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Dani's Story: A Journey from Neglect to Love

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  543 Ratings  ·  70 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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(showing 1-30 of 1,377)
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Sabrina Rutter
Aug 29, 2012 Sabrina Rutter rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
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
Oct 02, 2011 Miles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
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
May 16, 2012 Loni rated it it was amazing

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
Juliette Van
Sep 03, 2012 Juliette Van rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 03, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: continuing-ed
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
May 08, 2013 Susan Erhardt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
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
Jennie Quezada
Jul 16, 2016 Jennie Quezada rated it it was amazing
Heartwarming story and a very quick read.
Hannie Snels
May 08, 2013 Hannie Snels rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 18, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 01, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 05, 2016 Mickey rated it it was amazing
I was first introduced to the story of Danielle through the Pulitzer prize winning article “The Girl in the Window”. To summarize, the article is about a girl, Dani, who was rescued from her mother’s care at the age of seven in nightmare conditions. When police responded to a complaint about a girl that was never seen outside of the house, a police officer found her naked except for a diaper on a filthy mattress. She did not know how to speak or drink from a cup. She was underweight, covered in ...more
Jun 18, 2012 Kelli rated it really liked it
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
Nov 08, 2014 Ilse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
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
Apr 06, 2014 Thomas Wictor rated it it was amazing
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.
Mina MacLeod
Mar 14, 2016 Mina MacLeod rated it it was amazing
Powerful and moving. Diane and Bernie are good people, realistic and hard-working. Dani is a truly inspiring young woman considering the hand dealt to her. This is a book that makes you wish the first seven years could have been erased and lived all over again, but all the same, you're glad for the progress made.
Jul 23, 2014 Fayette rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 22, 2014 Elsbeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Sarah nunamaker
May 20, 2016 Sarah nunamaker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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This is the perfect story of love, hope, and courage despite all odds. I couldn't put it down. Very inspiring.
Vanessa Funk
May 30, 2016 Vanessa Funk rated it really liked it
This was an amazing and inspiring story to read but I wasn't a fan of the writing style and some of the attitudes of the authors.
Mary Drayer
Apr 01, 2014 Mary Drayer rated it really liked it
A powerful story about how the bonds of love overcome such abuse-neglect. Truly an inspirational read!
Lisa Black
This book is an easy read. It is based on a true story of an adoption of a girl with autism.
May 01, 2013 Saskia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Shelley Van belleghem
Aangrijpend relaas. Niet te vatten dat mensen hun kinderen zo kunnen verwaarlozen...
Danie P.
Sep 25, 2011 Danie P. rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 07, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jacqueline Bocian
Aug 08, 2016 Jacqueline Bocian rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book!
Alexis Wilson
Jan 07, 2015 Alexis Wilson rated it it was amazing
Amazing book!
Aug 31, 2011 Kerry rated it it was amazing
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
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