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Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  14,594 ratings  ·  902 reviews
Although Jodie is only eight years old, she is violent, aggressive, and has already been through numerous foster families. Her last hope is Cathy Glass. At the Social Services office, Cathy (an experienced foster carer) is pressured into taking Jodie as a new placement. Jodie's challenging behaviour has seen off five carers in four months. Despite her reservations, Cathy d ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Harper Element
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Bre Zeitlow I personaly think its because adults think they have power over children because the things children can do are limited. Adults who do horrible things…moreI personaly think its because adults think they have power over children because the things children can do are limited. Adults who do horrible things to children either may have been abused their selves, or they know of someone who abuses their child and likes the idea. I don't think a parent wake up and thinks " oh I'm going to start abusing my children." but then again I may be wrong. I think the parents that do abuse their children its because they need to feel something and the sick people who find their by abusing their children are just very sick people(less)

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4.22  · 
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 ·  14,594 ratings  ·  902 reviews

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Paul Bryant
Jan 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Are we now living in the age of Full Disclosure when everything is revealed about what people do to each other, the real truth about what human beings are? When it comes to dresses being paraded with presidential semen stains still upon them, or the latest youtube viral video horrors, you may think so. But - although it seems we have reached a plateau I think there is a way to go. The misery memoir, of which A Boy Called It is the ur-text, is a step along the way. Misery memoirs - my Waterstone' ...more
Dec 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
Writing was so-so... I think that there are better stories of the realities of being a foster parent. This felt more like "LOOK AT ALL THESE TERRIBLE THINGS! LOOK HOW BAD THE SYSTEM IS! LOOK HOW DAMAGED THESE CHILDREN ARE!"

Why this story? Why these events? Plus, disassociative identity disorder is highly controversial, and I found the portrayl to be quite stereotypical, as if based on a movie or Wikipedia entry. I also strongly disliked the discrimination towards people with disabilities that r
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book it is kind of hard to describe how it made me feel....Mad, sad. How could any system just kind of look over things like this. Out of all the books I have read on this subject matter, this has touched beyond belief. I understand a little more about post tramatic disorder because of it though. I don't want to spoil it for anyone just think anyone that can handle reading such descriptive accounts of abuse should read it. I do like the writing style and the author makes you feel the pain o ...more
Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am not sure of any other way to rate this book.

This book is about a girl named, Jodi, who enters the foster care system at the age of 7. Within 4mo she has already been through 5 foster homes. There is little hope for her, until Cathy steps up and agrees to take Jodi in.

When Jodi first enters Cathy's home she is very violent and rude. In fact, over the year that she is with Cathy that never completely goes away and as time goes on we start to see other disturbing behaviours from Jodi.

We will a
Jody Skalski
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book pretty quickly as I couldn't put it down. This is a disturbing story to read. I am sometimes asked why I read such "deep" books. I have always had an interest in troubled, needy children/teenagers; the way the brain functions just fascinates me. I always find the books such a wealth of information when dealing with children with difficult pasts. I will say that this story and its details was very difficult for me to read, in relation to this young child and what she has endured. ...more
Ailina Willis
Nov 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Though not eloquent, Glass's writing is sensitive and solid. The sheer depth of the experience is the crown of this book. I couldn't put it down. I was desperate to read Glass's conclusion, for better or worse.

The chronology is tight and thorough, fulfilling the reader's need for detail. Glass exposes her experience honestly, which allows us to inhabit her home during her tumultuous time with "Jodie," the abused child in her care.

On the downside, Glass made it almost too clear her strong feeling
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club-family
I'm very conflicted by this book. I think the author did a good job writing the story and I found it relatively fast and easy to read. But the content of the story is so disturbing that I also found it very difficult to read. I know these awful things happen, I really don't understand the lack of humanity in some people.

My main gripe with this book is that it seemed somewhat exploitative of the child's situation - granted names, dates, places were changed to protect her privacy. But still - why
Kristina Lenarczyk
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-read, own, favorites
Such a quick read and a powerful story. Laughed and cried, and can't wait to pick up more from this author.
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child by Cathy Glass

Although Jodie is only eight years old, she is violent, aggressive, and her challenging behaviour has sent her off to five carers in four months. Her last hope is Cathy Glass, an experienced foster carer that decides to take her on and protect her from being placed in an institution.
As Jodie begins to trust Cathy, her behaviour improves. Over time, with childish honesty, she reveals details of the abuses she suffered at t
May 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-read
This is the 'first' (as in the first written, not chronologically) book by foster carer Cathy Glass, and of the three I have read so far this is by far the most harrowing.

