately bright and with a will to survive and keep his 'hope' alive 'of being reunited with his mother or grandmother', Andy learns how to keep out of trouble by being invisible and not making waves. He does what he is told and eventually finds some acceptance and 'normalcy' by being an academic achiever. None of this brings him what he longs for and needs more than anything else in this world,the unconditional love of a caring human being. While the love being offered to him by his mother was by no means perfect he innately knows that it was the 'real thing'. No one can or will provide him with this love. Not his social workers, who rarely or never ask how he is being treated , not his foster-siblings who barely tolerate their mother's desire for taking in homeless children, not his teachers who although impressed with his mind do not give more than the prefunctory grades and accolades and not even the friendship usually shared with classmates and friends. He loses his childhood but eventually emerges as a strong accomplished man eager to help other children like him deal with the weaknessess, inconsistencies and abuses of the institutionalized and foster-care children of this nation. Congratulations Andy and I pray that through this book you may someday find your true brother Jason whom I can tell you truly have learned to love. May God bless you!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2008

    Wake Up Call to Juvenile & FamilyLaw - You're Doing More HamThan Good!

    His plight with a mentally ill parent is all too common. The system is not trained, equpped or willing to acknowledge that it often doing more harm than good for children and families. The system permits a mentally ill . malcious parent to harass the other parent using the courts, attorneys, minors counsels, social workers, teachers, police, DMV, Animal Control, health department and collabotors via 'anonymous' complaints and judges stand back and say and do nothing to protect the children caught in the middle of these sociopathetic games. Instead of removing the offending parent - they remove the children - which brings in hundreds of millions of dollars to county and state coffers. The foster families and focster care agencies also engage in malacious practices to prolong the term of foster care and their own selfish financial interests. The system if broken - and the only people making out are the people who get paid to keep iy broken. Also, CPSD/DCFS laws are unconstituional - parents are deemed guilty until proven innovent! Parents have to prove they did nothing to their children - all driven by false allegations or innuendos. Protect our children from well-meaning people and institutions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2008

    A Stunning Honest Book of Triumph

    A friend of mine who's works at an independent book store gave me an advance reading copy of Hope's Boy. I read it in three days. Bridge has written the incredible story of his mother, her final fall into psychosis and his childhood in foster care. It's a devastating written story about the binds between a mother and child, and Bridge's ultimate success despite the profound loss of his mother. I especially admired his ability to describe his mother's mental collapse in precise language -- which he himself witnessed -- free of the overly sentimental writing we see so much of today. You put the book down and it still stays with you. Bridge has done an incredible job.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2012

    David the boss

    Good book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2011

    fantastic

    this was a very moving biography. i could not put it down. i cried at the end, but eas so happy that andy fought to help other children in foster care.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2008

    Riveting, Amazing memoir. Bridge is a saint with all he's accomplished helping children in his career!

    Very moving memoir, made me cry. Fantastic read! Astonished that sweet innocent children have to be paired up with dysfunctional foster parents.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2008

    A step in the right direction.

    I found this book to be deeply moving. I applaud Mr. Bridges in bringing to light the horrors we as children of the mentally ill endure. It is obvious that Mr. Bridges has a deep love for his mother. Hopefully as awareness of mental illness raises so does awareness of what we the children of the mentally ill endure-some put in the system, others, like myself and siblings, ignored by the system and left to be abused. This story is one facet of a many faceted problem.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    Didn't Want to Put it Down

    Hope's Boy is a devastating memoir of what can become of young mothers and children living on society's margins. Painful and honest, the story offers insights into the terrible impacts of mental illness and poverty, into our too often bungling child welfare system, and into how much love can bear and survive. Written with breathtaking care and precision, the book is a must read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2007

    Loved this Book!

    A powerful memoir that makes an incredible plea for better the lives of our poorest children and the foster care system generally. The book describes a savage children's institution, a loveless foster family, and a seven year boy who succeeds despite it all. A great story, wonderfully written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    Hope's Boy is remarkably moving account of overcoming profound tragedy. I was lucky to get an advanced reading copy of the book from a friend. Searing, beautiful, and inspiring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2007

    Profoundly Moving

    Andrew Bridge has produced an absolutely extraordinarily first time book and memoir about a childhood in foster care and a mother too flawed to keep him but who loved him desperately. The writing careful, even reserved -- never overdone. The story is incredible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2008

    Hope's Boy

    Like Andrew Bridge, I am an attorney. I, too, have represented many children who were removed from their parents because they needed protection or help at a particular time, only to suffer years of additional trauma and loss at the hands of the very systems and people that were supposed to be helping them. Bridge's memoir is a powerful example of the importance of the principle 'First, do no harm!' For all of us who are committed to helping, Bridge's book is a necessary and painful reminder that we must be ever mindful of the unintended but devastating consequences our actions in the name of helping can have. It is also a necessary and humbling reminder that love and a sense of belonging can never be replaced by even the best of our intentions and interventions. It should be required reading for social workers, lawyers, judges and policy makers working with and on behalf of children who are physically separated from their parents and other family members.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2008

    Hope's Boy

    I was delighted to read Hope's Boy. It reminds me why I¿m a social worker. Connections with others, and the need for them, are at our core. They are powerful and enduring, as is the sense of loss when they are broken. In Bridge¿s case, social workers and the foster care system broke his physical connections to his mother and grandmother. As social workers, our role is to support, honor and do everything we can to sustain the core bond between parent and child. We failed to do that for Bridge. Despite our failures, Bridge held close his memories of Hope, developing his own extraordinary capacity for resilience. He lends a powerful voice to so many foster children who have learned to ¿be still,¿ who continue to long for their own enduring bond with a forever parent. We can and must do better for them. Thanks again for a wonderful reminder of our responsibility to nurture resilience and hope in all children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    I was deeply moved by 'Hope's Boy,' Andrew Bridge's haunting elegy of a childhood that seemed to be lost forever when Andrew, at age 7, became a ward of the State after being taken from the arms of his young mother on a street corner in North Hollywood. Andrew's unsparing chronicle of his experiences on the front lines of our nation's foster care system -- including his time in a facility that seemed more like a prison camp, and his rearing by a sadistic foster mother, who herself was a prison camp survivor -- opened my eyes more widely to the system's endemic problems than any piece of investigative journalism on the subject ever could. But, at its core, Andrew's book is a heartbreaking, unforgettable love story about a mother and her son. Even though Andrew's mother, Hope, appears intermittently throughout his memoir, I felt her presence, even in her absence, on every single page of his book. I don't know that I've ever read anything more powerful about love and loss than Andrew's searing prose about his mother's embrace as she struggled to hold onto him when he was being pried from her arms. And ultimately, I was inspired by how Hope's love gave Andrew the strength to pursue, and, ultimately, achieve his goals. The adult Andrew has given a proud, defiant voice to the boy and his mother. I, for one, am glad to have heard them and hope that many others will too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    An Important Memoir

    I really liked Hope's Boy. Bridge has written a poignant and restrained memoir about childhood loss and love. A survivor of our country's brutal foster care system, Bridge reminds how us how much better we can do for our most vulnerable kids. A great, great book, filled with extraordinary characters and stories, culminating in an inspiring and unforgettable ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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