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Hope's Boy

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,555 Ratings  ·  441 Reviews
From the moment he was born, Andrew Bridge and his mother Hope shared a love so deep that it felt like nothing else mattered. Trapped in desperate poverty and confronted with unthinkable tragedies, all Andrew ever wanted was to be with his mom. But as her mental health steadily declined, and with no one else left to care for him, authorities arrived and tore Andrew from hi ...more
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Another Place at the Table by Kathy HarrisonThe Brightness of Stars by Lisa  CherryThree Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-CourterThe Girls Who Went Away by Ann FesslerThe Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Grigsby Doss
Non-Fiction Books about Adoption/Foster Care
66th out of 307 books — 169 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Michael Gordon
Jan 30, 2008 Michael Gordon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to read a powerful, extraordinary story
I was deeply moved by 'Hope's Boy,' Andrew Bridge's haunting elegy of a childhood that seemed to be lost forever when Andrew, at age 7, became a ward of the State after being taken from the arms of his young mother on a street corner in North Hollywood. Andrew's unsparing chronicle of his experiences on the front lines of our nation's foster care system -- including his time in a facility that seemed more like a prison camp, and his rearing by a sadistic foster mother, who herself was a prison c ...more
Jim Augustine
Jan 30, 2008 Jim Augustine rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
"Some families cannot be saved and their children cannot be return. Yet, even then, their love for each other must be worth something."
-- Andrew Bridge, Hope's Boy

This is a brave memoir about our nation's horribly broken foster care system, that all too often fails our children and families who are in most need and who are most vulnerable. With a steady and elegant voice, Bridge describes a mother who loved him desperately, and in the end, did more than most would ever ask of themselves, all the
Rebecca Macaffe
Jan 26, 2008 Rebecca Macaffe rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents, friends, teachers
Hope's Boy is amazing. A friend of mine gave me an early publication copy that had been passed on to her. She loved it. I can only say the same.

The memoir describes a young boy and his relationship with his young, single mother. With beautiful and delicately crafted words, Bridge describes his memories of his mother as she struggled to care for him and keep the two of them together, while she was slowly overcome by mental illness. After he was taken from her by a county social worker and sherif
Feb 10, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for anyone interested in foster care, or the child welfare system (or lack thereof) in the U.S. There are many books out there that detail the horrors and egregious acts that children have faced while supposedly being protected in state custody. However, Andrew Bridge does a great job at letting the reader know how horrible a childhood spent in foster care can be even without these egregious acts. This book gives voice to the quiet pain, isolation, and humiliation children of ...more
Jan 30, 2008 Marci rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all social workers
I was delighted to read an Advanced Reading Copy of Hope’s Boy. Connections with others, and the need for them, are at our core. They are powerful and enduring, as is the sense of loss when they are broken. In Bridge’s case, social workers and the foster care system broke his physical connections to his mother and grandmother. As a social worker, our role is to support, honor and do everything we can to sustain the core bond between parent and child. We failed to do that for Bridge. Despite our ...more
Bill bitopoulos
Mar 01, 2008 Bill bitopoulos rated it it was amazing
not to be corny but this book was so damn moving. i have always had a soft spot for kids in foster care but this one exposes the life they lead better than anything i have seen. this guy is what i call a hero.
Kate Kalstein
Feb 19, 2008 Kate Kalstein rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible book. Andrew is a former foster youth who tells the story of his childhood through this amazing book - sad yet inspiring, definitely recommended for anyone who loves or works with kids.
Mar 05, 2008 Kim rated it it was amazing
About a boy in the foster care system that beats the odds and becomes a lawyer. Sad and moving
Jan 30, 2008 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all child advocates, lawyers, judges, social workers
Like Andrew Bridge, I am an attorney. I, too, have represented many children who were removed from their parents because they needed protection or help at a particular time, only to suffer years of additional trauma and loss at the hands of the very systems and people that were supposed to be helping them. Bridge's memoir is a powerful example of the importance of the principle "First, do no harm!" For all of us who are committed to helping, Bridge's book is a necessary and painful reminder that ...more
B Augustine
Feb 06, 2008 B Augustine rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
As a mother and a retired teacher, "Hope's Boy" was an emotional experience for me. It reminded me that children choose what is important to them. Mr. Bridge's memoir convinced me that a child brings with them his/her own needs that a bed in a stranger's house leave unsatisfied. I think that anyone who lives with, or works with, children should read this well-written book. It is disturbing that one little boy had this childhood. More disturbing is the fact that there are many children who have l ...more
Mar 18, 2008 Hendo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Simply written, but a touching memoir. The author spent ten years in the Los Angeles county foster system, and this memoir chronicles his experience. Very clean--totally appropriate for the kids. I'm probably going to use it with my ADVZ next year.
Feb 28, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I read the review in People and when I had some extra cash to spend on books I bought it. It is about a boy that spends most of his life in foster care, but ends up making it into Harvard Law and coming out on top, regardless of his childhood. I thought the writing was excellent, his lessons profound, and the truth about foster care disturbing. It is a great book for any mother to read. It makes you so thankful for your kids and the ability to care for them on your own. ...more
Mar 17, 2008 Su rated it it was amazing
This was a heartbreaking story of a boy (the author) who was placed in foster care at the age of 7 and remained there until he was emancipated at the adult age of 18. His mother was not mentally competent to take care of him, but the system never explained to him where she was or why she had "abandoned" him. He thought of her constantly and you can almost feel his aching. He now works as a Harvard graduated lawyer to better the system that almost ruined him.
Mar 03, 2008 Jessie rated it really liked it
The foster care/social system in LA county (at least it was 20 years ago) sounds like a piece of shit operation. I don't understand how Andrew Bridge is who he is today, but I was rooting for him all the way through the book.
Mar 20, 2008 Krista rated it it was amazing
Gripping non-fiction book about a boy with a highly disfunctional mother who ends up in the foster care system. He succeeds despite the odds to become a Harvard Grad and Fulbright scholar - inspirational.
Mom rodriguez
Mar 24, 2008 Mom rodriguez rated it really liked it
This man went through so much while in foster care but is now a child advocate and a lawyer. It only proves that where there's a will there's a way.
Mar 23, 2008 Lala rated it really liked it
A memoir of a boy raised in foster care. Excellent story, but too descriptive.
Apr 01, 2008 Tracy rated it really liked it
I thought this was a beautifully written, powerful book. It was an indictment of the foster care system, of course. I was touched by his assertion that love should be honored and preserved, even when the people who are loving us are also damaging us. And I wondered at this boy's survival. How did he manage to persevere, when so many can not? Was it because of the stability and love of his grandma in those early years? Knowing he was wanted, even if those that wanted him were not able to care for ...more
Mar 22, 2008 MusicalMarian rated it really liked it
Shelves: adults
This was an interesting true story of a boy who grew up as a foster child in CA. I was happy with the way it ended, and it was nice to hear that Andrew could be as insightful about his past as he is considering the lack of family support he had. It's amazing that he is as successful and happy as he is, and I'm glad he is trying to help others who are living as he once did.
Aug 14, 2009 Liza rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book really opened my eyes to the foster care system. This memoir takes you through Andy's experience and is very open and honest. In the last few years I've been reading books about bad things that occur in other countries (Iran, Afghanistan) but this opened my eyes to bad things happening here in the US. Andy was a great author.
Apr 13, 2008 Kristy rated it really liked it
Good book about one persons experience growing up in foster care. I was intrigued how he managed to live in one foster home for over 10 years, but the family either didn't really care for him, or had a really hard time showing it.
Mar 08, 2008 Elana rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Elana by: friend
Heartbreaking, beautiful, and honest. The story of a young man who grew-up in tragedy, then returned to help the children he left behind. You'll never forget this book.
Cristine Martinez
Apr 11, 2008 Cristine Martinez rated it really liked it
Great book!!! Again . . . I love reading about other peoples struggles and how they overcome them!! Very good!
Apr 29, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it
The son of a mentally ill woman who was unable to care for him, Andrew Bridge was raised in foster care, went on to Wesleyan and Harvard Law School and was the CEO of the Alliance for Children's Rights. What illustrated the shortcomings of the foster care system for me was not his descriptions of the horrible places that he had to live or the terrible people he had to live with but how damaged he seems, despite his "success".
May 07, 2008 Kelly rated it really liked it
This book is a memoir by Andrew Bridge, a boy who grew up in foster care in California and went on to Harvard Law School. This is amazing because according to the book the majority of kids in foster care don't graduate high school and less then 10% finish college. It is a sad story about a foster care system that still needs to be reformed and an interesting look into the world of a child in foster care. It has made me more sensitive to the struggle of these children.

Amy Wyckoff
May 06, 2008 Amy Wyckoff rated it it was amazing
This is a book about a boy put into the New York foster care system when he was 7. He was labeled as slow in grade school then met a teacher that took the time to care and finally was put in accelrated classes. He is now a Lawyer with a law degree from harvard. This is a wonderful book.
Apr 22, 2008 Suebee rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Suebee by: A friend whose reading group read the book
I loved this book. A beautifully written story of a lost childhood and the hope that held him through it. I recommend it for everyone! You won't forget it.
May 02, 2008 Lou rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody
An honest story about a brave boy and a tragic mother that I won't ever forget.
Jason H.
Apr 27, 2008 Jason H. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
The most courageous book that I have ever read. I loved it
May 15, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Judy McDonald
This book is about a young boy raised in an unloving foster care environment. His mother is hopelessly unable to provide for him due to her mental issues. Even with all the upheaval in his life he never forgots his mother.
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