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Those Who Wander: America's Lost Street Kids

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  538 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Award-winning journalist Vivian Ho exposes a shattering true-crime story, shedding light on America’s new lost generation.

In 2015, the senseless Bay Area murders of twenty-three-year-old Audrey Carey and sixty-seven-year-old Steve Carter were personal tragedies for the victims’ families. But they also shed light on a more complex issue. The killers were three drifters scro
Hardcover, 220 pages
Published September 1st 2019 by Little A
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3.82  · 
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 ·  538 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Whistlers Mom
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the author admits, there's much "information" in this book that can never be verified. So let's start with what can be. In October, 2015, three young people murdered and robbed 23-year-old Audrey Carey In San Francisco. Then they moved north into Marin County. They were headed to Oregon, but first they needed to steal a car. For a victim, they chose 67-year-old Steve Carter, who was returning to his car after walking his dog. They shot and killed Carter and wounded his dog, then started north ...more
Dee Arr
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Although the book relates the stories of Lila Scott Alligood, Morrison Haze Lampley, and Sean Michael Angold, author Vivian Ho uses their experiences as a jumping-off point to offer a look at a serious problem: homelessness, and primarily for those who are not yet considered adults. Alligood, Lampley, and Angold are all serving time for the murders of Audrey Carey and Steve Carter. Ms. Ho doesn’t excuse their crimes. Rather, she delves into the myriad causes, how all the smaller instances can le ...more
MM Suarez
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well done book on a very important subject. If this human tragedy touches you and you are able to help, check out in the US, Canada or Latin America, to help save the ones we can🙏
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this in an afternoon. Absolutely incredible. The writing and reporting are excellent, and the stories are haunting. Highly recommended to foster parents, social workers, teachers, or anyone who wants children to have true childhoods.
Part true crime, part exploration of homelessness. Vivian Ho documents the murders of Audrey Carey and Steve Carter at the hands of three "street kids" in San Francisco. Remove references and the extra sections of this book and the bulk of the content clocks in at under 200 pages. It should have been shorter. The unnecessary repetition of events and phrases brought me back to my school days of adding extra fluff for the purpose of hitting a specified page limit.

There wasn't enough depth to the r
Julie Baker
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The hard and painful truth of youth homelessness

Ho portrayed first-hand, raw experiences with west coast homeless youths and the entire counterculture around "houselessness". It's not only heartbreaking but scary how much of an epidemic it has become with no real possibility of a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
Jessica Frey
Aug 21, 2019 marked it as could-not-finish
DNF at ~15%. Not interested in feeling empathy for murderers.
Gina Bégin
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lot of the reviews say it doesn't dive deep enough into the murders that the three main subjects committed. But that's not the point of this book. This book aims to understand how the culture of street kids was created and is maintained, what the foundation of many of these kids is based on, and their perspectives on living -- which is just that -- living, rather than thriving. It's not a book on murder. It's not a study on the murder cases. It's not even necessarily about the three murderers ...more
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was very well researched, and very well written. The author developed a great understanding of homelessness on the West Coast, and makes many excellent and true points.
I don't think it should be subtitled "America's" Lost... though. It is very specifically about the west coast homeless, which is understandable as that is where the author lives and works, but it misses some aspects of homelessness in other parts of the country (and the country as a whole).
A couple of these:
Detroit perspectiv
Charlotte Byrd
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Totally absorbing and impossible to put down!