The story concerns an eight year old girl named Jodie, who has come into Cathy's care after being kicked out of 5 other foster homes in four months. She is an extremely disturbed child, and we don't fully begin to understand the reasons for this disturbance until some way into the book, when she begins to disclose the horrors o
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Generally, I don't write reviews, but in this case, I feel torn about this book.

I found this book incredibly intriguing. I was hooked and couldn't stop reading it. While the writing does come of as a bit self-congratulatory a lot of the time, the story is mesmerizing and if it is true, the author should be praised for her astounding patience. At the same time, I found my interest in this book disturbing. Our society's rapt attention for reading about or watching news stories related to pedophil
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
I always hate saying that I really liked a book like this. It was an awful, sad, tragic story that made me so angry and made my stomach turn. But it was well written and told a necessary story of a child who went through unspeakable abuse by her parents. Her foster mom, Cathy was so patient and kind and gave so much of herself to the care of Jodie. I admire anyone who could do that. I for one would have found the parents and shot them on sight. Working in an educational setting I think teachers, ...more
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I decided to read this book because anything that has to due with psychological issues is an interest to me so I'm usually drawn to books about it. As you can see from the description, this book is about a foster mom named Cathy, who takes in a very disturbed child that has very unusual and bad behavior. Jodie is 8 years old but doesn't have the mentality of an 8 year old at all. Her learning and motor skills aren't developed, and she is very violent towards herself and others. This is all due t ...more
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in child welfare issues, child abuse
This was such an intriguing book, I couldn't stop thinking about it whenever I had to lay it down. The author is a natural story teller, the book is filled with her and her family's emotional pain while fostering a little girl named Jodie. She will quickly draw you into the sad and tragic life of this little girl. Even though I suspected what had happened to Jodie, when it was revealed in the book, it sent not only dread but shivers of fear through me to know that this happens and is happening t ...more
Aug 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Cathy Glass
True Story
309 pages
copyright: 2006
isbn: 978-0-00-723634-3

Cathy Glasshad fostered fifty children over twenty years but none of themn had been as disturbed as Jodie, a troubled eight-year-old whose violence and aggression had seen off five foster carers in just four months. When Jodie arrived, Cathy had no idea what lay beneath Jodie's shocking behaviour, which included smearing faces all over the house, erupting into violent rages and even cutting herself. Little by little, as J
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was so easy, yet so hard to read.
The writing flows well and isn't too intricate, but the material it covers makes it incredibly hard to read without feeling completely upset or disgusted.

This true story follows the life of Jodie, a troubled girl with a terrible past - but is shown through the eyes of her Carer. This, to me, was quite refreshing. When reading books of this nature I have generally only read from the point of view of the child, so this new perspective was very interesting
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who like Torey Hayden's books
Shelves: books-i-own, memoir
yes i'm already finished with the book, and considering the time i started yesterday and the time i finished today, i finished in about a day. the first book i remember reading on these subjects was 'one child' by torey hayden and from that moment i was hooked on these types of books and for some reason i like books where there are stories of struggle, or sadness and hardships.i don't think i completely know why, but i do know i like them because when there about children like the little girl Jo ...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
This is a difficult one to review. I'm not easily disturbed and find this genre fascinating but I think that this may have slightly crossed the line for me. I realise it's true life, but I did find this book to be quite graphic. I know it sounds harsh as it's true life, but I found it difficult to connect with Jodie and sympathise with her - her behaviour was completely out of control and, quite frankly, disgusting at points. I found Glass to be quite annoying at points, repeating the word 'swee ...more
Manik Sukoco
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love kids and when I read this book I found myself with a strong urge to see all the bad in the world come upon those who would hurt a little child such as Jodie. I kept trying to imagine as I read, what would happen next or how the book would turn out in the end, then I remembered that this is a true story.
If you are faint of heart, be careful reading this heartbreaking story about an 8 year old girl whose life was destroyed and if not for the caring of one woman, would have been condemned to
Sabrina Rutter
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: child-abuse, i-own
Cathy Glass wrote this book in a way that pulled you right into all of her feelings in dealing with Jodie one of her eight year old foster children. I came away from this book horrified, shocked, and angry. Cathy Glass has more patience than I could ever have and thank God for that! She is definantly in the right field of work!
What could make a child so angry, unresponsive, and damaged? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out.
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This has got to be one of the most heart breaking stories of abuse I've read. Jodie the 8 year old girl Cathy is fostering is to badly damaged and even Cathy can't break through to her. The level of abuse that Jodie had to endure is just horrendous. Makes you realise what a cruel evil world we live in and for many there is no happy ending.
Rochelle Benoit
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
I love the writing of Cathy Glass. The stories she tells give readers a glimpse of the foster care system while staying relatable - without the overuse of technical jargon. When I picked up this book and read the subtitle of 'The heartbreaking true story of a forgotten child', I thought it was a slight over exaggeration, but was proven wrong. This was her saddest story yet. I couldn't help but cry as I flipped through the final pages. Sometimes I can't fathom the terrible situations children are ...more
Alex Slattery
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book and couldn’t put it down broke my heart reading this book about Jodie and how the system had let her down..... such a sad story
Ashtin Harildstad
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jodie is a very disturbed eight year old girl. She was put into the foster system and went through four different foster homes, before finding Cathy. Cathy was up for the challenge, and she took Jodie in. Little did Cathy know, her life was about to be flipped upside down. Cathy did everything in her power to help Jodie. Cathy slowly gained Jodie’s trust and uncovers the horrifying experiences Jodie went through at home. Will Jodie ever be a normal eight year old?
Mar 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: memiors, non-fiction
First, this author clearly is not a writer. Simply put, it's poorly written. Simplistic, repetitive, not at all engaging.

