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Hackney Child [Paperback]

Hope Daniels , Morag Livingstone
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Jan 2014
At the age of nine, Hope Daniels walked into Stoke Newington Police Station with her little brothers and asked to be taken into care. Home life was intolerable: both of Hope's parents were alcoholics and her mum was a prostitute. The year was 1983. As London emerged into a new era of wealth and opportunity, the Daniels children lived in desperate poverty, neglected and barely nourished. Hounded by vigilante neighbours and vulnerable to the drunken behaviour of her parents' friends, Hope had to draw on her inner strength. Hackney Child is Hope's gripping story of physical and emotional survival - and the lifeline given to her by the support of professionals working in the care system. Despite all the challenges she faced, Hope never lost compassion for her parents, particularly her alcoholic father. Her experiences make essential reading and show that, with the right help, the least fortunate children have the potential not only to recover but to thrive.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (30 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471129837
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471129834
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Hackney Child is a shocking reminder of what some children are subjected to as they grow up. The scars can last a lifetime and there is no certainty they will ever heal. The best way is always to fight back. Hope Daniels has done this and displayed great courage in reliving the events of her childhood through this manuscript. I wish her all the success in the world' Harry Keeble, Best Selling Author of "Baby X"

'Hackney Child' tells us the story of Hope as she grew up in the Care system. It is a terrible indictment of our society that children should suffer such cruelty, especially when being 'cared for' by people who should protect them. I pray, that by telling her story, Hope can find some peace because I believe this story needed to be told. Have a happy life Miss Daniels' Cassie Harte, Sunday Times Number One bestselling author

'An insightful look into one girl s journey into the Care system in the eighties, Hope s story shows the maturity and opportunistic attitude some vulnerable children undertake in order to thrive, the powerful impact that small decisions can have on a child s life and the on-going struggles Care children face even as adults. As her name exemplifies, Hopes compelling account fortifies that every marginalised child has a chance to overcome adversity' Ruth Stivey, The Who Cares? Trust

'Hackney Child is already gaining 5 star reviews and tells the hard-wrenching truths of her childhood, growing up with parents incapable of caring for their children. It s raw and absorbing' Grazia

'Reading it, one is left with a kind of desolation naïve as it might be that children in the UK are still living lives like this' Louise Carpenter, The Times Magazine

The juxtaposition between the narrative of the innocent and accepting young Hope and the mournful reflections by the adult author makes this book incredible powerful ... Hackney Child really is a must-read, not only for social workers but also for teachers, nursery staff, neighbours and friends' Rebecca Maxfield, Beacon Hill Training

'Hackney Child offers a refreshingly honest, first-hand account of a young woman growing up in the care system. It offers an invaluable insight into the emotional world of such children, and the day to day life of Hope Daniels ... It will touch your heart, stir all kinds of emotions, and give you a perspective which is so child focused, it may change how you view the care system' Urs Bielmann, UK Fostering

'This book is a must read for anyone seeking deeper understanding of the experiences and feelings of children who come into the care system' Henrietta Bond, Adoption & Fostering

'For all those who believe we intervene too often in family life; that parents always know best; that removing a child from his or her parents is an abuse of human rights; this book is essential reading' --Martin Narey, Slideshare

