One Small Boat: The Story of a Little Girl, Lost Then Found

One Small Boat: The Story of a Little Girl, Lost Then Found

3.6 5
by Kathy Harrison
     
 

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This story of one little girl's journey through our foster-care system forms an intimate portrait of foster care in America and the children whose lives are forever shaped by it.

Augusten Burroughs called Kathy Harrison's memoir Another Place at the Table a "riveting and profoundly moving story of a hero, disguised as an everyday woman." In One SmallSee more details below

Overview

This story of one little girl's journey through our foster-care system forms an intimate portrait of foster care in America and the children whose lives are forever shaped by it.

Augusten Burroughs called Kathy Harrison's memoir Another Place at the Table a "riveting and profoundly moving story of a hero, disguised as an everyday woman." In One Small Boat, Harrison tells the story of one little girl who arrived on her doorstep, and describes how caring for this child was an experience that challenged everything she thought she knew about foster-care parenting and the needs of the children she shelters.

Daisy was five when she arrived in Harrison's bustling home. Mother of three children by birth and three by adoption, and with a handful of foster kids always coming and going, Harrison had ten children under her roof at any given time. But Daisy was in many ways unique. Daisy's birth mother wasn't poor, uneducated, or drug addicted. She simply couldn't bring herself to take care of her little girl, and the effects on the child were heartrending. Daisy was unwilling to eat—even frightened of it—and seemed to have a severe speech impediment. After two weeks in Kathy's loving home, however, Daisy began to thrive. What had happened to her? And how can a foster-care parent give back all that has been taken from a child like Daisy—knowing that she might leave one day very soon? Harrison had seen many children pass through her doors, but this one touched her in a way she didn't immediately understand.

One Small Boat will be of deep interest to anyone who has nurtured and cared for a child or anyone interested in the intricate web that is our social welfare system.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As a follow-up to her account of providing foster care to at-risk children, 2003's Another Place at the Table, Harrison focuses on one particularly challenging child. Foster parents in Massachusetts since 1988, Harrison and her husband have three children by birth, three by adoption, and a flock of kids staying with them who need short-term care. Into this mix comes Daisy, a five-year-old with a speech impediment who slowly reveals a history of sexual abuse. The way in which Daisy folds into the busy Harrison family, and the difference in her behavior when she's around her spaced-out birth mother, demonstrate how much environment can affect a child's demeanor and development. Harrison shows such honesty about her emotions and her limitations as a foster parent that Daisy's heartbreaking story is even more searing. The memoir also offers a glimpse into the lives of foster parents, who are often depicted as indifferent or awful. Harrison and her husband, on the other hand, are good, caring people who struggle to care for a passel of emotionally bruised children-and usually succeed. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Harrison's family might come home on any given day to find a strange child-disheveled, scared, and angry-in their home. As emergency-placement foster parents, Harrison and her husband have sheltered and cared for well over 100 children from varyingly tragic circumstances while raising their three birth children and three adopted children and demonstrating the passion and sacrifice of good parents in a much-maligned undertaking. Effectively a sequel to her first memoir, A Place at the Table, this book illumines another chapter in the lives of Harrison's younger children and temporary charges, in particular a needful and affecting little girl named Daisy. With her odd behaviors and phobias, Daisy had special needs that were severe but not unheard of-yet unlike many foster children, her birth mother was educated and relatively well-off. As she learned to trust the Harrisons and enjoy their encouragement, Daisy began to thrive, but along with new accomplishments came evidence of the horrors she'd suffered. Harrison serves as witness to the nearly unimaginable experiences of abused and neglected children and advocates for their care. Her books should be read by policymakers as well as general readers. Warmly recommended.-Janet Ingraham Dwyer, Worthington Libs., OH. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Harrison (Another Place at the Table, 2003) has opened her home to more than 100 foster children. In this memoir, she focuses on just one. Foster parents know that, unless they are prepared to take a child on very short notice, they shouldn't answer the phone late Friday afternoon. Seasoned foster mom Kathy Harrison is a little surprised to find herself not only accepting just such a last-minute placement, but choosing, from among the three children for whom her social worker was trying to find beds, the one who sounded the most challenging. At six, Daisy was taking an inordinate number of psychiatric medications, she didn't talk much, and she refused to eat. She twirled in circles or flapped her hands like wings when anxious. But after several weeks with the Harrisons, Daisy, well, blossoms, emerging as a confident, sharp child. Eventually, she trusts Kathy enough to reveal details of heinous sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother's boyfriend. Though Harrison takes pains to make clear that children at every socio-economic level are abused and neglected, she allows that one wouldn't have expected Daisy's family to land in the social-services net-Daisy's grandmother is a well-heeled attorney, and her mom a flaky feng-shui devotee. Helping Daisy adjust to her new surroundings isn't the only task on Harrison's plate. Her daughter Karen, 13, has just been diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, and another foster child, Jazzy, 8, is leaving the Harrison family to be adopted. This is good news, but Jazzy, who feels at home with the Harrisons, doesn't want to go. Throughout, Harrison is endearingly matter-of-fact, even humble, about the hard but rewarding work to which she has beencalled. Be forewarned: After you read this beautiful account of the small triumphs and not-so-small heartbreaks of foster care, you may find yourself scanning the web, trying to find out how to become a foster parent.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440649851
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/06/2006
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
425,032
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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