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A Place Called Home

A Memoir

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Description

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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Praise

"Riveting. . . A haunting, inspiring chronicle of fortitude and perseverance."

Kirkus, Starred Review
“[A] captivating debut…Galvanizing and compassionate, this personal account of survival should be required reading.”—Publishers Weekly
A Place Called Home will take your breath away. It’s a must read for anyone who’s looked at a raggedy street family and asked, ‘Who are those people?’ It’s also for everyone who cares about “Those People.” You will fall in love with David Ambroz, his beautifully-told, gut-wrenching story, and his great big heart.”Jeannette Walls, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle
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
“I love a true story where the downtrodden triumph over hardship—and A Place Called Home delivers. David Ambroz, through grit, courage, and integrity, overcomes obstacles beyond my imagination. I found myself cheering for him and the siblings he steadfastly protects, wondering how they were going to survive. David does more than that—he thrives—and then he pays it forward. A Place Called Home is an awe-inspiring story that will lift your spirits and soften even the hardest heart. It’s a beautifully told, captivating memoir.”—David Crow, author of The Pale-Faced Lie
"A story destined to end in tragedy that magically rewards an indomitable determination to succeed. Beautifully written."
 —Ted Koppel, veteran ABC anchor and New York Times bestselling author of Lights Out
"A heartbreaking, gritty, and inspiring personal testament to the burden that is placed on a child in poverty. David’s elegantly written memoir is an ode to the millions of families who are struggling to survive and provides the immense hope that is needed to.”
 —Keith Ferrazzi, New York Times bestselling author of Competing in the New World of Work
“In A Place Called Home, Ambroz shares his personal journey out of a childhood marked by poverty, homelessness, and years in foster care – a story of courage, tenacity, and the power of education to transform lives.”
 —Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
“David Ambroz faced seemingly insurmountable challenges his entire life and emerged with the grace and wisdom to tell the story. His dreams of a better life via education carried him through childhood abuse, homelessness, foster care, and finally to adulthood, where he leveraged his against-all-odds success to advocate for children living in poverty and foster care. This book is an inspiration to anyone who has encountered hardships, encouraging us to tackle them head-on with courage and determination.”
 —Madeline Di Nonno, President & CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
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