The Boy who was Raised as a Dog - Bruce Perry (Amazon)

In this instant classic of developmental psychology, a renowned psychiatrist examines the effect that trauma can have on a child, reveals how PTSD impacts the developing mind, and outlines the path to recovery.What happens when a young brain is traumatized?

Finding Forrester - James Ellison (Amazon)

The inspiring story of the unlikely friendship between a famous, reclusive novelist and an amazingly gifted teen who secretly yearns to be a writer.

My sister’s Keeper - Jodi Picoult (Amazon)

The emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

Three Little Words - Ashley Rhodes-Courter (Available @ BVFC)

In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed - and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice.

High on Arrival - Mackenzie Phillips (Amazon)

Mackenzie Phillips battle with personal demons and near-fatal addictions. She overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles again and again and journeys toward redemption and peace.

Blackbird - Jennifer Lauck (Amazon)

In this remarkable memoir, the author conveys the thoughts and emotions of a young child whose parents both die during the turbulent first six years of her life.

A Child Called It - Dave Pelzer (Available @ BVFC)

This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history.

No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court - Edward Humes (Amazon)

After being granted access by court, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Humes surveys the largely futile attempts of LA to deal with juvenile crime.

The Lost Children of Wilder: The Epic Struggle To Change Foster Care - Nina Bernstein (Amazon)

The author follows the thread of two tragic lives and in the process illuminates the nation’s dysfunctional social welfare system and the impact on the children it tries to help.

The Good Wife - Stewart O’Nan (Amazon)

A small town housewife, pregnant with her first child, watches her husband go off to jail for murder and robbery gone awry. This is a story of ordinary lives and small graces

Why I Didn't Say Anything - Sheldon Kennedy (Amazon)

In 1996, Sheldon Kennedy rocked the insular world of Canadian hockey by announcing that his former minorleague coach, Graham James - the Hockey News 1989 Man of the Year - had sexually abused him more than 300 times.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? - Beverly Daniel Tatum (Amazon)

Tatum presents strong evidence that straight talk about our racial identities-whatever they may be-is essential if we are serious about facilitating communication across racial and ethnic divides.

White Oleander - Janet Fitch (Amazon)

A sensitive, thirteen year old narrator is burdened with an impossible mother. The reader will find the resulting tale of brilliantly characterized (through dysfunctional) foster families difficult to put down

What It Takes To Pull Me Through - David Marcus (Amazon)

This is a thoughtful expose on what teens are up against in their world and how we, as parents and advocates, can guide them towards more promising paths.

We Are Annora - P.S. Marrow (Amazon)

Throughout the pages of this book, struggles of fear and hope, love and hate, confusion, and utter clarity give the reader an "insider" perspective of the challenges faced by traumatized people with DID.

Wayne: An Abused Child’s Story of Courage, Survival and Hope - Wayne Theodore (Amazon)

The author, now middle-aged, grew up with eleven siblings, an abusive father and a weak mother. Reading his family’s case files sets the author off on a recovery course that ends with a nationally televised confrontation with his parents.

Wasted: The Plight of America’s Unwanted Children - Patrick T. Murphy (Amazon)

The author has no illusions about our present welfare and children’s services systems, offering an earthly, inside view of why these systems aren’t working and providing anecdotal proof of the failures

Tweak: Growing up on Meth - Nic Sheff (Amazon)

Nic Sheff regularly smoked pot, did cocaine and ecstasy, and developed addictions to crystal meth and heroin. In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery.

Thinking in Pictures - Temple Grandin (Amazon)

What emerges in Thinking in Pictures is the document of an extraordinary human being, one who, in gracefully and lucidly bridging the gulf between her condition and our own, sheds light on the riddle of our common identity.

The Tricky Part: One Boy’s Fall From Trespass Into Grace - Martin Moran (Amazon)

Between the ages of twelve and fifteen, Martin Moran had a sexual relationship with an older man, a counselor he had met at a Catholic boy’s camp near Denver. Almost 30 years later, at the age of forty two, he sets out to find and face his abuser.

The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd (Amazon)

The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love—a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids - Madeline Levine (Amazon)

Her thoughtful, practical advice provides solutions that will enable parents to help their emotionally troubled "star" child cultivate an authentic sense of self.

The Quality of Life Report - Meghan Daum (Amazon)

Lucinda relocates to the Midwest to escape the chaos of New York City. What she finds there is a boyfriend of questionable hygiene and judgment, a rambling, isolated farmhouse, and a crazy bunch of locals

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter - Kim Edwards (Amazon)

A rich and deeply moving page-turner, The Memory Keeper's Daughter captures the way life takes unexpected turns and how the mysterious ties that hold a family together help us survive the heartache that occurs when long-buried secrets burst into the open.

