Posts tagged ‘foster care’


Of Feathers and Friends (Clean Adventure)

Written by Darlene Hoggard Davis

This chapter book addresses many issues confronting today’s families. Tyler has been sent to live with his Grandmother until his newly separated parents can work things out. He feels trapped and unloved because he has been torn away from his life and friends in the city. Tyler decides to run away. He finds a tree-house that belongs to Cody and Jenna. These siblings have their own problems, a mean babysitter who mistreats them and parents who are seldom home. When Cody and Jenna decide to help Tyler, he distrusts them. The only friend he has is an injured sparrow. After several mishaps, Cody and Jenna move Tyler to an old shed, where Jenna, a local foster child tries to help him when he is injured. The story progresses with many twists and turns. In the end, children and adults learn how to believe and trust in one another.

This story is targeted for grades K to 6. I believe it is best suited for children in the eight to twelve age group, who will appreciate and understand all the issues in the storyline. There is a Christian focus, but the book is not preachy. This book would make an excellent read-aloud book for discussion on many social issues.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button at the upper right-hand corner of this page.


The Puppy Place # 1 Where Every Puppy Finds a Home

Written by Ellen Miles

This is my first time reading a book in this series. I enjoyed reading this chapter book that is perfect for beginning readers who love dogs. Lizzie and Charles are two siblings who really want a dog, but their mom favors cats and feels that their family is not ready to shoulder the responsibility of caring for a dog. One day, their father, who is a volunteer fireman, rescues a golden retriever puppy from a fire. The children plead with their parents to keep the pup. When their two-year-old brother falls in love with “Goldie,” and follows her everywhere, mom reluctantly agrees to adopt the dog temporarily as a foster pup. Lizzie researchers how to train puppies and Charles helps out with socialization training. Mom insists that they advertise in the community for a permanent placement, and the children reluctantly agree. They come up with a plan to keep the pup nearby. In the end, the family is surprised at how this golden retriever has transformed them.

This chapter book is charming; it tells the story from the viewpoint of the children as well as in the first person from the viewpoint of a puppy. In the process, children learn responsibility and the proper way to care for a puppy. Recommended especially for readers ages seven through ten, but the tale can be enjoyed by all ages.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.


Snow Pup: Holiday Heartwarmers Book2)

Written by Mimi Barbour


This is the second book in Barbour’s holiday series. Well-written plot with realistic characters that has no real connection to the Christmas holiday other than the setting. Deputy Shawna Mallory is a thirty-one year old single cop who lives in the rather sleepy town of Carlton Grove. She has a deep commitment to her job, and moves quickly when she hears an amber alert on the radio for a missing eleven year old boy. Mallory hears a dog barking; she finds the boy under a snow drift being guarded by the pup. The sheriff agrees to take the boy in while he awaits a new foster care family.

Complications arise when the boy’s real father arrives back on the scene from an overseas assignment in Chile. John Reid McCrae appears to have a poor parenting track record, but Shawna’s friend Alice knew him many years ago and offers a different opinion. In the meantime Shawna grows attached to Billy, who is about to be given to a new foster family. Billy runs away once again, but even more puzzling is the strange affect Billy’s dad has upon Shawna. What outcome ensues for Billy, John, and the Deputy Sheriff whose lives have become entangled.

A heartwarming story revolving around coming of age, domestic violence, foster care, romance, pets and peer relationships that will tear at the heart strings of young adult and adult readers. Actually, the book could be a middle grade read if one is willing to look past a few curse words and one or two light romantic scenes. Snow Pup is the kind of story that will put the reader in the mood for the holiday season.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the RSS FEED button in the upper right hand corner of this page.



Written by Brenda Kearns


This novella explores the drawbacks of the foster care system and the emotions of children who are its victims. The author has had first hand experience with the system and presents her story from the point of view of fourteen year old Allie. She and her younger twin siblings, Luke and Madeleine have been ripped away from their mother many times. This time they find themselves on a farm.

Allie is determined to get them back to their urban home. She uses her experience to try to manipulate the system and the social worker. When she finds herself in the care of Jo-Jo and a few other foster children, Allie is flummoxed. While she is determined to get back home as fast as she can, this family’s approach of both tough love and common sense has her baffled. It seems that Allie’s mother is determined to sabotage her efforts because every time she has a chance to show herself a good mother, she proves just the opposite. Finally the day arrives when they have an unsupervised overnight visit with their mother; the children find themselves in trouble again. How will Allie decide to handle it this time?

This book is both an examination of foster care and a coming of age story. Kearns knows how to develop her characters and pull the heart strings of her readers. At the same time, the touches of humor like Allie falling into cow dung and getting kicked when pretending to understand how to milk a cow take the edge off an otherwise too serious topic. I recommend the book for children ages ten and up. They will find many topics with which to identify as well as being given an opportunity to explore aspects of serious family issues.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed button in the upper right hand corner of this post.


DOG BONE SOUP Launch Banner

DOG BONE SOUP is not only the title of Bette A. Stevens’s debut novel; it ranks high among the paltry meals that the book’s protagonist, Shawn Daniels, wants to forget. Plodding through mounting snow and battling howling winds, Shawn is ready to leave it all behind—living in poverty, Dad’s drinking, life in foster care, the divorce, the bullies….