About the Author

Hope Daniels was the child of alcoholic parents. She spent most of her childhood in care, where her experience was broadly positive. At the age of thirty, she felt ready to deal with the demons of her childhood and engaged with intensive therapy, where she sought recovery for a dependency issue. She is very proud to refer to herself as a 'care leaver in recovery'. Under her real name, Jenny Molloy, she is a guest lecturer, has been central to the development of the 'Care Leavers' Charter' - founded in October 2012, and is called on by government bodies to advise on the care and fostering of children. Her mission is to reach out to care leavers and associated professionals to inspire hope and to remind us that all care leavers have ability Morag Livingstone is an experienced documentary photographer and film maker. She has an Honours Degree in Business Studies and 15 years' experience in the corporate sector. She went on to attain a Masters in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the London University of the Arts, where she is now a guest lecturer. When not writing, she makes films across continents that bring stories of poverty, low income and young peoples' mental health to life for the development sector. Like her namesake, the explorer Dr Livingstone, Morag has lived in Zambia. She is related to Dr Livingstone's wife, Mary Moffat, rather than the man himself, but she is still looking for that elusive link.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was extremely thought provoking for me. It raised many issues in the previous way in which fostering was conducted such as single parents not being able to foster and also about the voice of a child not being heard properly and the impact this can have upon the child and upon their self opinions. It covers issues of self harm, attachment and of a child's reaction to change in circumstances. This book highlights the importance of the need for stability in children's lives, especially highlighting the impact change in staff/SW's can have upon vulnerable children and how they interpret these changes of staff. It discussed the impact of poverty, alcohol and prostitution and also the cycle of behaviour from generation to generation. It was shocking how a child in care who was deemed unmanageable was put into a secure unit (like prison) and it wasn't even explained to the child as to why? It really gave an intimate insight into a child's coping mechanism to rejection and also peoples interpretation of their coping mechanisms. What was extraordinary was that even though the care system in my opinion treated Hope appallingly, she still believes that she was best off in care as the alternative would have been worse - stating that care didn't damage her, she was damaged already. Overall a truly inspirational book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hackney Child 24 Jan 2012
By Val
Format:Kindle Edition
Truly absorbing story that evokes all kinds of emotions in the reader. Strength, determination and a desperate need to survive, for both herself and her brothers. This book has the, must sit down and read some more factor, as your mind tries to imagine what will happen to this young girl and her siblings. Great reading and one to follow up via her own web page. Well done Hope, this is a well written and in context book. Congatulations on finding peace and happiness in your adult life. x
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read 25 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
My sister recommended this book as I'd read most of the book's on my Kindle
So glad she did as I couldn't put it down and read late into the night and was still going into early morning!
Such an amazing story told by the truly inspirational lady who lived -survived and came through and has been brave enough to put pen to paper and share her journey!
The book left me speechless at times and there were lot's of tears as I read some heart wrenching things that No child should ever have to live through!
I diff my hat to you for writing and sharing your journey and wish you much love and happiness and never forget that you are and will continue to be a wonderful inspirational amazing Lady who without realizing has touched many heart's and helped many with your story
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story, really well told 31 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a really well written book regarding one child's particularly difficult childhood experiences (and those of her siblings). I would heartily recommend this book to anyone interesting in understanding more about how childhood experiences can have a profound impact both immediately and in later life but also for anyone interested simply in reading a gripping story.

I also found, as a social worker myself, that reading this book made me reflect on my work with children in perhaps similar circumstances and how important the actions of professionals can be, for good or ill.

Thanks must go to the author for sharing her story in this way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I heard the co -author and story teller on the radio and ordered it fairly soon after that. I am a social work manager and thought I was buying a book which would bring life to children's experiences of life with alcohol dependent neglectful parents. How wrong i was- it is so much more! I have worked in this profession for 27 yrs, worked with some really harrowing situations, but this made me cry!!
Hope ( I know from your interview with Jeremy Vine you have changed your name so forgive me) you have really touched my core as a social worker. What this book has done is remind me that children hold onto memories and dreams which are often not in social workers' radars - like how we use jargon ( the case conference/ suitcase reference);and then the cornflakes packet reference to a concept of a proper family and such. I think I cried more because I am a social worker and recall hundreds of "Hopes" I have worked with on caseload and have breezed through children's lives. I teach social workers on the postqualifying course now and will, I promise you tell our students to read this, your account of your experiences as a reminder that everything we do should be influenced by how it actually feels to be a child like you. There are a number of memories you make which make me gasp, none of which I would have expected to have had such a strong affect ( another being the thoughts whizzing through your mind as you wait in the Police station). I absolutely love the fact this is written as a 9/ 10 /11 yr old but then links to notes made in your files. Anybody who wants to be a good children's services practitioner should read this book and I say that having dismissed so many other books recalling abuse. Thank you for reminding me why I chose social work as a career in the first place, but more importantly for reminding me of the Voice of the Child!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ruined childhood with a happy ending 8 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A brave person who had turned the tables on the cycle of neglect and deprivation that was her childhood. Well done Hope.
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