A Place Called Home: Book summary and reviews of A Place Called Home by David Ambroz

A Place Called Home

A Memoir

by David Ambroz

A Place Called Home by David Ambroz X
A Place Called Home by David Ambroz
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Book Summary

There are millions of homeless children in America today and in A Place Called Home, award-winning child welfare advocate David Ambroz writes about growing up homeless in New York for eleven years and his subsequent years in foster care, offering a window into what so many kids living in poverty experience every day.

When David and his siblings should be in elementary school, they are instead walking the streets seeking shelter while their mother is battling mental illness. They rest in train stations, 24-hour diners, anywhere that's warm and dry; they bathe in public restrooms and steal food to quell their hunger. When David is placed in foster care, at first it feels like salvation but soon proves to be just as unsafe. He's moved from home to home and, in all but one placement, he's abused. His burgeoning homosexuality makes him an easy target for other's cruelty.

David finds hope and opportunities in libraries, schools, and the occasional kind-hearted adult; he harnesses an inner grit to escape the all-too-familiar outcome for a kid like him. Through hard work and unwavering resolve, he is able to get a scholarship to Vassar College, his first significant step out of poverty. He later graduates from UCLA Law with a vision of using his degree to change the laws that affect children in poverty.

Told with lyricism and sparkling with warmth, A Place Called Home depicts childhood poverty and homelessness as it is experienced by so many young people who have been systematically overlooked and unprotected. It's at once a gripping personal account of deprivation—how one boy survived it, and ultimately thrived—and a resounding call for readers to move from empathy to action.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A haunting, inspiring chronicle of fortitude and perseverance." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Galvanizing and compassionate, this personal account of survival should be required reading." - Publishers Weekly

"A Place Called Home presents an unflinching, frank examination of the realities of being a child without a home and being surrounded by a fundamentally flawed system where neither child nor parent have enough help, or the right help, to break the cycle of poverty. Ambroz's story is a frightening example of how easily inadequate procedures and policies traumatize lives each and every day. The heart of this first memoir is both a raw account of Ambroz's journey to adulthood and a powerful, uncompromising call to action for significant change." - Booklist

"It's impossible to read A Place Called Home and not want to redouble your efforts to fight the systems of poverty that have plagued America for far too long. In this book, David shares his deeply personal story and issues a rousing call to make this a more humane and compassionate nation." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

"A Place Called Home asks us to reflect-on the family we come from and the family we find, the extraordinary courage of a child and the responsibility we all have to make the world safer for those who enter our world unprotected. In a society far too often consumed by division and dissonance, Ambroz writes to us at just the right time, lighting the way for a better world by asking us to give every child a chance." - Steve Pemberton, author of A Chance in the World

"From his roller-coaster childhood being homeless on the streets of New York City to his boot-strapped entry to the privileged halls of the Ivy League, I was thoroughly entertained and even provoked by David Ambroz's story. More so than any book I have read in recent times, this must-read made me want to be better man." - Dr. Alan Downs, author of The Velvet Rage

This information about A Place Called Home was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

David Ambroz

David Ambroz is a national poverty and child welfare expert and advocate. He was recognized by President Obama as an American Champion of Change. He currently serves as the Head of Community Engagement (West) for Amazon. Previously he led Corporate Social Responsibility for Walt Disney Television, and served as the President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, and as a California Child Welfare Councilmember. After growing up homeless and then in foster care, he graduated from Vassar and later from UCLA School of Law (J.D.). He is a foster dad and lives in Los Angeles, CA.

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