All posts tagged: homelessness

THE LOVELY & TALENTED ESTELI MEZA on natural disasters, homelessness, rebuilding; how children need to process feelings & be supported by loving, caring friends/adults + her artisic process

By Leslie Lindsay  Kind words, good cheer, and yet…Conejo is sad, restless, and just wants to find ‘home’ in this illustrated children’s picture book. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ CHILDREN’S LITERATURE  Kind words, good cheer, and yet…Conejo is sad, restless, and just wants to find ‘home’ in this illustrated children’s picture book. Children’s author-illustrators are my heart. I think it’s because as a child reader, this is what shaped me, made me want to write. Here, in FINDING HOME (forthcoming from Scholastic, Jan 5 2021), Esteli Meza poetically and lyrically tells the story of Conejo, a little rabbit whose home blows away in fall storms. Off he goes seeking a new home. At each turn, he is met with a group of kind, caring friends–all forest animals–who offer insight and distraction…maybe they have a picnic or reminisce, play music, have a cup of tea. All of this is lovely and wonderful, but Conejo is not satisfied. Still, no home. Eventually, the story ends with Conejo in a new home, one which he has filled with recent memories of kindness and …

A powerful and harrowing story of homeless youth, a dysfunctional family of origin, mental illness, & success of physician Sheryl Recinos in HINDSIGHT, plus a timely and topical reading list, activism, more

By Leslie Lindsay  A powerful and almost unbelievably true account of one woman’s dysfunctional family, her experiences in detention, foster care, the streets of Hollywood, and how she made it through. ~MEMOIR MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ HINDSIGHT (2018) by Sheryl Recinos, is one of those stories that will absolutely stay with you. Sheryl is a your typical eight-year old when her mother has a psychotic break. Along with her next-closest-in-age brother, she takes them to a trailer home to stay warm, leaving them with nothing but uncooked pasta and raisins. And then she vanishes, but returns. The family struggles. Eventually, the parents divorce, but the father receives custody. When Sheryl is eleven, he remarries a woman who wants nothing to do with kids, who struggles with her own mental health issues. To summarize this harrowing story in a succinct manner almost discredits the author’s pain and struggles. Here, we delve into a deeply dysfunctional family of origin, involving children sent away to foster care, the ones that remain, and the frank abuse that follows. HINDSIGHT …

Childhood Homelessness in America is on the rise–why–and how you can help, plus, resilience, writing, and imagination in this gorgeous and evocative novel from Rene Denfeld, THE BUTTERFLY GIRL

By Leslie Lindsay Gorgeous companion to THE CHILD FINDER, this book stands on its own and is as stunning as harrowing. I loved Rene Denfeld’s previous book, THE CHILD FINDER (2017), but THE BUTTERFLY GIRL (October 1 2019) absolutely glimmers. It’s a gripping account of underprivileged, disadvantaged children and their circumstances . Naomi is an exceptional young woman who has a knack for finding missing or displaced children. Now, we continue with her story as she is wracked with the guilt and compulsion of finding her own sister, who disappeared years ago when both girls were in captivity. Naomi escaped, but her sister didn’t. Naomi has no picture, no idea even what her sister’s name is. She can’t remember; it was that traumatic. And she was just a kid when it all happened. All Naomi has is a vague sense of a strawberry field at night, black dirt rimming her nails, and bare feet. She ran for her life. Now, nearly twenty years later, Naomi is in Portland Oregon, amidst skid row, where scores of homeless children wander in and out of shelters, abandoned paint factories, and …

What if you adopted a little girl…and then took in her homeless parents for awhile? That’s what happened with Vanessa McGrady in ROCK NEEDS RIVER

By Leslie Lindsay Released just this week, ROCK NEEDS RIVER (Little A, February 5 2019), Vanessa McGrady takes us on a journey through the very open adoption of her daughter, Grace, and what happens when her biological parents need shelter, too.  “How can you repay a priceless debt? When my daughter’s birth parents became homeless, I impulsively invited them to stay with us, without clearly thinking it through. It was wonderful in some ways, terrible in others, and continues to be a roller-coaster of love, truth, and loyalty. This is our story.” Here, Vanessa McGrady shares her top nine books on adoption. Some are memoir, others poetic; some for children, others written by same-sex partners, and some are down-right humorous.  Please join us. Books on Adoption By Vanessa McGrady Every major hero/ine’s journey and epic tale has an adoption component. From Bible stories and Greek myths (adoption worked out well for Moses, not so much for Oedipus) to Star Wars through This Is Us, we humans are obsessed with origin stories. And it’s no wonder: …