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‘We’re hungry,’ his brother cried. ‘We’re hungry, Justin. Please find us some food.’ Justin was five years old; his brothers two and three. Their mother, a heroin addict, had left them alone again. Later that day, after trying to burn down the family home, Justin was taken into care. Justin was taken into care at the age of five after deliberately burning down his family hom ‘We’re hungry,’ his brother cried. ‘We’re hungry, Justin. Please find us some food.’ Justin was five years old; his brothers two and three. Their mother, a heroin addict, had left them alone again. Later that day, after trying to burn down the family home, Justin was taken into care. Justin was taken into care at the age of five after deliberately burning down his family home. Six years on, after 20 failed placements, Justin arrives at Casey’s home. Casey and her husband Mike are specialist foster carers. They practice a new style of foster care that focuses on modifying the behaviour of profoundly damaged children. They are Justin’s last hope, and it quickly becomes clear that they are facing a big challenge. Try as they might to make him welcome, he seems determined to strip his life of all the comforts they bring him, violently lashing out at schoolmates and family and throwing any affection they offer him back in their faces. After a childhood filled with hurt and rejection, Justin simply doesn’t want to know. But, as it soon emerges, this is only the tip of a chilling iceberg. A visit to Justin’s mother on Boxing Day reveals that there are some very dark underlying problems that Justin has never spoken about. As the full picture becomes clearer, and the horrific truth of Justin’s early life is revealed, Casey and her family finally start to understand the pain he has suffered…


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‘We’re hungry,’ his brother cried. ‘We’re hungry, Justin. Please find us some food.’ Justin was five years old; his brothers two and three. Their mother, a heroin addict, had left them alone again. Later that day, after trying to burn down the family home, Justin was taken into care. Justin was taken into care at the age of five after deliberately burning down his family hom ‘We’re hungry,’ his brother cried. ‘We’re hungry, Justin. Please find us some food.’ Justin was five years old; his brothers two and three. Their mother, a heroin addict, had left them alone again. Later that day, after trying to burn down the family home, Justin was taken into care. Justin was taken into care at the age of five after deliberately burning down his family home. Six years on, after 20 failed placements, Justin arrives at Casey’s home. Casey and her husband Mike are specialist foster carers. They practice a new style of foster care that focuses on modifying the behaviour of profoundly damaged children. They are Justin’s last hope, and it quickly becomes clear that they are facing a big challenge. Try as they might to make him welcome, he seems determined to strip his life of all the comforts they bring him, violently lashing out at schoolmates and family and throwing any affection they offer him back in their faces. After a childhood filled with hurt and rejection, Justin simply doesn’t want to know. But, as it soon emerges, this is only the tip of a chilling iceberg. A visit to Justin’s mother on Boxing Day reveals that there are some very dark underlying problems that Justin has never spoken about. As the full picture becomes clearer, and the horrific truth of Justin’s early life is revealed, Casey and her family finally start to understand the pain he has suffered…

30 review for The Boy No One Loved

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    "I was so nervous that I actually felt physically sick. I'd never been so nervous about a new job, ever. Probably because this this was going to be like no other new job. Because it wasn't just a job, it was a whole lifestyle. This was not nine till five, this was twenty-four-seven." I am not going to say this book was amazing, I am not going to say this book was good, I will say that this book was an eye-opener. One that made me feel more appreciative of all that I have. This book was writt "I was so nervous that I actually felt physically sick. I'd never been so nervous about a new job, ever. Probably because this this was going to be like no other new job. Because it wasn't just a job, it was a whole lifestyle. This was not nine till five, this was twenty-four-seven." I am not going to say this book was amazing, I am not going to say this book was good, I will say that this book was an eye-opener. One that made me feel more appreciative of all that I have. This book was written as a memoir by Casey Watson. A woman living in England, with her husband and son, who quit her job to train as a future foster parent. She knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but with the support of her husband and her two kids, she could do anything. But there are a few things that, to me, appeared like she was never trained for. Things that she, of course, learned on the job. “We’re hungry,” his brother cried. “We’re hungry, Justin. Please find us some food.” Justin was just five years old when he took matters into his own hands and burned his family house down, only sparing his two younger brothers. He was tired of feeling like there was nothing he could do. Six years later, Justin has been through twenty different placements at separate foster families. His last chance is with the Watson’s. They don’t know big of a challenge they are facing until it has already begun. "You could be given all the explanations in the world, after all, but you couldn't just conveniently switch your feelings off, could you?" Casey and her husband, Mike, have been trained to handle these situations. Modifying behaviour through a series of points, only to be rewarded for positive encouragement. But how far can Justin go when his past is threatening to swallow him whole? "To embrace the enormity of having to live in a world where there's no-one who cares if you're happy or sad, whether you're well or feeling down or making your way or needed a hug. It was so far from my own experience, with our huge loving family, that it was difficult to take in as a concept." Can Justin thrive when all of the secrets of his past are still hidden? The scars on his body and mind remind him of all he has been through. With no one to listen to him, no one to understand and love him, he lashes out. Throwing Casey and Mike’s love back in their faces. Physically abusing classmates and friends. Throwing tantrums when things aren’t the way he expects them or when they aren’t on time. Can Casey and Mike really help Justin or will this last chance be for nothing? “Was there anything more difficult for children who had nothing -- and more than that, no one to love them or to care for them -- than seeing a world full of families and so much festive cheer and joy?" Like I said, I won’t go launching into saying that this book was amazing. In reality, it was heart-breaking. The fact that someone in the world could really have experienced all these things, it tore at me. All the struggles that this little boy must have faced, it made me feel sort of small, in a way. I give my full respect to everyone in this story for going through this. All for separate reasons, their lives were all changed. There were a few spelling mistakes. Misuse of me and I, nothing I can’t overlook, but still bothered me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    M.A. McRae

    Casey and Mike Watson train to become foster parents for particularly difficult children. They may have been trained, but what could prepare a couple for a child whose behaviour can be more than merely ‘challenging.?’ And then his past is gradually revealed and our hearts bleed for Justin. This book had me in tears, and yet there was warmth and laughter as well. I became totally absorbed, and find it difficult to praise it highly enough – especially as it is not the sort of book I am usually att Casey and Mike Watson train to become foster parents for particularly difficult children. They may have been trained, but what could prepare a couple for a child whose behaviour can be more than merely ‘challenging.?’ And then his past is gradually revealed and our hearts bleed for Justin. This book had me in tears, and yet there was warmth and laughter as well. I became totally absorbed, and find it difficult to praise it highly enough – especially as it is not the sort of book I am usually attracted to. I am glad I did not miss this one. And PS: If you’re a stupid teenager contemplating trying just one hit of Heroin, read this book. Heroin destroys lives, and not just the lives of those stupid enough to use it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jacklyn (ReadingBliss)

    3.5 stars Although I will probably remember this story for a long while and I did shed a few tears, I felt like I wanted more all the way through. I don't know what "more" would consist of in this instant, but it left me for wanting. I simply felt like all the horrible things this boy went through- seeing as I am most definitely a cryer- should have inspired more than a few tears. Overall, I just like that stories like this exist to read about because the very-real-problems do exist as a reality 3.5 stars Although I will probably remember this story for a long while and I did shed a few tears, I felt like I wanted more all the way through. I don't know what "more" would consist of in this instant, but it left me for wanting. I simply felt like all the horrible things this boy went through- seeing as I am most definitely a cryer- should have inspired more than a few tears. Overall, I just like that stories like this exist to read about because the very-real-problems do exist as a reality to some and I feel that simple awareness is good even if it doesn't immediately or directly change anything. Also, these types of books are about as non-fiction as I get and I feel it's important to have something of non-fiction on one's shelf. I have read one other book on this topic from the same author and I think I liked it a little more than this one, but I did just find out that this was her first book so that might be worth taking into consideration. I have a couple more of these books (same author) on my shelf to get to and I look forward to forming a more in depth opinion about this author and these types of books. I wish these things never happened, but I think the work some people do to help these kids is wonderful and worth reading about and learning about how the process of social services and fostering works.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Moncada

    I'm a 22 year old college student who is currently going to school to work in this type of environment working with foster children being able to help them. I chose this book as a "must read" to gain some insight into what it's like for those children. And being the softy that I am did make it hard to read some of the pages but made my want to help increase. I got props to Casey and the time she spend with Justin and I know she must have been a great foster mother to many others after him. I loo I'm a 22 year old college student who is currently going to school to work in this type of environment working with foster children being able to help them. I chose this book as a "must read" to gain some insight into what it's like for those children. And being the softy that I am did make it hard to read some of the pages but made my want to help increase. I got props to Casey and the time she spend with Justin and I know she must have been a great foster mother to many others after him. I look forward to reading more books from her and hope that they will help other the way they helped me with my career choice. People like her give this world hope.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Lynn

    I can only describe this book as alright. The story is interesting enough and some of it is outright heartbreaking. I found myself unable to find the narrator Casey very likable. I found her too sensitive for her job and the way she managed things a little unbelievable. The book in general I guess was just not written in a way that particularly captured my attention. The story itself was quite an interesting one however.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Turner

    The story of Justin is heartbreaking, and although there's a reasonably happy ending, it still left me feeling sad. The book itself I didn't enjoy. As one reviewer said, "It is a poorly written story thinly veiling the author's self-congratulatory style." I have to agree, just a little. I didn't like the author very much at all. Syrupy and almost too good to be true. Also, there were quite a few typos. Incorrect uses of me and I, me and him. Incorrect words, down instead of done, desks instead of The story of Justin is heartbreaking, and although there's a reasonably happy ending, it still left me feeling sad. The book itself I didn't enjoy. As one reviewer said, "It is a poorly written story thinly veiling the author's self-congratulatory style." I have to agree, just a little. I didn't like the author very much at all. Syrupy and almost too good to be true. Also, there were quite a few typos. Incorrect uses of me and I, me and him. Incorrect words, down instead of done, desks instead of decks. Often I don't take much notice of errors like these, but in this case they were frequent enough to be distracting. I found the story unbelievable in parts. The author's reaction to some of the terrible things Justin did were just bizarre. And no reprimands about his terrible language, or the way he spoke to women, F***ing whore, f***ing bitch, f***ing slag. It was eight months before they got him any counseling, during which time he threw a fellow student down some steps, threatened to pour acid over another students face, dripped hot melted wax on a friend during a sleepover and on two occasions hurt the family dog. And did I mention that he cut himself. His feet were a mess of cuts and blood. I mean really, weren't alarm bells ringing somewhere? Other things puzzled me and at times made me angry. I had difficulty with the fact that Justin's mother could pick and choose when she wanted to see her son. She makes a phone call and the visit is arranged, just like that, and with no supervision. The visits were never a success and end up with mother and son screaming abuse at each other. Then a few months later it happens again. I understand the need Justin has to see his mother but I would have thought supervised visits would have been more effective. Another thing that upset me was the attempt to find Justin's father. Again, I understand that Justin wanted to know who his father is, but the way it was handled was awful. There are two names Justin has heard from his mother and his nan. Social Services do some investigating and they track down both men. One is in jail but the other one they have an address for. A meeting is set up with the man and Justin at a pool hall!!??!! Justin tells Casey and Mike about the visit: ‘Anyway,’ Justin went on. ‘He just goes, “Alright, lad? You want to play a game of snooker or something?” So we had a game, and, like, I let him win, because he’s my dad and that …’ ‘An’ he bought me a Coke – sorry, Casey, he didn’t know I’m not allowed it' ‘Well we just sat for a bit …’ He grinned now, obviously remembering. ‘Like two old men sat in a pub we were, the pair of us. Then he goes to me, like, “It’s been good today, lad, and all that.” And then, “And to be honest, lad, I still don’t even know if I am your dad.”’ ‘An’ that was it, really. He said I needed to know that he’d got his own family now and that him and my mum were, like,years ago. He said he didn’t even really remember her. An’ then he said that that was, like, as far as it goes. And then he said sorry …’ This just about broke my heart. Justin's dealing with so many problems, not the least of which is the fact that his mother gave him into voluntary foster care because she didn't want him, but kept his two younger brothers. How heartbreaking to know that a man, who may be your father, doesn't want you either. The only reason I finished the book was to find out what happened to Justin. Awful!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I worked as a child welfare worker, and so Casey Watson's books call to me. Casey works in England. They have a very different program for helping abused children. They have a team approach, with meetings and communications with all the people who have worked with a child. They have counselors who take a child to give them someone to talk with, and help them overcome their problems. There was a special helper in school to help the child with problems they face there. Casey and her husband, Mike I worked as a child welfare worker, and so Casey Watson's books call to me. Casey works in England. They have a very different program for helping abused children. They have a team approach, with meetings and communications with all the people who have worked with a child. They have counselors who take a child to give them someone to talk with, and help them overcome their problems. There was a special helper in school to help the child with problems they face there. Casey and her husband, Mike, decided to take on fostering of very troubled children. She had been working with troubled teenagers in a school setting, and thought she could do more for an individual child, instead of working with many teenagers at the same time. They were asked to help an 11 year old boy, Justin. Justin had been left alone, with his two younger brothers. The brother's were found with poop all over them, and they were eating it. They asked Justin for something to eat, and he found nothing. He cleaned his brother's up, and wrapped them in a quilt, and put them outside. He saw their dog, with poop all over it's face, and he threw some kind of flammable liquid on him. He set the dog on fire, and burned down the house. Instead of investigators finding out the cause of Justin's actions, they let the mother put him in care voluntarily. Justin had home visits, and very much wanted to see his brothers. His mother would do and say terrible things to Justin on these visits. One of the things I liked about this program, was the use of memory boxes. Each child had a shoe box to decorate, and put keepsakes of happy times. Casey had Justin bring out his memory box, and they put a roll of wall paper on the wall, and the put items of memory on a time line. They talked about each item and what had happened at each time. There was a lot of turmoil for the family and for Justin. There were a lot of ups and downs. A great trust and love was developed between Casey and Mike, and their own older children. It was hard for them to give Justin up to another family, and they thought about keeping him. They still have a loving relationship with Justin, and they have gone on to help other troubled children.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    'We're hungry,' his brother kept repeating. 'We're hungry, Justin. Please find us some food.' Justin was just five years old; his brothers two and three. Their mother, a heroin-addict, had left them hungry and alone, while she went to get her next fix. Later that day, after trying to burn down the family home, Justin was taken into care. Justin was taken into care at the age of five after deliberately burning down his family home. Six years on, after 20 failed placements, Justin arrives at Casey 'We're hungry,' his brother kept repeating. 'We're hungry, Justin. Please find us some food.' Justin was just five years old; his brothers two and three. Their mother, a heroin-addict, had left them hungry and alone, while she went to get her next fix. Later that day, after trying to burn down the family home, Justin was taken into care. Justin was taken into care at the age of five after deliberately burning down his family home. Six years on, after 20 failed placements, Justin arrives at Casey's home. Casey and her husband Mike are specialist foster carers. They practice a new style of foster care that focuses on modifying the behaviour of profoundly damaged children. They are Justin's last hope, and it quickly becomes clear that they are facing a big challenge. Try as they might to make him wel come, he seems determined to strip his life of all the comforts they bring him, violently lashing out at schoolmates and family and throwing any affection they offer him back in their faces. After a childhood filled with hurt and rejection, Justin simply doesn't want to know. But, as it soon emerges, this is only the tip of a chilling iceberg. As a visit to Justin's mother on Boxing Day reveals, there are some very dark underlying problems that Justin has never spoken about. As the full picture becomes clearer, and the horrific truth of Justin's early life is revealed, Casey and her family finally start to understand the pain he has suffered.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This is a story of a young boy that was not believed by adults, that would have been able to help him, when he told them of the abuse he had experienced while living with his mother. Instead of dealing with these allegations and helping him, he kept getting pawned off to yet another placement in the foster system. It wasn't until he was eleven years old and placed in a last-chance foster home, with this author, that someone listened to him and gave him the tools to start working through old woun This is a story of a young boy that was not believed by adults, that would have been able to help him, when he told them of the abuse he had experienced while living with his mother. Instead of dealing with these allegations and helping him, he kept getting pawned off to yet another placement in the foster system. It wasn't until he was eleven years old and placed in a last-chance foster home, with this author, that someone listened to him and gave him the tools to start working through old wounds. There are many instances in this book that make it hard hard to comprehend that this is a true story. There are some alterations made in order to protect the privacy of those involved. This author has a big heart and I commend her for her patience and determination in helping this boy come to terms with his life. It is well written in the sense that it is easy-flowing and the content of the chapters really merge together. It is obvious that writing is definitely not her trained profession as there are many grammatical errors (such as "me and him" and mixing up words like "I" and "me"). There are a few places where words are omitted or mistyped that take a few seconds longer to figure out the meaning of than if there would have been more editing.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Ray