I also find it abhorrent that Ms. Glass, while portraying herself as apparently the only one capable of getting through to the children is these difficult cases ("yay me, after 5 carers in 6 weeks, I was able to deal with this kid for over a year, at the expense of my actual children and myself...aren't you impressed?"), she then goes and exploits these same children by writi
Eva Leger
Jul 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Damaged is very, very frustrating. The authors problems with Social Services and the authorities who are supposed to be there for these children is enough to make you want to pull your hair out.
I said this in my review for Hidden but I want to say it here also - Glass is very open about everything it seems she can be open about. I've seen a review or two from people who apparently think she's too hard on Social Services. I have to assume these people have never had to deal with the government "h
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoy Cathy Glasses books. The writing isn't the best but the stories of the children she fosters are always interesting to me. This one was angering and heartbreaking too, because of the extent of how bad Jodie's parents really were. Now being a mother myself these books bring out a whole new range of emotion then they did before. I am a protective mama bear and I can't even fathom the unthinkable horrors Jodi's own parents put her through.
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, memoirs
How do I even try to explain in words how completely disturbing this story was? On about 10 different occasions, I almost had to close the book and stop reading so I would not either vomit or burst into tears. The things that have happened to Jodie (pseudonym) are so beyond understanding. How could another human being do the sorts of crude and disgusting acts upon their own child? The amount of sexual abuse that comes out in this book, all verbalized by Jodie herself, are graphic and I guarantee ...more
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You'll like the picture on the book cover of the pretty little girl; then you'll notice the tear
on her cheek. Cathy Glass has fostered over 50 children but this story of Jodie may be her hardest. Jodie comes to Cathy to be fostered when she's eight years old; already many foster parents have given up on her; some as quickly as in one day. She smears feces all over, has violent outbursts & kicks Cathy's three older children. She gets withdrawn & doesn't respond to anyone or anything; she
Alicia Castilleja
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a story about a young girl named Jodie. She is an eight year old girl, who is mellow and isn't outgoing what so ever. She is going through a very difficult time. Jodie has had to move in to a foster home, due to the troubles with her parents and many of the other problems throughout her childhood. It is very sad, because of the fact that Jodie is only eight years old.

In this story you will learn that Jodie has been keeping some things(secrets) from her assigned social worker,that shoul
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Cathy Glass is a bestselling British author, freelance writer and foster carer.
Her work is strongly identified with both the True Life Stories and Inspirational Memoirs genres, and she has also written a parenting guide to bringing up children, Happy Kids, and a novel, The Girl in the Mirror, based on a true story.
Glass has worked as a foster career for more than 20 years, during which time she ha
“How many social workers does it take to change a light bulb? Thirteen. One to find the bulb, and the other twelve to hold a meeting to discuss how best to change it.” 1 likes
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