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Author and Performance Artist Lauretta Ali

Read The Reviews!

Survival of the Fittest was once entitled Foster Care People.  The name of the novel changed once Neshee Publication became my publishers.  The basic manuscript hasn't changed and the reviews are from the that manuscript.  Foster Care People was the book's previous title.  I am pleased with Neshee's suggestion that the title change.  I agree the story is about a child's survival which is most important.  Yet, the reviews from the following people are important.  Simply because they championed my book from it's inception in 2000.  These reviewers read my book when it was an on line publication.  I gratefully acknowledge their views of my work on this page.

"Lauretta Ali's descriptions through the eyes of a child are riveting. Through Lenora, she calmly reminds us that children are people too, not punching bags or sex toys."
--Judine Slaughter, eBook Reviews Weekly

FOSTER CARE PEOPLE should be in all libraries—public, at school, and at home. It would also be wonderful as required reading, or suggested reading for those in school training to become a psychologist, psychiatrist, or sociologist.
--Book Reviewer Jennifer LB Leese

"Foster Care People is not an easy read, nor could one call it a "good" read. It isn’t meant to be. It is definitely a "must read" story."
--Kathy Hill, Sharp Writer Reviews

Read!, April 19, 2006
Reviewer: armchairinterviews.com (Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Lauretta Ali's book is about one child trying to survive the foster care system.

Lenora and her brother Harry Jr. are being raised in a loving home with two parents, when one mistake splits the family apart. The children try to cope with their mother's depression, alcohol abuse and a dysfunctional family.

When the mother decides she needs time to get herself together, they are passed on to their father and his new wife. This situation presents a different type of struggle: ultimately the children are placed in the foster care system. Lenora and Harry Jr. are passed through one house to another, facing physical abuse, sexual abuse and separation from each other.

The book introduces us to these families and the other children in their care while opening our eyes to the foster care system. This is a sometimes heartbreaking book, but yet it is so riveting you cannot put it down.

Armchair says: Survival Of The Fittest is the story of one woman's triumph over the circumstances that life has handed her, making Lenora's story one you cannot forget.

Description: Riveting

For just a minute, imagine the iron branding of human flesh. The putrid smell of skin burning follows the grotesque exposure of tendons and veins. Soon, the wounds heal, the scars fade, and the physical pain vanishes. But, what if this happened to the same person, over and over again, just in different spots on their body? Would you dare to look at the disfigurement?

"Foster Care People" depicts the invisible iron branding of the human soul. Written from a child's point of view, the book starts quite innocently. We witness a happy family, two parents with a son and a daughter. Even the best of homes expect a few trials now and then. Yet the events surrounding a kitchen fire smolder the lives of each family member for the next several years. Lenora Williams, the daughter and main character, attempts to warn us of the impending danger. That's because the red-hot irons of abuse try to sear into your consciousness, which could burn the bridges to your spirit, and leave you numb for a while. I prayed the story only came from the author's vivid imagination.

Lauretta Ali's descriptions through the eyes of a child are riveting. Through Lenora, she calmly reminds us that children are people too, not punching bags or sex toys. I felt as if I stood in a corner of the bedroom with my arms bound, and my mouth taped shut, while the second foster father visited her at night. Although the skin quickly conceals the outer evidence, time creeps to erase the psychological effects. I recommend "Foster Care People" to anyone who raises a child, whether for a day, two years or a lifetime.

Judine Slaughter, eBook Reviews Weekly
Express Yourself Books http://www.rahdistributors.com


FOSTER CARE PEOPLE by talented author Lauretta Ali is about a little girl who grew up in a foster care. It tells how her life started out in the system, and how it failed her and her brother instead of giving them the same advantages as they would for white children in the system. Continuous abuse worsens as the child grows, and at the same time, strengthening her to be the woman she grows up to be. Not only does the reader follow the young girl through daily routines, it goes much deeper than that, readers will learn how just delicate our little ones are.

This reviewer thoroughly enjoyed reading about this young girl—even though it was terribly heart-wrenching at times—however, the need to find out what happens to her is powerful as the read pages flew past my fingertips.

This book is perfect for young adults. It is would be a great read for children who are going through some or all of the same things that the young character in the book is going through.

FOSTER CARE PEOPLE should be in all libraries—public, at school, and at home. It would also be wonderful as required reading, or suggested reading for those in school training to become a psychologist, psychiatrist, or sociologist.

Give a child this wonderful gift so they may read about the emotional, self-growth, and heart-felt tale of this little determined girl. They will remember it forever!

--Reviewed by: Jennifer LB Leese
http://www.geocities.com/ladyjiraff
AStoryWeaver@aol.com


Reviewer Rating: * * * * *

Foster Care People is a true story about the author’s life as a young girl in the foster care system. It is sometimes shocking, appalling, saddening, and joyful. It is a story that needs to be told, and a story that needs to be read. Lenora and her brother, Harold Jr., are happy children living with their parents in New York City during the 1950’s. Her mother, Maggie, and her father, Harold, Sr. love each other and dote on their children. But when her father is discovered having an affair with one of her mother’s friends, it destroys the family. Her mother takes Lenora and her brother to live with her grandmother, where they are ridiculed and teased for the circumstances that brought them there. Maggie begins drinking heavily, and after a serious fight with her sister, Maggie takes the children to their father. He takes them in, but they are not well accepted by his new wife, and he chooses his wife over his children and places them in the foster care system.

What follows is a heart-rending tale of the horrors that can happen to children in this system, and the horrors that did happen to this little girl. As she and her brother go from foster home to foster home, they endure things that no one should have to endure. They are abused, beaten, neglected, and discriminated against. They are also genuinely loved and cared for by two wonderful foster families, but are not allowed to stay because of that love.

Foster Care People is not an easy read, nor could one call it a "good" read. It isn’t meant to be. It is definitely a "must read" story.

Copyright 2002 by Kathy Hill, Sharp Writer Reviews


Lauretta Ali is an actress and performance artist residing in New Jersey.  She performs with her husband Yusef Ali who plays the Congas and Percussion under the logo Poetry & Skins.  They also Co-Host a weekly cable television talk show interviewing artists of all genres, entrepreneurs and others making positive contributions to their communties.  Her first published book is one of poetry based upon her life as a single parent in the 1960's, Songs to a Manchild, written for her son who is now 36 years old.

Lauretta is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, a sister and a kinswoman of African American descent.  She is presently completing her next book of poetry tenatively titled Conquering Me.

Home | Articles and Interviews | Poetic Moments | Eulogy for a Fool--Perhaps My Father | Survival of the Fittest | Read The Reviews!

Place your order for Survival of the Fittest and receive a free gift!  Can you refer an adoption or foster care agency in your town that would be interested in my story?  If my publisher is contacted by your referral and it leads to a bulk sale of my book, you will receive a very special gift.  I will forward to you a brochure from a company that has been in business for over 100 years!  You can pick a gift from selected items with all shippings costs paid!   Email me today for details:  actinglauretta@aol.com

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