Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time

Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time


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Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time by Carissa Phelps

“Riveting . . . A genuinely important book that casts the problem of sex trafficking in America into stunning, heartbreaking relief.” (Kirkus Reviews)
A School Library Journal Best Adult Book for Teens
A Joan F. Kaywell Award Finalist from the Florida Council of Teachers of English
Carissa Phelps was a runner. By the time she was twelve, she had run away from home, dropped out of school, and fled blindly into the arms of a brutal pimp. Even when she escaped him, she could not outrun the crushing inner pain of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. With little to hope for, she expected to end up in prison, or worse. But then her life was transformed through the unexpected kindness of a teacher and a counselor. Through small miracles, Carissa accomplished the unimaginable, graduating from UCLA with both a law degree and an MBA. She left the streets behind, yet found herself back, this time working to help homeless and at-risk youth discover their own paths to a better life. Like the multimillion-copy bestseller The Glass Castle, this memoir moves us through the power of its unflinching candor and generosity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780670023721
Publisher: Viking Adult
Publication date: 07/05/2012
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.34(w) x 9.18(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

An attorney, motivational speaker, and youth advocate, Carissa Phelps works as part of a global collective to help local and international survivors of sex trafficking rebuild their lives. Her life story was the subject of the award-winning documentary "Carissa." She lives in San Luis Obispo, California.

Larkin Warren’s essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Glamour, More, and Good Housekeeping. Among her recent book collaborations are Mary Forsberg Weiland’s Fall to Pieces and Elyn R. Saks’s bestselling The Center Cannot Hold.

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Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books written on this subject.  I work with runaways and have read dozens of books, some autobiographical and others biographical or even fiction.  This is in my opinion the best one on the market.  She has vivid details, does not glamorize anything, and does not try to "sell" the story.  The book tells the story from her perspective, helping the reader understand what is going on in this girls mind while she is on the streets.  The story then goes into detail about what helped her get off the streets, and what did not. It is rare to read a book that is both interesting and educational.  For anyone who wants to understand why children end up on the streets, I strongly encourage you to read this book.  And, for any teens thinking of running, read this first.  Life on the streets is not like a Disney movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Learn a little about what a human being can overcome. Kudos Carissa!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written with a surprisingly detailed recollections of her thoughts and feelings. It is not apologetic, whinny, melodramatic or attempting to place blame. Written with enough depth to feel like you can understand why a teenager in that situations would make the bad decisions she did and why she couldn't escape on her own. This book also gives some good insight into why the approaches of the adults in her life worked or didn't work (As a teacher I've struggled with on how to approach the 'bad kids').
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'Runaway Girl' is a truly moving and uplifting memoir written by Carissa Phelps about her life as a runaway and the subsequent consequences it presented. The story of her childhood and teenage years is absolutely heartbreaking. She takes us through her early home life and what caused her to leave her home. By the tender age of twelve, Carissa had gone through more than most would in their entire lives. The amount of abuse and pain that she endured made me cry at times - my heart felt so deeply for her. Carissa's life takes an unexpected turn for the better after a teacher and counselor begin to show her true kindness and to nurture her back to a healthy state. The latter part of the memoir tells of what happened to Carissa after the help of these two people. She flourished in a remarkable way and has even been helping the homeless and at-risk youth. 'Runaway Girl' is at times heartbreaking and at other times so filled with hope. It's written with such a conversational tone that it's an easy read, and the reader is easily pulled into her story. The book is exceptionally well written and had me engrossed from the first page. I deeply empathized with Carissa and was able to share both her deep pain and her exhilarating joy throughout the novel. Carissa's life story is one that everyone should read - it's full of the harsh realities of life that oftentimes get swept under the rug, but her amazing ability to better herself and eventually to help others is a true inspiration that is direly needed in our world today. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Nicole68 More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. I have never read another book in which the author was so authentic and vulnerable. The way that Carissa chronicles her experiences and how she processes them is beautifully written and transparently descriptive. As a social worker, I would recommend “Runaway Girl” be required reading for anyone who works with children, especially children who have experienced trauma or demonstrate troubling behavior. Carissa shares her story in a way that allows us to understand we can all make a positive impact in any child’s life simply by valuing them instead of judging them. Although it is clear there are people who could be blamed for Carissa’s incredibly traumatic childhood, she tells her story without blame or self-pity, and without excuses. Her courage and resilience is a message of hope for anyone who has ever felt lost, unloved, abandoned, or valueless. After reading the book, I found it difficult to stop constantly thinking about all of the lessons I had gained from it and what I believe others could learn as well. Carissa captivates in the way she describes her inspirational journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, emotional, a bit difficult at times due to the subject matter. This is an amazing and inspirational story of survival.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great ! Carissa is inspiring and takes you through the journey of her like . Being a child care worker and reading this book helps me understand the layers we have to peel back to help our youth . I was able to meet Carissa at a training and I So glad I bought this book . Must read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago