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Little Prisoners: A Tragic Story of Siblings Trapped in a World of Abuse and Suffering
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Little Prisoners: A Tragic Story of Siblings Trapped in a World of Abuse and Suffering

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  2,137 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Little Prisoners is a harrowing, yet moving memoir about two innocent and frightened 'unfosterable' children who do not know what it means to be loved.

The shock that strikes Casey and her family when Ashton and Olivia arrive is immeasurable. Two frightened little waifs stand before them, hair running wild with head lice, filthy nails and skin covered in scabs. Ashton, aged
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 7th 2012 by HarperElement
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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,137 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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Ruth Turner
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it

It’s always hard to read about the foster children in Casey Watson’s books. This one was even more so, not only dealing with terrible neglect but also sexual abuse and incest.

Watson’s writing style is fluid and easy and she does an excellent job of breathing life into Ashton and Olivia.

Distressing and hard to read. It made me cry.

Not for the faint-hearted.
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A short but disturbing book. Disturbing not just because of the plight of the children, but also disturbing because so many people are unaware that this type of - or amount of - abuse exists. As a former teacher I know of similar instances. In once case a young man made it to ninth grade, and he would still soil himself knowing full well what he was doing. I found out he had been sodomized as a child for quite a few years, and this was a result of that abuse. Finally, by the time he was in ninth ...more
Andrew Hall
Nov 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Having read Cathy Glass books, I find Casey's style of fostering and writing slightly more negative and less engaging. I think this may be because Casey does seem to get too attached. On a positive side her determination and tenacity, as well as empathy for these damaged children is extraordinary and it is only through this that these two children had a better chance in life.
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, that was harrowing, and a stark picture of the cycle of abuse.

It always amazes me how children like these ones slip under the radar of social services, but also I am well aware that social services are damned either way. Taking children into care requires sufficient evidence, and getting that evidence is made hard when the poor kids are coached into saying nothing.

I could feel Casey's frustration at the system in general in this one, more so than usual (though I get that frustration from e
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-2016
What an incredibly sad and shocking story! I’ve read many of Cathy Glass’s books (this is only the second book by Casey Watson I’ve read), and up until now I thought I’ve heard all there is to hear about human depravity; how cruel and abusive some parents can be to their offspring. It’s just so tragic. I have a little boy whom I love with all my heart, so reading about these two siblings and the horrid background they come from, broke my heart over and over again.

The only thing that sometimes bo
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
1. I picked this book up at Walmart thinking it would be a good readalike for A Child Called It and it was.
2. I didn't realize this author had written so many other books and now I can't wait to read the rest.
3. I love that she's an actual foster mom, so we get the nitty gritty of the system and what the parents and kids go through. I'm a high school English teacher and I work with 4 foster parents in the high school alone, so I see this first hand. Our school is one of the biggest populations o
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Little Prisoners was a very sad book which touched upon subjects that were devastating. I often had to remind myself that this was a true story because I couldn't quite believe that people could be so heartless.

Obviously, I can't really give my opinion on the characters as they are real people but I did feel like Casey (the author and narrator) sometimes made herself seem like the best possible person who could do nothing wrong which is very unrealistic.

The writing was also not particu
Arrica Lee
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Casey Watson and her family have my utmost respect for their tenacity and love for Ashton and Olivia. They have brought into light the horrifying condition these children were born and raised up in and the challenges faced in order to re-align these children back into the right path. Challenges that we, as silent readers couldn't possibly comprehend and understand. It is good to know that there's still faith in humanity and people like Casey, Mike, Anna and the foster carers who are sincere and ...more
Carla Harris
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ashton and Olivia's lives are forever changed by the care of one family.

Casey and her family take in foster care kids that need a home fast. They are not the kind that keep the kids for a long stay. However, Ashton and Olivia stayed a little longer than most. It is horrible how these two little children fell through the cracks in the social system...but Casey doesn't give up once she has sure to read how a woman with determination gets the job done for children in her care.
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for all county social workers to see what their decisions do. Extremely well written horrible subject
J. A.  Lewis
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first memoir I've read of Casey Watson's and it won't be the last. She has a very down-to-earth way of sharing with her readers the trials and tribulations of being a foster parent. "Little Prisoners" starts when two children, brother and sister, are taken from their mother and brought to Casey's home. The children are infested with scabies and lice and are near starving. They have horrid toilet habits and are nearly like wild animals. Worse, the children have been sexually abused an ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read through the story about the Little Prisoners which was composed by Casey Watson, a real temporary caregiver for the kids who are experiencing abuse and neglect. This is the first time that I took close look at these cases, and figured out the complex relationships in certain cases.

