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Reviewed by Michelle Robertson for Readers' Favorite
From Both Sides: A Look into the World of Foster Care from Those Who Know It Best by Maranda Russell is insightful and stirring poetry. This book is divided into two parts; the first Foster Children and the second Foster Parents. The author brings her experience as a Foster Parent to her book.
In the poem titled Replacement, the reader finds that parents are replaced, siblings are replaced, and a home is replaced but the child never truly feels as if he or she belongs. A child is told it is only for a short time in False Hope but three years later is still not home. Unwanted truly touched me, it speaks of a child feeling unwanted,
“They care more about
Their drug addictions
And personal desires than about me…
I’m damaged goods—
So angry and messed up….
I want to love.
I want to be loved.
But it seems to me
I’ve forgotten how.”
Not Yet is a poem of gratitude.
“No one beats me in to submission,
no one strange sneaks
into my bed at night
and no one passes out
drunk on the living room floor.”
It is obvious that most of the children in Foster Care feel they do not belong to anyone. While most are grateful for food and shelter, they need to feel loved and wanted.
The poems in this section deal with situations. The children in the foster system are broken, abused, and neglected. They are afraid to trust anyone. Foster children must deal with stereo typing.
The author gives her readers the chance to view the ins and outs of the foster care system through the eyes of both the foster children and the foster parents. Foster System is an incredibly misunderstood, harsh life. Maranda Russell has written an intriguing book for those interested and involved in the emotional aspect of the foster care system. The poetic statements are both inspiring and heart wrenching. This can be an excellent tool for therapists, teachers, guidance counselors, foster parents, and foster children.