The Lost Boy - Dave Pelzer (Available @ BVFC)

This book discusses Pelzer's struggling with his ability to fit in and adapt to the new environment around him as he is put into foster care. It also talks about the kindness of his foster parents and other people around him as well as his inability to brush his mother aside.

Sickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhood - Julie Gregory (Amazon)

Sickened takes us to new places in the human heart and spirit. It is an unforgettable story, unforgettably told.

The Language of Flowers: A Novel - Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Amazon)

A deftly powerful story of finding your way home, even after you’ve burned every bridge behind you.

The Help - Kathryn Stockett (Amazon)

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women, mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends– view one another

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - Mark Haddon (Amazon)

Mark Haddon has written a moving novel about love and bravery through the eyes of a British autistic boy

Running with Scissors - Augusten Burroughs (Amazon)

A disturbing but entertaining memoir about the author’s abandonment by his unbalanced mother, his adoption by a neighborhood pedophile, and layers of despair that the quirky author almost glamorizes to stay sane.

Orphans of the Living: Stories of America’s Children in Foster Care - Jennifer Toth (Amazon)

For this eye-opening look at how America cares for its abused and neglected children, Toth traveled to foster care homes, orphanages, and juvenile detention centers to record the poignant, often heroic voices of youngsters trying to survive in an overburdened system.

Orphans: A True Story Of Abandonment, Abuse and Redemption - Roger Dean Kiser (Amazon)

This memoir is told from the viewpoint of a child who endured nearly unspeakable horrors in a Florida orphanage and somehow emerged, spirit intact to not only survive, but tell his story with unflinching honesty.

One Kid at a Time - Jake Dekker (Available @ BVFC)

This true, heartwarming story reveals that miracles occur in everyday life. Enjoyable and uplifting, One Kid at a Time will empower--and encourage--everyone who reads it.

Nobody’s Children: Abuse and Neglect, Foster Drift and The Adoption Alternative - Elizabeth Bartholet (Amazon)

Bartholet takes a hard look at how the lives of modern day “orphans” are sacrificed for the often unrealistic goal of keeping troubled families together

My sister my love - Joyce Carol Oates (Amazon)

Likely to be Joyce Carol Oates's most controversial novel to date, as well as her most boldly satirical, this unconventional work of fiction is sure to be recognized as a classic exploration of the tragic interface between private life and the perilous life of "celebrity.

Moonlight Mile - Dennis Lehane (Amazon)

Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from a Boston neighborhood 12 years ago. Kenzie and Gennaro risked everything to find the young girl. Kenzie and Gennaro will be forced to question if it's possible to do the wrong thing and still be right or to do the right thing and still be wrong.

Kindness of Strangers - Katrina Kittle (Amazon)

A young widow raising two boys, Sarah Laden is struggling to keep her family together. But when a shocking revelation rips apart the family of her closest friend, Sarah finds herself welcoming yet another troubled young boy into her already tumultuous life

I Speak For This Child - Gay Courter (Amazon)

Since 1980, novelist Gay Courter has worked on more than a dozen cases of child abuse and neglect as a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem in Florida. While there aren’t many happy endings here, each story is real, inspiring and an excellent introduction into what child advocacy is

I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond - Michael Oher (Available @ BVFC)

The football star made famous in the hit film (and book) The Blind Side reflects on how far he has come from the circumstances of his youth. Michael Oher shares his personal account of his story, in this inspirational New York Times bestseller.

Hope's Boy - Andrew Bridge (Amazon)

Andrew has dedicated his life's work to helping children living in the foster care system. He defied the staggering odds set against him, and here in this heartwrenching, brutally honest, and inspirational memoir, he reveals who Hope's boy really is.

Halfway House - Katharine Noel (Amazon)

After a seventeen year old suffers a breakdown and is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, family dynamics must shift and each character must confront their own demons, in order to emerge on the other side.

Grace - Richard Paul Evans (Amazon)

Grace is the story of a young runaway girl and the boy who hides her from a frightening world too large and unfathomable for him to comprehend. It is also about two brothers and the love that binds them together through difficult times.

Glass Castles, by Jeanette Walls (Available @ BVFC)

A story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

Girl Bomb - Janice Erlbaum (Amazon)

A wry, mesmerizing portrait of being underprivileged, underage, and underdressed in 1980s New York City, Girlbomb provides an unflinching look at street life, survival sex, female friendships, and first loves.

Ghost Girl - Torey Hayden (Amazon)

Ultimately a testament to the powers of caring and commitment, this is the story of a traumatized eight year old that refused to speak, due to sexual abuse and possible exposure to satanic rituals.

