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4.8 out of 5 stars
Hackney Child
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2013
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2012
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2013
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 2014
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2014
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
on 8 February 2014
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2014
Very moving true account of the author's life story. Also good to have some positive feedback of foster carers so often these days shown in a bad light. Also story went beyond all the negative stuff and showed how someone with such a bad start could turn their life around with sheer determination, and a little support from those who really cared about her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2014
I choose to read Hackney child when I saw it on Amazon when browsing books to read relating to children's experience of the care system. I purchased the kindle version and began reading - it's a very powerful and moving account of a child's journey through care and experiences that led Hope taking herself and her brothers in search of a safe place. Hope's life before she goes into care, is characterised by her parents addiction to alcohol, her mum's inappropriate sexual activities, and their inability to care for their children appropriately.
The story moves on to detailing her experience of the care system, providing a reflective account of her thoughts, feelings and views. You get a real sense of her pain and hurts, her desperation to be part of the decision making process. This is a very powerful and moving story of a child's experiences – I laughed, I cried, I felt frustrated at times, and angry by some of her experiences at other times I felt the warmth of others who cared for Hope and tried to help her. I was very moved. Hackney child will provoke your thoughts and feelings and may stir up your own memories of childhood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2013
This book is a must read for everyone who works with children, especially within the care system. Hope reflects on her thoughts and feeling about lots of situations she found herself in while growing up. Often looking to the dictionary time and time again to try to understand the labels people were applying to her in every aspect of her life.

As a student social worker, reading this gave me an insight into how a child can perceive and respond to professionals that they are persistently exposed to in their daily lives.
I really hope there is going to be a second instalment to the book. The story is amazing. Hope's journey makes for a fascinating read!

Thank you so much for sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings.

And to everyone reading this review who is in training to be a social worker I urge you to read Hope's story. My experience of reading was that Hope's story served as a strong reminder why I am doing what I am doing, it opened my mind and touched my heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2012
This book journals a child's first hand experience of her childhood and transition to adolescence; a journey of heartbreak, resilience, humour, resourcefulness, and an unconditional love for her family. As I read the book I experienced the full spectrum of emotions; from anger to sadness, from happiness to relief, and everything in between. The book is a personal story of a young person's experiences of neglect and life in care. I work with young people who are care experienced, and this has given me an insight into what 'their world' might be like; from their perspective, not from the 'professional's'. I thank Hope for sharing her story, and hope that it can inspire many young people who have had similar experiences, to reach their potential. I highly recommend the book, and will be reading it again before I pass it on to friends and colleagues. Thank you Hope, and keep inspiring!
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