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Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite
Misplaced Childhood: A True Story of Resiliency and Child Advocacy by Joan Ulsher is an empowering memoir that takes us through her life up to the present day. Starting with a childhood filled with unspeakable abuse, neglect, and part of her teenage years spent in foster care, to struggles as a young adult trying to make her way in the world, we watch her evolution. Within these pages, she goes from victim to becoming a beacon in the dark and a soft place to land for those who might have been left helpless with no true guide, or protector, as she was. The strength of Ulsher's words and purpose, and her plea to join the cause and share the work that advocates of CASA embody, will feel like a call to arms against the broken system that is the world.
Joan Ulsher’s Misplaced Childhood may make you weep. It may also be the smelling salts that jumpstart your mind and body to take a look outside your small world. One of the stories that struck me in a way that I can’t explain is in Chapter 23: “They often traveled placement to placement with their sole belongings in a black trash bag. It was a humiliating journey. I was that kid too.” There are stories that will crack you out of your comfortable life; they will make you want more for the world around you, for the people that aren’t so easily seen unless you go looking for them. Look for them. This is a great fit for all places and programs that extend help, as well as high school libraries. I think it is important for young people to be aware of the need that is out there, and for them to know that they are not alone.