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Cris Beam

Författare till I Am J

6+ verk 984 medlemmar 48 recensioner 1 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Cris Beam is the author of Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers, which won a Lambda Literary Award, and I am J, a novel for young adults. She teaches creative writing at columbia University and New York University.

Verk av Cris Beam

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caedocyon | 1 annan recension | Feb 23, 2024 |
Couldn't get into the first few pages, and flipping through at random didn't yield anything I was sufficiently interested in to start reading. Oh well.
caedocyon | 35 andra recensioner | Feb 23, 2024 |
This book chronicles each stage of foster care, from a child's removal from his home, to bouncing around various placements (which could be in foster homes, group homes, hospitals, juvenile detention centers, independent supervised living, etc.), and ultimately, to "aging out" and adoption.

It focuses on a few specific foster families and children (the author followed them for several years and did many interviews) but also gives perspectives from various professionals in the child welfare circuit, such as social workers and policy-makers. I really liked the anecdotal, approachable writing style.

One thing to note is that although the title indicates this is the story of American foster care, it is more accurately a representation of New York foster care. Certainly, there are major similarities between different states and how they "do" foster care, but there are some big differences as well.

For conservative readers, please note that there is some cursing in the direct quotes included in the book.

All in all, this is one of the better, more balanced, books I've read on the subject. It's not anti-foster care, but does acknowledge the problems and challenges, while also highlighting several individuals who do the best they can, with and without the system, to improve the lives of foster kids. It offers hope that improving the system is indeed possible.
… (mer)
RachelRachelRachel | 7 andra recensioner | Nov 21, 2023 |
This was an extremely nuanced take of the current foster care system and its highs and lows. From the perspective of a woman who had been a homeless teen after a mentally ill mother kicked her out of the house as well as an (unofficial) foster mother herself, Beam comes largely as an outsider to the system, curious about why it is the way it is. I thought that perspective was very helpful, because the writing was very accessible and unbiased. Beam explores the dynamic laws influencing the foster care system and the political winds that have driven it both towards and away from removal of children from the biological home. Throughout the book she largely sticks with one foster family, Bruce and Alyson Green and their foster kids and explores the issues raised in their family, although she also touches on other families and a therapeutic/group home.

I thought the biggest strength of the book was that Beam is unbiased, and even though she's often writing about her friends, she pulls no punches. She explores the best and the worst about each situation/agency/philosophy/housing situation. By the end of the book it's clear that there are no easy answers, that even the most well-meaning of adults have caused secondary casualties and that even the most protected children don't come out psychically unharmed. I spent a lot of the book alternating between feeling like everyone should sign up to foster and that there was no solution for foster families. That dilemma was not resolved, but I learned a lot in the process.
… (mer)
settingshadow | 7 andra recensioner | Aug 19, 2023 |



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