Finding Fish - Antwone Fisher and Mim Rivas (Amazon)

A tumultuous and ultimately gratifying tale of self-discovery written in Fisher's gritty yet melodic literary voice, Finding Fish is an unforgettable reading experience.

Ellen Foster - Kaye Gibbons (Amazon)

Ellen is an eleven year old “orphan, ” who is shuttled from one uncaring relative’s home to another before she finally takes matters into her own hands.

Dry: A Memoir - Augusten Burroughs (Amazon)

The sequel to "Running With Scissors, " chronicles his struggle with alcoholism and with the impending death of his HIV-positive friend Pighead. This memoir is an account of Augusten trying to understand and conquer his demons that have been haunting him his entire life.

Dani's Story: A Journey from Neglect to Love - Diane & Bernie Lierow (Amazon)

Charting a perilous journey from hardship to hope, a new family, and a second chance at life, Dani's Story is a book you cannot put down and will never forget.

Damaged - Cathy Glass (Amazon)

Although Jodie is only eight years old, she is violent, aggressive, and has already been through numerous foster families. Over time, Jodie reveals details of her abuse at the hands of her parents and others involved in sickening pedophile ring

Breaking Night: A Memoir - Liz Murray (Amazon)

Breaking Night is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age fifteen was living on the streets, and who eventually made it into Harvard.

Black and Blue - Anna Quindlen (Amazon)

For eighteen years, Fran Benedetto kept her secret, hid her bruises, and stayed with Bobby because she wanted her son to have a father and because, in spite of everything, she loved him. Then one night, when she saw the look on her ten-year-old son's face, Fran finally made a choice--and ran for both their lives.

Bastard Out of Carolina - Dorothy Allison (Amazon)

At the heart of this story is a bastard child who observes the world around her with a mercilessly keen perspective. She finds herself caught in a family triangle that tests the loyalty of her mother, Anney-and leads to a final, harrowing encounter from which there can be no turning back.

A Piece of Cake - Cupcake Brown (Amazon)

Moving and almost transgressive in its frankness, it is a relentlessly gripping tale of a resilient spirit who took on the worst of contemporary urban life and survived it with a furious wit and unyielding determination.

An Invisible Thread - Alex Tresniowski (Available @ BVFC)

It is the heartwarming story of a friendship that has spanned three decades and brought meaning to an overscheduled professional and hope to a hungry and desperate boy living on the streets.

American Meth: A History of the Methamphetamine Epidemic in America - Sterling R. Brasswell (Amazon)

This is the unprecedented story of the deep, but little known, impact that methamphetamine has had on the American life over the course of the last century.

A Man Named Dave - Dave Pelzer (Available @ BVFC)

Dave’s inspirational attempt at trying to reconcile with his very abusive mother is remarkably open and honest in its presentation.

If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood -Gregg Olsen (Amazon)

For years, behind the closed doors of their farmhouse in Raymond, Washington, their sadistic mother, Shelly, subjected her girls to unimaginable abuse, degradation, torture, and psychic terrors. Through it all, Nikki, Sami, and Tori developed a defiant bond that made them far less vulnerable than Shelly imagined. Even as others were drawn into their mother’s dark and perverse web, the sisters found the strength and courage to escape an escalating nightmare that culminated in multiple murders.

Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System- Cyntoia Brown (Amazon)

In her own words, Cyntoia Brown-Long shares the riveting and redemptive story of how she changed her life for the better while in prison, finding hope through faith after a traumatic adolescence of drug addiction, rape, and sex trafficking led to a murder conviction.

Dibs: In search of Self -Virginia Axline (Amazon)

Dibs in Search of Self is a book by clinical psychologist and author Virginia Axline published in 1964. The book chronicles a series of play therapy sessions over a period of one year with a boy who comes from a wealthy and highly educated family.

The Body Keeps Score - Bessel Van der Kolk (Amazon)

Renowned trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score offers proven alternatives to drugs and talk therapy—and a way to reclaim lives

What happened to you? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing - Bruce Perry & Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Perry explore how what happens to us in early childhood - both good and bad - influences the people we become. They challenge us to shift from focusing on, What's wrong with you? or Why are you behaving that way?, to asking, What happened to you?

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"As a CASA, you make a meaningful difference in a child's life - a child that doesn't have many people looking out for them."

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"Every child deserves a safe environment to grow up in, including a roof over their head, nutritious food in the belly, and an opportunity for education. I'm happy to be a part of the process by being a caring adult who can help a child receive those things."

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"There is nothing like the feeling of earning a hug from a child who is generally suspicious of everybody. It's amazing what your calm, regular, and reliable presence can do for a child in need. This is one of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities out there!"

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