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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

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  574 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
The story that captivated a nation?how a horribly neglected little girl was rescued by her loving adoptive parentsIn July 2005, a six-year-old 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. But hope was waiting for D ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published May 18th 2011 by John Wiley & Sons (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
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  ·  review of another edition

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
Mar 03, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Juliette Van
Sep 03, 2012 Juliette Van rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Susan Erhardt
May 08, 2013 Susan Erhardt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jennie Quezada
Jul 16, 2016 Jennie Quezada rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartwarming story and a very quick read.
Jul 05, 2016 Mickey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 21, 2017 Haley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2016 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was truly inspirational and heart wrenching at the same time. I am in awe of both the love and patience that the Lierow family has shown this most special child.
It is just incomprehensible that a biological mother could do this and that the repercussions of her neglect are so long term.
Cindy M
Jan 17, 2017 Cindy M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mooi verhaal dat vlot leest!
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.
Jun 18, 2012 Kelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 13, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 09, 2016 K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt like this was written with rose coloured glasses. I love that they can see growth, but I don't feel that they truly acknowledged the struggles, or painted a realistic picture of what her performance looks like compared to typical development. The impacts of neglect are often profound and I applaud bringing awareness to the issue (and highly recommend Dr. Bruce Perry's works) but encouraging people to adopt abused/neglected children is not something to throw out there lightly without full ...more
♥ 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
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
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
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
Danie P.
Sep 25, 2011 Danie P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 31, 2011 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 26, 2016 MRS DG HUGHES rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We all need to help to ensure this awful cruelty and neglect ends.

An honest and heart felt account of adopting a child with severe problems, both physical and mental. By reading this book it will hopefully make people more aware that this kind of child abuse and neglect is still happening, in what some refer to as "a civilized world". If reading this book helps to prevent just one child from such cruelty then it will be a job well done.
Oct 07, 2011 Miss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Thomas Wictor
Apr 06, 2014 Thomas Wictor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 23, 2014 Fayette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 08, 2012 Sheri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 04, 2012 Carla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Enjoyed this heartfelt story about a child that may not have made it out of the most neglectful "home" you could ever imagine if it weren't for the Lierow family. This was a super quick read and extremely touching. It is not so much a sad story as it is inspiring. I would highly recommend this book.
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