Travel with Shawn Daniels through the guts and the glories of life. You’ll find them all in DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age saga. Available now at “YOUR AMAZON”

From the Reviewers

“Dog Bone Soup is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when most others were on the crest of a wave. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. But most of all it will make you glad you read it.” ~ Charlie Bray, founder of the Indietribe

“In Dog Bone Soup, Bette Stevens captures the feeling and images of growing up in hardscrabble times perfectly.” ~ John Clark, librarian and author


READ the opening Excerpt from Chapter One right here…

DOG BONE SOUP BW Border 2015The postcard arrived four days before my eighteenth birthday. All I had to do now was sign the final papers and light out for basic training. I could hardly wait to leave this place behind.

There were six of us ready to become soldiers. The other five guys were headed to Fort Dix. Soon as we were inducted, the sergeant who swore us in started calling us a bunch of lily-assed bastards and worse. When the jerk marched the other five guys off, I was happy as hell I wasn’t one of them.

Lieutenant Richards called me into his office. “You’ll be heading out tomorrow, Private Daniels. Here are your tickets.”

We sat in his office and talked about my future with the U.S. Army. Then he handed me a schedule for the next day’s journey and we went over every detail.

“Now let’s get you home so you can get a good night’s sleep before you fly off to serve Uncle Sam, soldier.”

“Good luck Private,” the lieutenant said when he dropped me off at the house. We saluted and I stood there watching until his car disappeared over the hill.

I’d always liked army people. They called me Mr. Daniels and even sir sometimes. Now I was officially a private in the U.S. Army and I was ready to start a new life. I pictured myself in an officer’s uniform one day—a lieutenant, a captain, maybe even a general.

Mum and I didn’t get much more than a few winks of sleep that night. I don’t know how many pots of coffee she perked while we sat at the kitchen table and talked the night away. Of course, it was Mum did most of the talking. Once she opened her picture books, I felt like I was drinking in the life I wanted to leave.

Mum took all of those pictures with her Brownie—that camera was her pride and joy. None of us kids was allowed to touch it unless she supervised a picture taking every now and then. If Dad wasn’t around, it was me peeking through the lens. Mum was fussy about taking pictures just so.

Five books were piled on the table and we went through them one page at a time. Mum had a story for every snap shot. Some made me laugh so hard that I doubled over.

It was two minutes shy of three when she closed the last album.

“Thanks for staying up. I’ve got the alarm set for six and I know that won’t give us much sleep.” Mum pulled out her hanky, sniffled and hugged me before we turned in. My leaving would to be hard on her.

Willie was snoring away, likely dreaming about cars. I slipped in next to him and pulled away some puffs and huddled under them.

The minute I closed my eyes I started dreaming about my new life. No more freezing to death up north. I was headed for southern sunshine and I saw myself soaking it all in.

Bzzzzzzz. I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes, grabbed the suitcase and headed for the kitchen. Mum already had breakfast on the stove, so I ran outside to do my business and came back in to grab a hot biscuit and down it with a cup of steaming coffee.

I was half frozen and snow was whipping around me in circles when I headed out on the three-mile walk into town to catch that bus.

I shook flakes big as quarters from my jacket when I climbed the steps of the Greyhound. Two hours and I’d be boarding a plane headed to Fort Jackson. South Carolina was sure the place to be, especially in February.

### end of excerpt

About the author

BAS Author logo stamp 2015Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Bette A. Stevens is the author of award-winning picture book AMAZING MATILDA; home/school resource, The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP.

Find out more about the author and her books right here on “YOUR AMAZON”


Dog Bone Soup

Written by Bette A. Stevens


Anyone who grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s or who has a grandparent or parent who has told them stories about it, will truly empathize with this coming of age novel. It touches on so many timeless issues like poverty, alcoholism, bullying, domestic violence, family relationships, and self-identify crises. There are many touching and authentic incidents described in a way that makes the characters so alive and appealing to the reader.

Shawn Daniels is the oldest child in a poor family living in a small rural town. They live in a unfinished house that has no bathroom, running water or heat, yet his dad finds money for a TV. Dad spends most of his time drinking or bullying the family. When a friend from school spends the night, everyone at school learns of Shawn’s plight and make fun of his situation. Shawn’s mother is very proud; she works several jobs to make ends meet. At the same time Mrs. Daniels refuses to accept help from “uppity rich folks.” Largely left to his own resources, Shawn accepts responsibility for the family, he learns about logging, gardening; he will do what is necessary by stealing apples or teaching himself how to milk a cow and then steal the milk. By the time Shawn is in high school and his mother finally divorces his father, he faces the difficult decision of whether to maintain his dream to attend college or accept reality and his self-imposed family responsibility. His choices are to leave home to join the military and perhaps face death fighting in the Vietnam War or living on another family’s charity while finishing high school.

This book is written from the heart. Though the setting is over fifty years in the past, the issues remain contemporary. I feel that the book is appropriate for young adults and adults or mature middle grade students. There are a couple of curse words. Well-written, worthwhile and powerful in scope and detail.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

%d bloggers like this: