Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “One Small Boat: The Story of a Little Girl, Lost Then Found” as Want to Read:
One Small Boat: The Story of a Little Girl, Lost Then Found
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

One Small Boat: The Story of a Little Girl, Lost Then Found

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  740 ratings  ·  107 reviews
This story of one little girl's journey through our foster-care system forms an intimate portrait of foster care in America and the children whose lives are forever shaped by it Augusten Burroughs called Kathy Harrison's memoir Another Place at the Table a riveting and profoundly moving story of a hero, disguised as an everyday woman. In One Small Boat, Harrison tells the ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Tarcher (first published 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Small Boat, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about One Small Boat

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Deborah
This is a powerful book that gives the reader a glimpse of the heartbreak so many children endure in our country's foster care system and the special people who make a difference as foster parents.
Jessica
Mar 21, 2008 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who can handle the heart wrenching topic of children who are found to be unwanted.
I LOVED this book. It was so inspiring. I truly admire this author and her heart. She has figured out the meaning of unconditional love through her actions.
Amy
Ever think about becoming a foster parent or legal guardian to a child? This book should be something you read before taking that on. Hopefully it will not talk you out of becoming a foster parent because the book doesn't try to do that. It is utterly truthful on the hardships for the children, social workers, foster & biological families.
At times Kathy Harrison is a little on the sappy side but I like her. She gets shit done. She's an amazing advocate for these children stuck in the system
...more
Mia
It seems curmudgeonly of me not to like a book about a kind and dedicated foster mother who takes in damaged children and works tirelessly to heal them, I know. And I do applaud Ms. Harrison for her priceless work as a foster parent, but judging the book and not the person, I have to say eh.

The story is a combo of sticky sweet (watch me make cookies and soup and cookies again and kiss boo-boos and have sensitive heart-to-hearts, not like those BAD mommies) and Law & Order SVU voyeuristic ick
...more
Marisa
This book reads more like a series of blog posts smushed together. Kathy Harrison is not really a writer in the traditional sense, and occasionally that was distracting. But ultimately, her story about her experiences as a foster parent is so authentic and honest about both the good and the bad that I read it from start to finish in about 2 days.

As a parent who adopted from foster care, I was really moved in particular by her insights into how quickly we parents forget what "typical" looks like
...more
Abbie Plake
One Small Boat focuses on the real life of a foster mother. She lives with her husband, Bruce, and their children. They have children of their own and have also adopted. On top of that, they take in more children in need. Kathy mentions at times how she doesn't know why she chose such a crazy life for only seventeen dollars a day, but then she sees special children and the impact she can make on them. Special children like Daisy.
Daisy was first put in foster care voluntarily by her mother. She
...more
Liz
Amazing, amazing, amazing! This is a women who knows hurt children inside and out. Anyone who is considering fostering or wants to know more about foster care should read this book and Another Place At The Table. Kathy shows that there are truly heroes in the child welfare system.
Tiffany McFly
This book just hurt my soul, but it was amazing.
Rachel
4.5 stars

Another great book by foster mom Kathy Harrison. Her writing is very fluid, and I got through this book in a matter of hours, despite the hard topic and the need to stop reading and just think for several moments.

What I love most about her stories is that she is very transparent about her flaws. She doesn't claim to be the "perfect" mom and readily admits areas where she made the wrong decision, or at least not the best one. She doesn't do this in a self-deprecating or even falsely humb
...more
Erin
I loved this book - and I wasn't expecting to, because I didn't love her other book I read "Another Place at the Table". With this book, however, I feel like she hit a home run. I found it to be a believable account of life in a foster home -- albeit she did come across very good in her reactions to things, and if that is how she truly is, oh, how wonderful for those kids! There are so few good foster homes out there, that the good ones often get overwhelmed with requests for placements.
Daisy a
...more
Jessica
Apr 27, 2010 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: potential adoptive parents, people interested in foster care
Shelves: adoption
My friend Nina recommended this book. I always take Nina's recommendations because she reads great books. This was no exception. In general, this is an autobiography of sorts written by a foster-care mother who has provided a safe home for many many kids. It is a quick read, moves really easily through the chapters, the children are portrayed so nicely and it is well written.

I took a few things away from my reading. I learned a lot about foster care and the possibilities of the system. This wom
...more
george
Kathy Harrison, along with her husband and family, has cared for more than 120 foster children. The Harrisons have three biological children and three more that they adopted, yet they still continue to open their home to neglected and abused children. This book is purportedly about one foster child in particular, a little girl named Daisy. But really the book is more about the time in their lives when Daisy was a part of their family, as there is just as much written about the other children as ...more
AJ
I hover between thinking this book was just OK and liking it. It is a memoir, so there isn't any particular story to be told through it - though I was expecting there to be. I thought this book would be focused on a little girl and her problems while living with this family. It was about that, but the focus was more on the foster mother and the revolving door of children coming through their home during the time that this little girl also lived there. So, the book wasn't exactly what I expected. ...more
Laura Hughes
Another absolutely heartbreaking real-life foster care memoir from Kathy Harrison. Similar to Another Place at the Table but with more narrative arc, focusing on a particular child, whose time with the Harrisons has its ups, downs, mysteries, and surprises.
Jill
At first read I liked this a lot. I read it in one day because it was so engaging. The story is just as much about the whole family as it is about the one little girl. It's also a tribute to the foster parents in the USA who change the lives of these children.

But after I gave it a few days to simmer in my unconscious, it seemed a little too self-congratulatory. I hate saying that because this woman IS doing an amazing job (at least so it looks). She's brave to show her fallibility. But I think i
...more
Tracy
Wow, another really great book by Kathy. Both of her books were easy reads for me. This book was a little more emotional for me, especially the end and how Kathy dealt with ultimately giving the daughter she hoped to adopt back to her dad. A fascinating look at the world of foster care. Usually you hear about the bad, but you do not hear about the good people who work hard to care for these children. The stories of the children in both of her books were just so heartbreaking, and happy at the sa ...more
Sue
Another great read. After having read Another Place at the Table, I jumped right into this book. Again her story touched my heart and described the ups and downs of fostering truthfully . Even after all the years of fostering and kids they have had she still has moments when she questions the process and themselves.
Christina
Good book. I liked her first book, "another place at the table," too, although the stories of the kids are tough. But that's the real world of foster care, and they have so few people who are speaking up for them, that these books are great to at least humanize the precious kids whose childhoods are being lived in foster care.
Chrisiant
I almost wish I hadn't read this right on the heels of her other book, because they were quite similar. I enjoyed them both anyway - really this just seemed like a continuation of Another Place at the Table, only more focused on a single child's effect on the family.

The experiences of children in foster care are just so incomprehensible, and the courage and energy it takes to parent them is astronomical.

I really appreciated Harrison's attitude towards bio moms, and that she really did all she
...more
Jamie
I wish Kathy Harrison would write more books. Like "another place at the table" I read this in a couple of hours because I was haunted by it when I wasn't reading it...and I cried through much of it (again). SUCH a great book.
Christina
Such a powerful story of mother's experience as a foster parent and one particular little girl who entered her family's life. My heart broke into a million pieces for these children who have often suffered unspeakable evils at the hands of those who should be taking care of them. Well written and very honest. I would've loved to hear a little bit more about the impact of the foster children on her biological children. I believe she has another published book about this subject that I will defini ...more
Anna
Mar 31, 2008 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves children and/or has an interest in the reality of foster care.
Recommended to Anna by: Loved her first book
Shelves: adoption
This is an amazing woman. She allows her love to be shared by many children, and she is honest in her description of heart aches and triumphs.
I have been a foster parent and plan on doing so again in the future. Kathy is brutally honest and fair. She doesnt make things look rosy or simple. Loving children and then letting them go is one of the most painfull process' in the world. There are so few us willing to step outside our safety zones and truly care about others. This mother and father real
...more
Susan
Really enjoyed this book - so well written. I could hardly put it down.
Such a talented lady - not just with these children, but also as a writer. Not a clue how she does it all!
Andrea
A very touching account of one woman’s experience providing foster care to abused and neglected children. There narrative centers around a child named Daisy who makes a big impact on her foster family and her foster mom, Kathy, in particular. This isn’t an analysis of the nuts and bolts of foster care and adoption nor is it a critique of the foster system. It’s simply a narrative of her day to day dealings with Daisy and her other children and the feelings Kathy experiences as her relationship w ...more
Chris Leonard
Kathy writes honestly about foster care in America. She includes the good, the bad and the ugly. A must read for anyone who works with children.
Marie
More of a 3.5. Great story line, but struggle with the whole foster system & how many kids one family can take it. Very eye opening.
Lindsay
Overall a quick, easy read except for the whole "horrors experienced by children resulting in placement with a foster family" thing. But if you've picked up this book, you're probably okay with reading about that. Some of the exposition about the child welfare system was forced but in a memoir there aren't too many ways to convey the information seamlessly. That same information makes this a good recommendation for those considering becoming a foster family. And though I'm not coming to this boo ...more
Cait
This was obviously a very moving and emotional book. How couldn't it be? I felt for all the children and was reminded how lucky the world is to have people willing to take in kids like this and provide them with such a better life, even temporarily.

The downside of the book was...Kathy came off as a judgmental, self-centered, pretentious bitch. Sorry. But it felt more like she needed to tell this story so that she could make sure the world knew how much better she was than everyone else than beca
...more
Laura
A well written, interesting book about one mother's experiences with her various foster children. It primarily tells the story of one little girl named Daisy. While I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the foster care system and ached to do something to help, I was shocked at some of the situations that were described. I felt like it was tastefully done but of course any book about foster care is going to be somewhat disturbing. If you are sensitive to this kind of thing, consider yourself warned ...more
Katherine Spencer Inskeep
A wonderful book written by an amazing woman who with her husband has fostered many, many children and adopted several as well. I am in awe of this woman who has such a heart for the many children that go through the heartbreak of losing their families and growing up in foster care. She concentrates mainly on two girls - one her adopted daughter Karen who develops Tourette's syndrome and the other a litte waif , Daisy, that came to their home with a myriad of diagnosis' and medications and flowe ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • On Their Own: What Happens to Kids When They Age Out of the Foster Care System
  • Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk: A Caseworker's Story
  • Orphans of the Living: Stories of America's Children in Foster Care
  • Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents
  • The Waiting Child: How the Faith and Love of One Orphan Saved the Life of Another
  • Two Little Girls: A Memoir of Adoption
  • The Family Nobody Wanted
  • Lovey: A Very Special Child
  • Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow
  • Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You
  • They Cage the Animals at Night
  • Deliver Me from Evil: A Sadistic Foster Mother, a Childhood Torn Apart
  • I Miss Mummy: The true story of a frightened young girl who is desperate to go home
  • Street Kid
  • Behind Closed Doors: A True Story of Abuse, Neglect and Survival Against the Odds
  • The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption
  • Mummy Knew
  • Childhood Interrupted
Another Place at the Table Just in Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens Famille d'accueil, famille de coeur

Share This Book

“Dear God, be good to me. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small. ” 11 likes
More quotes…