Every Kid is One Caring Adult Away From Being a Success Story

6 Books Every Foster Kid (Current or Former) Should Read

I grew up in foster care.

Many of my foster homes were great. But I didn’t give them a chance because I was scared and hurting.

While in others, I endured neglect, abuse, and trauma.

Here are six books that have helped me (along with hundreds of hours of counseling) become a mostly stable and emotionally healthy adult.


1. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud

This book will help you learn when to say yes and know how to say no in order to take control of your life and set healthy boundaries with your spouse, children, friends, parents, co-workers, and even yourself.

2. What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Dr. Bruce Perry

Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and this book provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into behavioral patterns that many of us struggle to understand.

3. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Joseph Grenny

This book teaches you how to be persuasive rather than abrasive, how to get back to productive dialogue when others blow up or clam up, and it offers powerful skills for mastering high-stakes conversations, regardless of the topic or person.

4. No Matter What: A Foster Care Tale by Josh Shipp

Admittedly, this is my book. But I wrote it because I couldn’t find a single book that honestly portrayed the foster care experience for kids. The Seattle Book Review says, “This narrative is a remarkable contribution to literature for young children. It’s unique and reflective of the lives of youth who grow up not having a place to call home. It sends a beautiful message of hope to those who may yearn for it the most.”

5. Soul Care: 7 Transformational Principles for a Healthy Soul Dr. Rob Reimer

Brokenness grasps for the soul of humanity. Soul Care explores seven principles that are profound healing tools of God: securing your identity, repentance, breaking family sin patterns, forgiving others, healing wounds, overcoming fears, and deliverance.

6. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

A practical and tactical guide to getting control of your finances. Money is something most young people, particularly those I know who grew up in foster care, struggle with. While the approach in this book is very conservative, it’s a prudent financial framework to begin to develop wisdom around earning, saving, investing, and spending.

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