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.
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
, April 19, 2006
Lauretta Ali's book is about one child trying to survive the foster care system.
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.
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
"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
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
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.