    It was great to finally read about Justin- the boy who started it all. Casey references him in nearly all of her books and it's clear he has a very special place in her heart. Justin seems like a real troublemaker, but the longer he is with the Watsons, the more his past is revealed. What a heartbreaking past it is. At times, Justin seemed much older than his 11 years, at other times, much younger. It was very interesting to read about him processing the hurt of his past and also, how Casey deal It was great to finally read about Justin- the boy who started it all. Casey references him in nearly all of her books and it's clear he has a very special place in her heart. Justin seems like a real troublemaker, but the longer he is with the Watsons, the more his past is revealed. What a heartbreaking past it is. At times, Justin seemed much older than his 11 years, at other times, much younger. It was very interesting to read about him processing the hurt of his past and also, how Casey dealt with a few dangerous situations he placed her in. I'm glad that there was a lot of updated information about Justin and the family in the epilogue. Casey's book are realistic and eye-opening, but also, inspiring.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tiago | MrsMargotBlog

    The story of this book left me in tears from the first to the last page, it's impossible to remain indifferent to Justin's story, there are several passages in the book that are terrible, a real punch in the stomach. I can't judge Justin attitudes and never judge Casey attitudes. A story that unfortunately there are many out there like. Loved and cried a lot. My review in portuguese in my blog: http://missmargotdominique.blogspot.p... The story of this book left me in tears from the first to the last page, it's impossible to remain indifferent to Justin's story, there are several passages in the book that are terrible, a real punch in the stomach. I can't judge Justin attitudes and never judge Casey attitudes. A story that unfortunately there are many out there like. Loved and cried a lot. My review in portuguese in my blog: http://missmargotdominique.blogspot.p...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Steiniger

    Wonderfully written. Sad tale of what children have to go through sometimes and what their life in "the system" is like. A new concept in fostering children with issues and the caring way to bring them back to a fulfilling life. This book says so much about how a child is treated will determine their place in society. Wonderfully written. Sad tale of what children have to go through sometimes and what their life in "the system" is like. A new concept in fostering children with issues and the caring way to bring them back to a fulfilling life. This book says so much about how a child is treated will determine their place in society.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Weidner johnson

    So sad that Justin had such a horrible childhood. Glad that he ended up with Casey & Mike Watson as his foster parents who took the time and made the effort to get to the root of the horrors of Justin's physical and emotional abuse. Look forward to reading more of her books. So sad that Justin had such a horrible childhood. Glad that he ended up with Casey & Mike Watson as his foster parents who took the time and made the effort to get to the root of the horrors of Justin's physical and emotional abuse. Look forward to reading more of her books.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    realy quite sad circumstances but a fantastic read overall you felt as though you were there. ...she's got a lovely really enjoyable style of writing....it just flows:). realy quite sad circumstances but a fantastic read overall you felt as though you were there. ...she's got a lovely really enjoyable style of writing....it just flows:).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    this was a wonderful book and well written. I feel richer for having read it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Sad Sad so sad and heartbreaking. Casey is an amazing person and this was a book that is worth your time and consideration

