This book is the fictional journal of Ronnie, a girl who journeys through multiple foster homes and wonders if she will ever find a family with which she truly belongs. (Hardcover, 229 pages, 2006, ages 12 and up)
Abandoned. That’s how Ronnie Hartman feels after her mother and Kenny, her mom’s good-for-nothing boyfriend, move to Alaska, bringing Ronnie’s two younger brothers with them and leaving her behind. Now 13 years old, Ronnie has been returned from multiple foster homes because of her impulsive lying and stealing. Her latest foster mom, Alison, is Ronnie’s very last chance if she doesn’t want to end up in some awful residential treatment center. Meanwhile, Ronnie wants more than anything to fit in with the popular crowd, especially with the beautiful (but stuck-up) Paige. But when Ronnie betrays her only friend, a chubby outcast named Cat, she begins a pattern of deception that can only end in disaster. As Ronnie struggles to define herself, an important letter will present her with the most heart-wrenching decision of her life: to accept the woman who wants to adopt her or to return to the mother who once abandoned her.
Coalition Staff Member Review
This book is a fresh perspective on many topics that can arise for anyone that has involvement in the child welfare system. I feel like this book did such a great job of demonstrating emotions, behaviors, and decision making all from the mind of a teenager. This book also does a great job of demonstrating the difficulties and thoughts that teenagers may experience during the process of being adopted while having contact with biological parents and having siblings.
This young girl’s journey demonstrates that a road to “success” is not a straight line. It takes time, understanding, and sometimes some big obstacles. I would encourage all foster and adoptive parents to read this book; especially if you are currently foster teenagers or thinking of fostering teenagers. Returnable Girl is a book that can help parents to begin to understand why teenagers make the choices they do by reminding us of the way we viewed our lives as teenagers and how questionable choices made sense to us at that time.Author: Pamela Lowell
Additional Author: Marshall Cavendish