Girl Unbroken: A Sister’s Harrowing Story of Survival from the Streets of Long Island to the Farms of Idaho will break your heart then put it back together again. I’m about to be an empty-nester but this book made me want to sign up to be a foster parent. I have a young bookworm friend at UGA studying to be a Social Worker and have made her promise to read this book and its prequel Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island (which I’m reading now). I’m actually kind of glad I read them out of order. They take place along the same timeline so it doesn’t really matter which one you read first.
Both are intense and follow the 5 children of Cookie who certainly doesn’t deserve her sweet name. Her four girls and one boy all have different fathers and also survived countless other men coming in and out of their lives.
Their stories are distressing…and it breaks my heart to believe there are other children living such nightmares.
My guess is that one day these two books will become a movie. My new hero is Gi AKA Regina Calcaterra, Cookie’s middle child who authored both books. Calcaterra is now a practicing attorney in New York and these memoirs are changing the way we view abandoned children and helping to inspire the idea of “forever families” — providing permanent, non-legal relationships for youth aging out of foster care. Thanks once again to my friend Laura for the book recommendations!
Leave a comment if you’d like to win a paperback copy of each of these books! We’ll choose a lucky winner on Friday and deliver in time for you to read this weekend!