I was totally involved in the situation which the book described and thought that it's optimistic the children with this kind of background and experiences to find their own lives and survive here in the CPR su
Joanie Cox
May 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017-to-read
I give this book one star not because of the writing, it is well written. The author and her husband are amazing people the work they do has to be unbelievably heart breaking. It's the story it's self. I have never read anything so heartbreaking & disturbing. When I picked this book up in the store I expected something else entirely, something inspirational with a hallmark type happy ending. This is not that kind of book. This book left me depressed & heartbroken. There is a special plac ...more
Jennifer Reynolds
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
The things that people do to children is just unfathomable! I am disgusted by this pairs family! Gwandad and dad definitely deserve to be castrated and then some. I pray that these two and their little siblings have a good life and find people to love them dearly and give them hope and faith in life. I also feel that their mother should be sent to extensive counselling and maybe eventually when the kids are of age they can come to form a relationship with their mother.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fascinating read

Oh lord. How can people damage children like Olivia and Ashton?!? How is that even allowed to happen? Thank goodness for people like Casey Watson and her family. It's not enough that she takes these children into her home, but the fact that she writes about it so the rest of the world knows that these poor kids need a safe place to be. She's doing an amazing thing.
Eva Pimentel
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I cried almost all the book. Beautifully written. This is the first fostering book I dare to read; everything seems so hard for me to believe I just can’t think about these things happening to kids. Casey is definitely going to heaven for this beautiful vocation she’s accepting. Can’t wait to read more about this topic. Learned a lot due the examples, dialogues and explanations it contains.
Laura Feghia
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book but felt myself that I wanted to really scream at there family for what they have done to these poor kids, thankfully Casey and mike did best with them with little help from anyone else, so glad the kids didn’t have to return back home but also gutted that they hate to find new forever homes for them but not together ...... but all in all they knew it was for the best
Jenny McAteer
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing people are foster carers

Very disturbing story. It's amazing to think that anyone can treat anyone let alone children the way these children were treated. Wonderful transformation. Would have preferred more of an epilogue there was no real information about what happened to the children
This was an emotional story to read. It was really hard to even fathom what these two have had to live through in their little lives. I had a hard time reading this one. Even though I read it in one day.
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
A very disturbing read. One of the worse cases I've ever read in child abuse biographies. Even if you have a strong stomach for reading this subject, this one will be particularly hard to digest even for the toughest of people.
Nur Haziqah
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Glad I finally read this book after it has been on my shelve for i don't remember how many years. What a horrible monsters that these kids have been dealing in their former childhood. With Casey and her family love for them, there's always new hope for brighter future.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
But also nice to be reminded that there are also wonderful people in the world
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great writing about a tough subject. Because I like torturing myself with horribly emotional reads, I can't wait to dig into more of Casey Watson's books!
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
”What a lottery life was. What decreed the circumstances a baby was born into? What roll of the celestial dice saw to it that those poor children, currently residing in our family, ended up in such a hell hole as the one just described?”

4.5 Stars

I think these books get a little more depressing each time. There is absolutely no comparing the torment and torture that these children go through, but you have to be so emotionally strong to read these. Even on a personal level, this book got me o
Elizabeth Ray
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am an avid Cathy Glass reader so when this similar-sounding book popped up in my BookBub email, I knew I had to snag it. Casey Watson is a foster carer in England, trained in a specific rewards/consequences program to meet the most challenging of foster care children. As a favor, she takes on two siblings temporarily, she is told. These siblings, Ashton age 10 and Olivia age 6, have been severely neglected. They come to Casey with horrible lice, skin disease, and looking very malnourished. The ...more
Michelle Bennett
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is not for the faint hearted or the over emotional. Its a very vivid account of 2 deeply disturbed siblings, as the title suggests prisoners trapped in a world of abuse. This is Casey Watson's third book and like her previous 2 titles centres around herself and her husband as foster carers. They typically foster older children and in this book although mislead into doing so, agree to provide temporary care for 2 young siblings. A boy and a girl. Every page made me angry, upset and intr ...more
Betty Jo Pritchett
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love these books by Casey Watson. This one lived up to my expectations. The work that Casey and her husband Mike does with these troubled children is miraculous. I also enjoy the banter between the family members and the situations that are horrible and she manages to find humor in them. While the endings aren't all happy, they are all realistic. Having a child with a mental illness, I relate to many of the situations and problems that they face with the troubled foster children.Casey WatsonLi ...more
Little Strangers is a very short and disturbing novel. I felt very angry towards child abusers after reading this book..why can't they just put those people into guillotine or something? Their life isn't worth living. Why bother with the court and legal papers? These men don't deserve anything in this world. And at the same time, I felt so much sympathy towards the children, Ashton and Olivia. Its very difficult to make them understand about regular life, after they have led a life of so much se ...more
Angela Stockton
A interesting and heart breaking story. I wish that they would have had a more definite conclusion at the end, but I understand that life doesn't always work like fairy tales with happily ever afters. It would have been more fulfilling to know that something was done with the abusers in this case, or at least a more concrete look into who these people were who did it. But again, life doesn't always work out that way. I felt very sad and disgusted with what these poor children had to go through. ...more
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“After Anna had gone, I stood at the kitchen window for some time, just watching my daughter and grandson playing in the garden. What a lottery life was. What decreed the circumstances a baby was born into? What roll of the celestial dice saw to it that those poor children, currently residing in our family, ended up in such a hell hole as the one just described?” 0 likes
“formal meeting, in which all concerned parties are present, so that social services can give the new carers some background and so that a plan of action for the child or children’s future can be put in place. But in practice … Hmm, I thought, we’d been” 0 likes
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