Fast-paced, intriguing and captivating! I enjoyed reading about the lives of street kids and all of their hardships and tribulations. The author has done an amazing job presenting all of the research in a beautiful narrative that I couldn’t stop reading. You don’t want to miss this!
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Impossible to put down. An absolutely riveting, heartbreaking look at homeless kids in America, and their lives, told through the story of three young people and their crimes. The author is an immensely talented reporter and writer, who clearly went to great lengths to tell this story. She presents this powerful story in such a compelling way, it reads like a novel. A must read.
It's a tragic story: three troubled homeless kids find each other and then, fueled by drugs, commit two murders together. I thought this was both overwritten, especially in the first half, and underinvestigated. The author is a journalist, and this reads like a collection of articles about the case that needed to be connected to make a book. I wish that had been done by looking more deeply into the lives of the kids, or into the many social issues involved, than by editorializing.
Aug 12, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Kindle First Reads - August 2019
Aug 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As a former street kid myself, I expected a lot more.

This was a great concept, but sadly the book reads like outlining notes. Lacking in depth and truly genuine contacts, the authors brief encounters with various street kids read like blurbs, not the true, in-depth meaningful insights into their reality that the book aimed for. The entire book seems like an introduction. It kept me reading in hopes of the stories fleshing out and actually giving intimate glimpses into life on the streets. But it
Chanda Curry
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not all wanderers are lost, but they are all searching for something.

I just really can’t put into words, how deeply I was touched by this book.I come from an abusive childhood and a drug addicted twenties.Wanted to live in the streets when I was 14 to run away from an adopted home. Got caught by police. Never imagine what life has in store at that age, you just want to leave. I’m so grateful I did. There is hope and there are people who care for awhile at least, at least back then. Now after 13
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just ok. Expected more

For 200 pages there wasn't enough 'meat' to this book. What I found most annoying was that it was so repetitive. Ho mentions the same facts and details over and over again as if the reader is incapable of remembering them from one chapter to the next.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Should be two separate books

This book is mostly an expose about homeless children in California.

There is very little here about the actual crime committed by three homeless teens.

In my opinion, this would be much, much better if it were split into two books with one about the murder and the three kids who committed it, and another book about homeless (street) kids in general.

I got this book because I like true crime. I was more interested in THAT aspect of it. Instead, this book focused more o
Lindsey Yarbrough
Interesting Opinion Piece

By the end of the book I had a greater appreciation for the author's opinion and story. The book reads like a long feature piece. It's journalism and because the author is a journalist I hold her accountable to a journalistic standard.

To start, the writing begins with poorly formulated and long winded sentences. My brain got stuck in editor mode and I almost stopped reading. Eventually, the writing gets better.

This is a book written like factual reporting but laden with
Goth Gone Grey
There but for the grace...

This book will stay with me for some time. It tells specifically of three homeless youth who murdered two innocent people. It also recounts tales from other houseless youth, the stories of how they became that way, abuse and drug use through their lives, and their day to day existence.

No part of the story excuses the crimes committed by any of the people interviewed. At one point the author breaks the neutral reporter facade long enough to express her discomfort at the
Brian Walter
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some of the best books are the one you cross paths with totally unexpectedly. This is one such example. Offered for free from Amazon I downloaded it based in its breif description amongst the others, and I made a good selection.

The author uses a case of a double homicide and robbery to introduce us into the world of the homeless street kids. She quickly introduces us, however, to a multitude of people living that life to show this level of violence is far from the norm. She is gritty and raw wit
Gerald Heath
When I was a kid growing up in downtown Reno, Nevada, they were called bums. Every so often one would knock on our door and ask for a bite to eat, and my mother would make them a sandwich. We saw no tents, and I didn’t know where they slept. We also never saw women, children, or teenagers among their number. It wasn’t until the “summer of love”, fifty years ago, that we began to see younger kids who decided to make a life on the streets.

This book focuses on the street kids, 13 to 30, and it does
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I've read several books on this topic and knew a few kids that lived this life so this is a tough one to review. Ho starts her inquiry into street kid culture when she covers a murder trial in San Francisco, and from there she becomes interested in who these kids are, how they live their lives and where they come from. To say that this book is about homelessness is ill informed, rather, this is about a sliver of the homeless population. I felt that Ho did a great job sharing the stories of these ...more
Dennis Henn
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tolkein said, "Not all who wander are lost." After reading Ho's observations of and interviews with the homeless she met in the San Francisco area, they sounded pretty lost. She focused on the kids but acknowledged that kid might be anyone under 40. Why were these kids homeless (or houseless)? Drugs, abusive homes (parents), sexual predators, too full foster system. These are broken lives and Ho acknowledges there may not even be a solution because so many of these problems are generational.
By t
beverly harris
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who knew?

