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In an eye-opening look at how America cares for its abused and neglected children, Jennifer Toth travels to foster-care homes, orphanages, and juvenile detention centers to record the poignant, often heroic voices of youngsters trying to survive in an overburdened system. Jennifer Toth's first book, The Mole People, spurred federal funding for the homeless living in the tunnels under New York City. Now Toth turns her attention to another hidden population -- children trapped in the maze of the "substitute care system". Toth takes readers into the lives of shattered families unable or unwilling to care for their children, exposing the inadequacies of government policies and introducing the foster parents, judges, psychologists, and social workers ill-equipped to handle their often bleak jobs. Most important, she presents the kids who, with humor, hope, and resilience, struggle to overcome society's failure to provide for its youngest citizens. "The strength...lies in her empathy with her subjects, her willingness to let them have their say and the evident determination not to edit out what makes them so difficult to help". -- Celia Dugger, The New York Times Book Review
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