To the End of June-An Adoptive Parent’s Book Review

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To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care by Cris Beam follows several children and caregivers in the United States foster care system over a period of five years. The true life stories she writes represent a wide variety of family types with different races, sexual orientations, household compositions, religions, and so on included in her narrative. She provides an intimate look into the struggles they face, along with the challenges presented to those who care for them in a system in need of many reforms. Ms. Beam, who happens to be a foster mother herself, speaks to the heart with the stories woven through the book and to the mind with statistics and information, giving readers insight into the history of foster care in the U.S., the evolution of child welfare, and where it stood and seemed to be heading as of the publication of her book in 2013. This book does not proclaim the changes or solutions needed in the foster care system, but seems rather to be written to reveal this life to a country that does not know or understand it and as advocacy for change.

 

What others have to say about this book:

A New York Times Notable Book

“A triumph of narrative reporting and storytelling, as well as a thorough and nuanced analysis of an American institution deeply in need of reform. . . . Beam writes about social outcasts without stereotyping them. She gives them a much-needed voice and does what too many adults in the foster-care system can’t, or won’t: She advocates for them.”
New York Times Book Review

“Casts a searing eye on the labyrinth that is the American foster care system.” — NPR’s On Point

“[A] powerful . . . and refreshing read.” — Chicago Tribune

“Packed with messy humanity, To the End of June is an urgent and necessary book. It would break your heart were it not for the recurring tales of good people trying to do the right thing, and an undercurrent of rage at what life has served up these kids. Cris Beam brings careful listening, unflinching poise, and her own experience as a foster mother to this account of how the state tries to step up when parents can’t.”
—Ted Conover, author of Pulitzer-finalist Newjack and Coyotes

“A sharp critique of foster-care policies and a searching exploration of the meaning of family.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Heart-rending and tentatively hopeful.” — Salon

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