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    ***SPOILERS AHEAD*** I have so much to say about this book, I don’t even know where to start. Mostly it’s about my opinion about Justin’s whole situation and how I feel about the welfare system, more than it is about the book. Firstly, I have to say I hugely admire the patience which Casey and Mike had in dealing with Justin and his outbursts and general terrible behavior. Though, I don’t think Casey is as noble as she makes out to be. The start of the book (after the first chapter), as well as th ***SPOILERS AHEAD*** I have so much to say about this book, I don’t even know where to start. Mostly it’s about my opinion about Justin’s whole situation and how I feel about the welfare system, more than it is about the book. Firstly, I have to say I hugely admire the patience which Casey and Mike had in dealing with Justin and his outbursts and general terrible behavior. Though, I don’t think Casey is as noble as she makes out to be. The start of the book (after the first chapter), as well as throughout, it annoyed me how often Casey makes Justin’s story about herself, her feelings, how well (or not) she deals with his behaviour, how wonderful her husband and kids are, what a hyperactive person she is,etc, etc, and how often she pats herself on the back for a job she feels she did well. To me, it took a lot of the focus off Justin when I had to sit through pages of Casey either beating herself up about how she dealt with a situation (but then more pages on EVERYONE else telling her how well she dealt with it), or her feeling terrific about calming Justin down, encouraging him, and so on (which I applaud, but don’t feel like having her analyse herself for pages on end). You see, I’ve read quite a few of Cathy Glass’s books, and she has such a humble way of telling her stories about children she fostered, without placing too much focus on herself or her family. She includes her feelings and her kids in her stories, but doesn’t constantly tell the reader how perfect her family is, or talk too much about herself and her perfect home. She shares her hands-on techniques and thus I always feel I can learn something from her. I also feel welcome in her home through her books, as I already know her routines and what to expect from the way she runs her household. So yes, I’ve seen this in another of Casey Watson’s books that I’ve read, and it also bothered me then, how she makes the story about herself and her perfect children. Also, all the grammar errors in this book were very annoying. Justin is a very disturbed child and I felt sorry for him. I detested what his mother did to him and his siblings. As a mother of two, it broke my heart over and over again each time his mother let him down or hurled abuse at him. Honestly though, for all my griping earlier in my review, I must admit that I admire people like the Watsons who open their home to such a badly damaged child, and who see it through all the way to his next placement. I would never be able to put up with the behaviour of such a child, his background notwithstanding. I felt that the welfare system let Justin down badly (no surprises there). Justin needed more than the Watson’s help. He needed a psychologist, counselling and therapy, and I was quite surprised that no-one suggested it. Anger management classes aren’t enough for a child such as Justin. Even at the end of the book Casey admits that at seventeen Justin is still not a well-adjusted child; now living in a children’s home, working as a gardener. I just can’t imagine there is much of a future for him. How will he be treating his own wife and children? Is he still abusing animals like he did with Kieron’s dog? Is he still taking pleasure in holding little children’s heads under water? This kid needed serious help; much more than a points system used by the Watsons could offer him. I viewed it as a temporary Band-Aid to improve his behavior while he’s living with them, but how did it help him after he left their home?Clearly, it made very little difference once moved on. I think as much as Casey sugar-coated the ending, the fact that Justin’s last placement didn’t work after two years tells me that he needed more than what the Watsons could offer him, but that he was failed by, firstly, his mother, and then by a welfare system that didn’t afford him the psychological help he needed. I also didn’t buy that when they were on vacation, and Justin ran into a palm tree, his behavior changed for the better, for the rest of their vacation (after a horrendous start). Was slamming into a palm tree really all it took to set him straight? I can’t help thinking what that suggests. It was a good read seeing how the Watsons opened their home and their hearts to him. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down until I had finished, and read into the morning hours. The ending just left me feeling sad; though Casey and her family did all they could for Justin. What a miserable state our world is in, knowing that this sort of bad “parenting” (such as what we see with Justin’s mother and many others like her) will continue through generations onwards.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Komal Nadeem

    I came across this book just randomly, sitting on one of the shelves of my library. The title of the book does total justice to the story embarked within those pages inside. The book is written in a way that it could seep into your mind quite unnoticeably and make you cringe when you come across what Justin, the protagonist and the center of the book, has gone through. I never would have known how it feels to be given up by your very loved ones have I hadn't got a chance to read this book. It re I came across this book just randomly, sitting on one of the shelves of my library. The title of the book does total justice to the story embarked within those pages inside. The book is written in a way that it could seep into your mind quite unnoticeably and make you cringe when you come across what Justin, the protagonist and the center of the book, has gone through. I never would have known how it feels to be given up by your very loved ones have I hadn't got a chance to read this book. It really makes you question, if what you're doing for your children is affecting them in a positive way or slowly somewhere snatching the freshness of innocence from them. The book is about healthy parenting, bonding between a woman and a child and how love can heal the scariest of the wounds with time. Having said that, I believe this book might not the one of the extraordinary ones, but it certainly would add something to your conscious.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    Took a long time to finally finish this book as I kept putting it down for days before picking it back up again. It was an ok-ish story, not the best ive read before but not the worst either. Found it quite boring in parts and it didn't hook me at all. Took a long time to finally finish this book as I kept putting it down for days before picking it back up again. It was an ok-ish story, not the best ive read before but not the worst either. Found it quite boring in parts and it didn't hook me at all.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Norma Burke

    Eye opening story Good foster families are very rare and hard to find. Casey Watson's account of her work with Justin is very interesting, heartwarming, and inspires admiration for her and her family. They cared enough to not give up on Justin. Eye opening story Good foster families are very rare and hard to find. Casey Watson's account of her work with Justin is very interesting, heartwarming, and inspires admiration for her and her family. They cared enough to not give up on Justin.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nan

    It is a poorly written story thinly veiling the author's self-congratulatory style. It is a poorly written story thinly veiling the author's self-congratulatory style.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Couldn't put this book down. This is the first one of Casey's books I've read and my heart really went out to justin as well as Casey and mike when he had to move on. Couldn't put this book down. This is the first one of Casey's books I've read and my heart really went out to justin as well as Casey and mike when he had to move on.

