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Dani's Story: A Journey from Neglect to Love
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Dani's Story: A Journey from Neglect to Love

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  379 ratings  ·  59 reviews

The Story That Captivated the Nation

In July 2005, a little girl named Danielle was removed from her Florida home after authorities found her living in bug-ridden squalor, subjected to horrific neglect and so damaged by her own mother that recovery seemed hopeless. Danielle spoke only in grunts and yelps, walked on her tiptoes, was not toilet-trained and drank from a bott

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Wiley (first published January 1st 2011)
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Dani was so severely neglected by her birth mother that she grew up knowing only squalor. She never went to school or the doctor, and rarely glimpsed sunlight. Desperately malnourished, she couldn't talk and had never been toilet-trained. The social worker who took her into care had never heard of a case so horrific. The doctors believed Dani would never recover from such a terrible start in life.

Then she met the Lierows - a unique, blended family who were seeking to adopt a child. Despite being

I read Dani’s Story in little over a day—I simply could not put it down. The book itself was well written and easy to follow. I cannot believe that a mother could neglect her child in the way that Dani was neglected. It is unimaginable to me. If you can look at the positive side to this story, it is the fact that Dani was able to survive the years of neglect so that she could find her perfect family. The way the Lierows fell in love with Dani immediately and just knew that they had to bring her
*•.♥.•*Sabrina Rutter*•.♥.•*
When I first started reading this book I was a little put off by the authors judgemental attitude toward certain things. After Diane tells about her, and her husband Bernie's home study she goes on to say, "it's too bad there are no requirements like that before people get pregnant." A home study is an investigation by the adoption agency to make sure you're stable, have an adequate home, and are financially prepared to raise a child. When I first got pregnant with my daughter I was not financia ...more
Juliette Van
This is the second time that I have read Dani's Story and it is a beautiful book. The genre of the book is auto biography, but some parts are edited. The book is basically about how Diane and Bernie Lierow adopt an 8 year old girl called Danielle. For 7 years, Dani had been living under the neglect of her mother, and she had never been taught how to talk, read, write or even go to the toilet. For 7 years, Dani was living on a soiled mattress, in a house infested with cockroaches and feces. I thi ...more
Dani's Story is the true tale of a little girl who was pulled from a home of incredible neglect and eventually found love in a new family. It's a fast read, the story being so engaging that you can fly through the pages. The content might be unbearable for some and I can honestly say I wouldn't have read the book if I wasn't using it for continuing education hours for my foster license.

Dani's Story is hard to read. It's hard for me to fathom that a child could be so neglected that at seven year
Susan Erhardt
I found this book utterly fascinating. I literally couldn't put it down. It is so much more readable and inspiring than "A Child Called It", which is rabidly sought after by teens at my library.

I was so taken with the story that I sought out additional info on the Internet. After reading the follow-up article in the Tampa paper from 2011, I was a little disappointed to see that the Lierows seemed to stress the positive in their book, leaving out a lot of the negative. However, the Lierows seem l
This was a really inspiring book....not to be read in the lobby of your daughter's Irish dance class due to the sudden need to cry sometimes.
The story in between these pages is so shocking, moving and heart-warming that I literally did not put it down. The horrific conditions that Dani was found it rendered me gob-smacked. How could a mother do that? And what's more, why did it take so long for her to be found despite being on the radar - twice? It's just another case to prove that such neglect and abuse still happens and yet we still make the same mistakes.
Dani was one of the lucky ones, she was able to find a loving foster family.
Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading)
My mom heard about Dani's Story, and knew that she had to read about Dani's transformation from a neglected, abused child to one with a family that adores her. I was lucky enough to borrow my mom's copy of the book after she finished it. Having just read the David Pelzer books (A Child Called It, The Lost Boy, and A Man Named Dave), I was ready for another moving story.

Dani's Story is heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting. It is told from the adoptive parents' point of view, so it was a littl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
♥ Marlene♥
My neighbour had borrowed this book from the library and lend it to me. Back home I checked my kindle and I already had a copy (Dutch) on it so I decided to give it a try.

Yet again I noticed that I really read faster when I read Dutch. Finished this book in 2 days. Start the day and finish the next.

It was a very quick read even if I had read the non translated version cause it was interesting.
Only thing I did not appreciate was the God talk.