Thank you for your perseverance in seeing this story through. I do not recall ever seeing a homeless child before, however I do realize that they exist. My niece and a cousin have both been homeless by choice for different periods of their lives due to drug addiction. During those periods they were unreachable by family members and we had no idea where to look for them. I've seen homeless people before that all appeared to be older people. I wish this was a better world that we all coul
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best

non-fiction novels I've ever read on homelessness and the many issues surrounding it. I realize the main reason for its purpose are the murders and how heartbreaking it was for the families involved and it was not an attempt at justifying what happened but more of an effort to comprehend the mitigating circumstances.
And yet, this work was able to satisfy both events, in a compassionate informative style, a difficult undertaking at best, challenging at worse. Studying this book lea
Ashley Rose Delaney
Educational and High Brow Writing

This book was really interesting. I used to work with survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. That is just another way to be down on luck. Dire situations lead to dire actions. We all need to understand that and face homelessness with compassion. Some people will hustle you, but helping someone who appears in need will not hurt you. If more people were willing to face the world with compassion and help those who need and stand up to those inflictin
Sharon Phelps
Sep 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Not for me!! I thought I would like this book as I have taken in several "sofa surfers" or " street kids " in the past. My children would bring home their friends when they had no where else to stay and I helped them however I could. That included getting surgery for one girl. They stayed weeks to over a year. So you can see that when I saw a book about street kids I thought it would be something I would like. Frankly, I just didn't even finish the book. I couldn't get into it at all. Sorr
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it

At first I found this book offensive. I felt bad for the relatives of the victims for knowing that someone was defending the actions of the killers because they had a horrible childhood. It's true. And we know that 'hurt people hurt people'. And I can't imagine growing up like these kids, but cold murders? No remorse. She goes on to explain that we as a nation have to stop turning a blind eye to homeless children growing up in the streets. Yes. That. She redeemed herself a little at the end.
Randy L. Smith
This is a long journalistic story. I don't remember if it was considered a nonfiction book or not, but it is not. There are notes, but limited and primarily newspaper articles. NO parallel events, details, time, or much to make the story real. Two impressions that I read over and over again.1) It's the fault of the parents/guardians and drugs. Definitely not the kids; save them! 2) We as a society must help them.
Ms. Ho never learned after all her effort and risk-taking that only the "lost street
Joseph DiLorenzo
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great insight

Vivian does a great job of exploring the root cause of this epidemic and makes clear the fact it will not be fixed any time soon. I greatly admire that she was able to maintain her professionalism throughout her research; clearly not easy in most all of the interviews she conducted. Finally, I was hoping to get some idea of whether or not I should give these people money when I see them on the street. I did. I will be making donations to local homeless shelters instead.
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“Youth growing up in situations where there is violence, whether it’s witnessing it happen to someone they love or experiencing it themselves, it’s just too much,” said Doug Styles, the executive director of San Francisco’s Huckleberry Youth Programs. “Trauma and significant trauma alter the functioning of the brain, and the more instances there are and the more severe they are, you are actually changing the physiology of people.” All” 0 likes
“But for the kids we pass every day on the street, it is their day-to-day. We can live, but they can only survive. And we hate them for it. We criminalize their existence, making it illegal for them to sit or sleep or be. We donate our money to soup kitchens and homeless charities, but complain when we see someone panhandling in front of our establishments or using a public restroom. We send them the same message over and over again that they are not welcome. Their existence is a nuisance. Their humanity is no longer.” 0 likes
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