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Finding The Right Spot: When Kids Can't Live With Their Parents

Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association
ISBN: 15147073 $14.95
Visit or contact the author at for autographed copies.


Finding The Right Spot is a story for all kids who can't live with their parents, regardless of the circumstances. It's a story about resilience and loyalty, hope and disappointment, love, sadness, and anger, too. It's about whether life is fair, and wondering what will happen tomorrow, and talking about all of it. And finally, it's about what makes the spot you're in feel right.
This book includes a Note to Caregivers by professionals outining the emotional needs of children in care the invaluable support that caregivers can provideto ensure that these kids grow and lead fulfilling lives.
When kids can't live with their parents, their feelings are complicated, confusing, and often chaotic. This is true whether children are in the foster care system or other forms of placement, such as kinship care or even a group home. This book addresses these feelings head on:loss, uncertainty, hope, and mixed loyalties. This insightful story of one youngster and her "Aunt Dane" offers children a chance to think about their feelings and understand them better. It is also intended to help caregivers understand the child's experience as well as offer them a tool for facilitating conversation.

Literary life rafts --How books can help kids navigate rough emotional waters
This is a remarkably tender book about one of the toughest issues a child will ever have to face-legally mandated foster care. Without an excess of blame or judgement, Janice Levy captures the confusion, loneliness and self-doubt of children separated from their parents through no fault of their own.
It honestly explores the painful process, but offers foster children a compassionate measure of hope, thanks to the voice of foster mother character Aunt Dane.
After a mother misses her scheduled visitation, Aunt Dane allows her foster daughter the chance to express her pain and frustration, then hands her a thread of hope. "Yesterday is history," she says. "Tomorrow's a mystery." So let's make the best of today. Throughout the book, Levy offers no simple answers. She resists candy-coating a painful scenario. But in telling this story, she gives children thrown into the system a chance to understand they aren't alone and that things might improve.
A must for the library of any adult dealing with children in foster care. (Ages 6-12)

--Kelly Milner-Halls The Denver Post,1412,36%257E26%257E2190742,00.html shows entire article


"Consumer text for children is a story for all children who can't live with their parents, regardless of the circumstances. Emphasizes loyalty, hope, disappointment, love, sadness, and anger. Richly illustrated. Concludes with material written by a child psychologist for caregivers on dealing with the emotional needs of these children."

--Idaho Child Welfare Research and Training Center


Many children are lucky- they live with at least one of their natural parents. But, what if a child can't live with mom or dad? What if circumstances dictate that a child must be removed from the home to live with relatives, friends or a foster parent? If you are having trouble creating a mental image or even coming with with the words, YOU NEED TO READ this book.IT FILLS JUST THE RIGHT SPOTS of this challenging topic in just the right way for kids and adults.
This book tells a heart-felt, simple story of a little girl separated by her mom and now living with a foster mother, a woman she calls "Aunt Dane. While "Finding the Right Spot" deals with a foster situation due to drug abuse, it could EASILY APPLY TO ANY CHILD separated from parents for any reason because the emotional issues are the same.
This book FILLS A VOID IN CHILD HEALTH LITERATURE for children and adults. The benefits of the book are enormous because caregivers see and understand the experience of the child better. And, for the child, they'll feel less alone knowing their experience is not too diifferent from those of other kids..that peer connection is very powerful.
For me, the best part of the book is to show how the love of a patient caregiver can help a child heal when wounded by the frality of parents facing insurmountable hurdles in their own lives. If there ever was a calling card for why we need more support for social services, "Finding The Right Spot" is it. It takes a special person to be "Aunt Dane." THIS BOOKS GIVES VOICE to those people and the many children they care for, regardless of reason."

-- Dr. Gwen, pediatrician


"Finding The Right Spot has a double meaning in this superb book of the same name.It is a story of disappointment and reconciliation for a little girl placed in foster care and the dog who is unapproachable until she finds just the right place to touch him. Geared towards ages 6-12, the book teaches the reader to grasp the perspective of a child who cannot live with her parents. Whatever the reason for the child's placement in a home outside his or her own, this book offers ways for the child to relate to the protagonist's emotions of anger, sadness, hope, and disappointment. It is equally appropriate for adults who work with children living without their parents.
"She's not coming," the little girl says as she waits and waits for her alcoholic mother to arrive at her birthday party. The grave disappointment she experiences reinforces the reason she is not with her mother. In another section, her foster mother, Aunt Dane, allows her to pound the pizza dough until the house shakes. In the book, the little girl is allowed to show her anger and confusion.
Alcoholism, shelter living, and feelings of displacement are handled with great aptitude.
The book touches at the heart of every person's emotions, big or small. Finding The Right Spot is a well-written book with exceptional illustrations that speak to all children. A helpful guide at the end, written by Jennifer Wilgocki, M.S. and Marcia Kahn Wright,Ph.D, breaks down the text into digestible parts for the adult reader.
Finding The Right Spot is ideal for teaching school-age kids about all types of families, including nontraditional models.
I highly recommend this book."

--Christine Louise Hohlbaum
Author of "Diary of a Mother," "SAHM I AM" and "American Housewife Abroad"


Book Review
Finding the Right Spot:
When kids can't live with their parents
by Janice Levy; illustrated by Whitney Martin
Magination Press (American Psychological Association)
ISBN 1-59147-073-0

"I don't often need to fight off tears when reading a kids'book. I did this with this one, but they were good tears, of being deeply touched, of joining another person in her private suffering and then seeing her growing through the pain towards a better future. I can tell at the end that this little girl will be all right.
Hers is an all too common story. Her mother drinks too much, has no job,cannot care for her. So, she is placed into foster care.
This book will be an invaluable resource for anyone caring for such unfortunate waifs. It will bring peace and understanding to these children who feel abandoned and betrayed. But even beyond that, it is a good story to read to more fortunate kids--so they will learn the art of empathy, and be kind to those who need kindness most.
The impact of the story is magnified a thousand-fold by the wonderful, evocative drawings. Whitney Martin has done well.
Helpful and imaginative notes can be found at the back. They are by Jennifer Wilgocki and Marcia Kahn Wright, two child and family therapists who obviously know what they are talking about."

--Dr.Bob Rich, psychologist,


"A rating of ten out of ten! I highly recommend this book for its approach to foster care living both for children and for the people who care about them." Blether Book Review,

"Unconditional love from a young girl for her mother proves once more that a child's love is stronger than anything man-made. A young lady clutches to the promise her mother's illness of alcoholism, will be cured and they will be able to live together. No matter how many broken promises her mother makes, this young girl never falters her beliefs.
A judge, forced to step in, has sent this young child to Aunt Dane,a compassionate and caring foster parent. Filled with confusion, fear, uncertainties, disappointments and hope, Aunt Dane offers her a chance to thoroughly think things through and sort out her feelings. Not only does this book bring to light emotions children feel when they have been removed from their parent's home, it provides a better understanding for the caregiver in aiding them in the tools needed to procede in this difficult time.
Well written and enlightening, this has been targeted for children in the foster care system, but I believe it can be enjoyed by any child for it sends strong messages of encouragement and faith."

--The Writer's Room Magazine Skye Lindborg


"The book is a good read, filled with deep psychological insights. It is touching and moving. It is also highly educative. It is a good value for children and for adults, too. All in all, the book is an excellent addition to children's literature!"

--S.V.Swamy reviewer,Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India and and says kids who can't live with their parents, both those in foster care and those who can't live with other relatives - have big feelings. This book, for ages 6-12, handles them all with tact and empathy. Foster parents will relate and learn!