Why do they think it is all thanks to God that the chil
Thomas Wictor
Utterly heartbreaking. Like her adoptive parents said, there's something about Dani Lierow's face that you can't forget. She was kept in a room by herself for the first seven years of her life. The Lierow family is honest enough to admit that Dani will never recover. Though the story is sad beyond measure, it's incredibly well written and inspiring, in the sense that it gives us a glimpse into the minds of truly selfless people.
This is the story of a severely neglected child who was found and rescued at about the age of 8. The story is told simply from the perspective of her adopted mother. A sad sweet tale, but one of hope. There are some really kind, amazing and brave people in this world. The Lierow's are proof of that.
Wonderful story about a family and it's struggles to get their daughter home. Beautiful to read how she finally gets the love and attention which her biological 'mother' didn't give.
Yesterday was Dani's 16th birthday - I wish you happy birthday and a wonderful, happy life!
Mary Drayer
A powerful story about how the bonds of love overcome such abuse-neglect. Truly an inspirational read!
Mooi ontroerend verhaal over een meisje dat een tweede kans krijgt. Ongelooflijk dat er nog mensen bestaan die hun kinderen zo verwaarlozen, ik als moeder kan me daar echt niks bij voorstellen. Ik vond voornamelijk de stukjes over Dani en hoe zij het doet bij haar nieuwe familie mooi om te lezen, de stukjes over de adoptie en de verschillende instanties die zich ermee bemoeid hebben vind ik wat minder maar dit was wel nodig om het verhaal compleet te krijgen. Ik heb bewondering voor de Lierows, ...more
Danie P.
This is great book for a multi-age book group or individual readers in a wide age range. Abuse and neglect have affected the main character Dani to the point where she is non-verbal, wears diapers and behaves on an animal instinct. After multiple inspections by child and family services she is taken away from her home and put into foster care.

The West family see's her picture and knows that they must adopt her. It isn't a walk in the park but this family's love, humanity and patience makes you r
A well written account of a tragic start to a young girl's life and the heroes who gave all of their emotional and physical resources to save her.

Diane Lierow explores the start of Dani's life and the failings of the systems designed to protect her. The book recounts the Lierows' roller-coaster of an adoption journey, the hardships of life with Dani and ultimately, how the rewards of life with her outweigh all of the problems encountered.

An inspirational story; especially interesting for anyone
The Lierow's are simple down-to-earth people who, along with Kay West, have written an easy to read chronicle of the adoption of their daughter Danielle. What makes the story so unique is the fact Danielle was so severely neglected that at the age of seven, she functioned as an infant. No,this is not great literature, but I fell in love with Dani and the Liedrow's story of how they fell in love with her too. They all deserve ten stars! This book comes with a warning. Hanky alert! Tears followed ...more
They called her the worst case of child neglect they had ever seen. She was 8 years old when they carried her out of her roach infested, filthy house. She had the mentality of a 6 month old. She had never been held, talked to, taught to talk, walk, eat (she still had a bottle), or potty train (still in a diaper). But that's really not the center of this story-it's the Lierows-the family who took Dani in and loved her! It's an amazing story of what love and patience can do to any living creature. ...more
Dit is een waargebeurd verhaal over de adoptie van een verwaarloosd meisje. Zij is al 7 jaar als ze gered wordt en ze heeft al die jaren doorgebracht in een piepklein kamertje op een vuile matras. Ze is nooit verzorgd, nooit geknuffeld en ze heeft nooit leren praten. Met eindeloze liefde en geduld neemt de familie Lierow haar op in hun gezin.
Dit is zo'n boek dat ik niet kan wegleggen voordat ik het uit heb. Ik heb het met grote belangstelling gelezen en ik kan het iedereen aanraden.
Moving story documenting a family's progress to adoption of a severely neglected, but sweet and loving little girl.
I am looking forward to checking out their website to see how Dani is now!
Pretty darned frustrating to hear how ineffectual DFC was in meeting children's needs - mirrored similar experiences I've had with the Ministry here while working with children.
Thank goodness for people determined to do good despite the bureaucratic roadblocks!
Uplifting story.
Kent District Library
“This is a fascinating account of a family that adopted a little girl who’d been so severely neglected that at age 7, she didn’t speak, wasn’t toilet trained, and still drank from a bottle. I found it a hundred times better than A Child Called It because rather than salacious details about the actual abuse, the story was more about how Dani’s adoptive family fell in love with her, fought to adopt her, and helped heal her.”--Susan at KDL's Plainfield Township branch
Such a beautiful story
Tirza Horvath
This book is amazing, and the best thing about it is that it's true, it's a true story. It's moving and by the end you will love Dani. To be honest I just want to meat her and hug her. I love Diane and Berny for loving Dani. I am so thankful that God has put her into the hands of those two people.
Now I am 100% definite that I will adopt at least one child if I grow up and will be married!
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Deeply involving--impossible to put down--and not enough. More! I wanted more!

Okay, I admit that a life story of a living person has to end somewhere and this was published in 2011. She was probably about 10 years old at the time. The website it refers you to hasn't been updated since 2010. But I just wanted to know more.

Darn. I guess people have a right to a little privacy.
The story of Dani, a severely neglected little girl, her journey to a happy home, and her growth under the care of a loving family, is a compelling and heart-wrenching tale. While the story was clearly written by her parents (mostly her mother), clearly communicating a mother's priorities and biases, it has been rendered very readable with the help of a more experienced writer.
A beautiful story. My favorite quote was "We do all we can to make sure our kids mind their manners, do their homework, eat healthy food, get fresh air, respect others, make good decisions, have compassionate hearts, and say their prayers before bed. We don’t care so much whether they are "gifted" as we do that they are kind, generous, and thoughtful. To us, that is gifted."
Hannie Snels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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