  23. 4 out of 5

    GrapedUp

    I support this kind of positive writing about foster carer, it helps with new foster carers or foster-carer-to-be or anyone who was interested in how social services and fostering goes about what to expect and what to prepare. If you know me, you'll know I'm stingy with stars, and I'm sorry to say I give this 3 stars because I support foster carers, not because I like the book. I was kinda disappointed in this book. I find the writing is all over the places and there are at least a dozen times I w I support this kind of positive writing about foster carer, it helps with new foster carers or foster-carer-to-be or anyone who was interested in how social services and fostering goes about what to expect and what to prepare. If you know me, you'll know I'm stingy with stars, and I'm sorry to say I give this 3 stars because I support foster carers, not because I like the book. I was kinda disappointed in this book. I find the writing is all over the places and there are at least a dozen times I want to just skip to the end. The way that this memoir written is like there wasn't enough moments to write, even though it was clear that Justin stayed in Watson house for months. Also, this book is lacking emotion, the writer doesn't explain how she feels when a certain moment happened, she tends to overdramatise (is that a word?) her worries and suspicions, but when the actual events unfolded, she just wrote what happened. Like .... How do you expect us to react? I mean, with memoir, readers tend to feel the same way as how the writer told the story. This is honestly a sad, sad story. But I didn't feel that much about it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emy

    After reading a lot of Cathy Glass, I decided to try my hand at another big name in the field of foster writing: Casey Watson. Casey and her husband Mike are specialist foster carers, specialising in difficult and emotionally damaged children. This book covers the story of their first foster child, Justin. Reading this, I felt as though Justin was let down by a system that was supposed to protect him. How could they justify leaving his brothers in the home environment, or allowing Justin to keep After reading a lot of Cathy Glass, I decided to try my hand at another big name in the field of foster writing: Casey Watson. Casey and her husband Mike are specialist foster carers, specialising in difficult and emotionally damaged children. This book covers the story of their first foster child, Justin. Reading this, I felt as though Justin was let down by a system that was supposed to protect him. How could they justify leaving his brothers in the home environment, or allowing Justin to keep going back and forth to his mother just to toss aside again when she was no longer interested? Casey's style is very different from Cathy's, and for some reason I kept picturing her as much younger than she actually is (considering her grown up children). I think it's her self-doubt and the slightly nervous energy that permeates the pages. Obviously, this was her first foster placement so she is, of course, learning the ropes, so perhaps that is to be expected. I can't say I enjoyed the book, as it was desperately sad, but I did have a hard time putting it down. I'm definitely going to read more of Casey Watson's work in the future.

  25. 4 out of 5

    J. A. Lewis

    Casey Watson writes a compelling story about her dealings with a troubled child taken into foster care. A heroin addict for a mother, Justin is often left without food for himself or his two younger brothers. After another traumatizing day, he burns his house down along with the family dog, who gets the love he and his brothers lack. Casey's family takes him in and find he is harming himself and is often threatening to her and their own family dog. I seriously doubt I would have the patience it Casey Watson writes a compelling story about her dealings with a troubled child taken into foster care. A heroin addict for a mother, Justin is often left without food for himself or his two younger brothers. After another traumatizing day, he burns his house down along with the family dog, who gets the love he and his brothers lack. Casey's family takes him in and find he is harming himself and is often threatening to her and their own family dog. I seriously doubt I would have the patience it takes to deal with these troubled children. She is to be commended for certain. What is troubling for me is that the two younger brothers were allowed to stay with their mother. In my town, this would never happen. It does make one question the system in the U.K. when a mother who is not feeding her children, passing out from drug use, allowing her children to be sexually molested and abandoning them at will is allowed to keep two of her children. Justin makes a lot of headway in this book. I pray he has had a better adult life.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    It's inevitable that I had to compare Casey to Cathy Glass, as they are just too similar not to. I'd say at first glance that Casey's mastering of the language is better. I have complaint more than once of Cathy's report-like writing style. But, Cathy is a better story-teller. I am unsure if this is Casey's first book (but for sure it's her first foster caring experience), but at times I think she could spend more time on certain incidents and less on some of her feelings. It's probably I've grown It's inevitable that I had to compare Casey to Cathy Glass, as they are just too similar not to. I'd say at first glance that Casey's mastering of the language is better. I have complaint more than once of Cathy's report-like writing style. But, Cathy is a better story-teller. I am unsure if this is Casey's first book (but for sure it's her first foster caring experience), but at times I think she could spend more time on certain incidents and less on some of her feelings. It's probably I've grown so familiar with Cathy over the 20+ books I read, I just felt closer to her and understand her decisions and sentiments better. With Casey's, at times I was like 'seriously?'... Anyway, they both have great materials to work on for the books. I really like this genre and will most likely continue reading Casey's other books. Hope they will get better too! So, back to this book about poor Justin. As a mother, your heart can't help but go out to him. What a terribly hard childhood he had to endure.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cristy McCormick

