Through Hell and out the other sideby Ellen Harlie Published 15 May 2014
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|Publisher||Bobby Mac Press LLC|
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The stories of troubled children within the foster care system. After 18 years of being a therapeutic foster parent to over 55 of the most challenging cases, Ellen Harlie shares with readers the reality of caring for difficult children with unique needs. Each child has their own story and their own set of problems, many were helped and grew up to be productive citizen's, some were too damaged to help but they still deserved the chance. Ellen shares their anguish, fears, and happy moments while in her care. As you follow her life through the stories of her placements over the years, you'll gain a perspective of her own life as a therapeutic foster parent and see how she went - Through Hell and out the other side. Available exclusively at ellenharlie.com
"Through Hell and out the other side" Reviews
Few books have laid bare the story of foster children with such compassion and humor as does Ellen Harlie’s book, Through Hell and out the side. Some boys were broken by parents who spiraled into drugs and the carnal. Some boys just had bad luck. Some had parents who were mental adrift. And others were consumed by poverty. All of these boys were thrown together in Ellen Harlie’s house which generated a never ending circus of pranks, trouble, counselors, state officials, school officials, and police.
Ms. Harlie dealt with boys who were pissed off, out of control, and who just didn’t care, but they all needed a structured life. And she did it all with patience and a firm hand. Some stores are a resounding success which produced new families of tax paying citizens who expressed their thanks to Ellen Harlie.
Read the book for the humor, for the insight, and for the story of one tough woman who stood flat-footed and took on the difficult task of raising boys who no one wanted.
This book is wonderful... it opens our eyes to the foster system in part of our country. It also shows us that there are honestly foster parents who try their absolute hardest to help children that have been tossed to the wayside by their parents and the system. The stories are well written and humorous while at the same time heart wrenching. I received this book through goodreads firstreads and from the time I cracked the cover I could hardly put it down. The stories are mesmerizing and Ms. Harlie and her family truly gave their hearts to the boys and few girls that came through their home. They gave hope to children that may have never had hope other wise. The only thing I wish was there were more stories, she brought us into the few precious moments of her life and left us wanting to hear more about her boys.
The book was informative, thought provoking and intense! Surely only the good Lord could give anyone the courage, strength and patience to invite the most troubled children into their lives. Time and time again the stories reflect how the abuse or neglect of a child impacts him/her for the remainder of their lives. Just reading about these situations stressed me out and I had to put the book down frequently to distress. Words and situations were not sugar coated to spare the reader from offensive language. Looking forward to the next book.
I entered to win this book because fostering is something my husband and I have been speaking about more and more. When I saw a book about a woman's stories of fostering, I knew I had to read it. I was shocked to win and devoured the book in just a handful of days.
First, I want to say the only reason that I gave the book 4 stars and not 5 is that at times it felt choppy. I understood and was comfortable with the idea of each of her foster boys having his own chapter. I was less okay with paragraphs feeling like they had no end or others feeling like they jumped in and started in the middle of a story. I wish there had been some more transition or something.
That being said, I did enjoy the book. It provided a lot of insight into a system that I feel most people are rather under-educated on and know very little about. Hollywood presents us with the story that all foster homes are bad, or with a story that they can be these perfect, idyllic little homes. There are not many views that show us that they seem to be somewhere in the middle. This book provided us with that view, with a different look into the world of fostering.
The author took us through her reasoning for becoming a foster parent, unashamedly telling us that she was doing it for money. The author bared her personal problems with her marriage and her husband initially in the beginning of the book and then again throughout the book sporadically.
Having no financial prospects due to her husband's inability to manage money, the author becomes a foster parent after seeing an a saying they were needed. She quickly realized there was no money in fostering regular children and only fostered children with behavioral problems.
The stories were downright scary and disturbing for the most part. Not only was it hard to read what these children were doing, but to think, or sometimes read, about what they had gone through. How this woman and her family endured years of fostering these children without completely fracturing into pieces is beyond me. I had a hard time stomaching the idea of what was happening. I could not imagine actually going through it.
The book is well written and, for the most part, well planned out. I found the stories easy to follow and understand. When I read books that are narrated, as this one is, I like to feel like the person is sitting right next me. I definitely felt like I was hearing the story from Ellen, not simply reading words on a page. The author definitely nailed it.
On a personal note, as someone who wants to foster, I feel this is a book every prospective foster parent should read as part of their training, regardless of what level child they are planning on fostering. It will help give them a better look into the system and "see" it in affect.
First let me say Thank you to the wonderful and amazing author Ellen for giving me this ARC of her book. In exchange for my honest opinion, this readers is my opinion of her great book/story. I had won a copy of this amazing book as a first read.
The writer takes us on a close up view of what it means to be a foster parent, What not only does the parent go through, But also what their family does too,
MS. Ellen has described several children in this book, There daily lives, mental conditions, home living environment. What happens when an abused child comes into your home. You never know the true story and how much abuse that child has gone through. What makes a parent?? A loving , caring, dependable person, One that will structure to the child. But what happens when you can't reach that child, Should you just give up on him or she?? This story "Through Hell and out the other side" is not just one story -but several stories.
This is a book that all parents need to read. Our children, are our most treasured beings. They all deserve to be loved, cared for, and not abused.
The way each child is described and the torment that they had gone through. Is done with such loving respect for that person.
Ms Ellen, words alone are not enough to say "Thank You" for being there for each of these young people. And "Thank you for allowing me to read your story. I have learned a lot from this book.
I recommend it to all adults, teachers, and who ever else is working the foster parent or child. We have a responsibility to our children,
NOW MY ADVICE TO ALL IS GO GET THIS BOOK AND READ IT FOR YOURSELF!!
You will not be disappointed that you did.I give this book a 20 star out of 5 stars.
The story of a woman's love for children and the unloved, unwanted children she took into her home giving them the opportunity to enjoy a normal family life. Most of these children were unaccustomed to nutritious sit down meals, a room with a bed of their own, clean clothes, normal day to day hygiene, a five acre space in the country to build a fort, a creek to catch lizzards and frogs, kittens, dogs, a place to swim in the summertime. a place to iceskate in the wintertime, a basketball court, lots of other kids with which to get up a game of baseball or basketball, freedom to be creative, a structured enviroment with dignity and respect, but most of all Ellen gave them the true love of a mother. She dealt with their adversities and bolstered their strengths and made a difference in their lives. Patched their scraped knees and elbows, and soothed them during illness. Many of them didn't realize what a difference Ellen had made in their life until after they were older and out if her home for some time. Some are still in her life on a regular basis, some have occassional contact, some she reads about on social media, and unfortunately there are those few she reads about in the newspaper or on casenet for being in some kind of trouble. Everyone who reads this book will come away with a whole new perspective on what it's like to be a foster parent. They are all heroes, as are the people in the backup organizatiilons who support them. God Bless You All!