    I really enjoyed this book despite the tragedy that obviously befell this young boy. The way the author wrote the book, made it easy to follow, easy to feel all of the emotions, and still was very enjoyable. I'm not really sure what else there is to say about this book without giving anything away but in the end I was very hopefully and my faith in humanity was restrored. As a mother, there are things in this book that are extremely difficult to read and that were just downright infuriating. I g I really enjoyed this book despite the tragedy that obviously befell this young boy. The way the author wrote the book, made it easy to follow, easy to feel all of the emotions, and still was very enjoyable. I'm not really sure what else there is to say about this book without giving anything away but in the end I was very hopefully and my faith in humanity was restrored. As a mother, there are things in this book that are extremely difficult to read and that were just downright infuriating. I give some major credit to this woman and all of the patience that she has, as well as the great impact she is making on kids lives. I'll be adding her to my list of favorite authors and will continue to read her books over time.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Siska

    Good sharing Casey Watson does good sharing, it's rather terrifying to see that a real child's life can be so much like drama movie. Having read a few books on brain and trauma, I believe the child's behaviour to be a true account, or I would have thought that this is just a made up story. I hope there would be more people like Casey and Mike, who would love these troubled children the way they do. Bless Riley and Kieron too for being so supportive. There were few gaps in the writing, also some mis Good sharing Casey Watson does good sharing, it's rather terrifying to see that a real child's life can be so much like drama movie. Having read a few books on brain and trauma, I believe the child's behaviour to be a true account, or I would have thought that this is just a made up story. I hope there would be more people like Casey and Mike, who would love these troubled children the way they do. Bless Riley and Kieron too for being so supportive. There were few gaps in the writing, also some misses in the proof-reading, but not to any unacceptable rate. The writing style is also not uninteresting, given that Casey was not novelist. Overall, this is a good reading.

  29. 4 out of 5

    David Ballinger

    It's the title of this book that originally caught my eye, because, even as I approach my 41st birthday, I often feel like a boy that no one loves. But that feeling has more to do with love of the romantic sort, rather than the familial, which is the sort of love that poor Justin was deprived of in his formative years. Justin's story will break your heart, and it will make you grateful for whatever home life you had as a child. No matter how bad you think you may have had it, it most likely was It's the title of this book that originally caught my eye, because, even as I approach my 41st birthday, I often feel like a boy that no one loves. But that feeling has more to do with love of the romantic sort, rather than the familial, which is the sort of love that poor Justin was deprived of in his formative years. Justin's story will break your heart, and it will make you grateful for whatever home life you had as a child. No matter how bad you think you may have had it, it most likely was nothing like the nightmare Justin survived.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Connie J Wilson

    Saving Justin Amazing writing. The sadness and pain reeks throughout this boy's life. When will our society bring the adults abusing children to task. I adopted my son, a victim of abuse by his birth mother. Sadly. it is a vicious cycle with the adult abuser also a victim of abuse. Casey and family are part of God's Army, doing His work with saving the abused children. Thank you Casey ! Saving Justin Amazing writing. The sadness and pain reeks throughout this boy's life. When will our society bring the adults abusing children to task. I adopted my son, a victim of abuse by his birth mother. Sadly. it is a vicious cycle with the adult abuser also a victim of abuse. Casey and family are part of God's Army, doing His work with saving the abused children. Thank you Casey !

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