Stuff in the ‘Foster Care’ Category

25 August, 2016

THREE MORE WORDS, Ashley Rhodes-Courter (Paperback)

NOW IN PAPERBACK!

In the sequel to the New York Times bestselling memoir Three Little Words (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, 2008), Ashley Rhodes-Courter expands on life beyond the foster care system, the joys and heartbreak with the family she’s 51QFar6farLThreeLittlecreated, and her efforts to make peace with her past.

Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent a harrowing nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes. Her memoir, Three Little Words, captivated audiences everywhere and went on to become a New York Times bestseller. Now, in Three More Words (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster 2015/paperback 2016), Ashley reveals the nuances of life after foster care: College and its assorted hijinks, including meeting “the one.” Marriage, which began with a beautiful wedding on a boat that was almost hijacked (literally) by some biological family members. Having kids—from fostering children and the heartbreak of watching them return to destructive environments, to the miraculous joy of blending biological and adopted offspring.

Whether she’s overcoming self-image issues, responding to calls asking for her to run for Senate, or dealing with continuing drama from her biological family, Ashley Rhodes-Courter never fails to impress or inspire with her authentic voice and uplifting message of hope.


30 July, 2015

THREE MORE WORDS, Ashley Rhodes-Courter

“…highly interesting, it serves as a window onto the foster-care system.” – Kirkus Reviews

The long awaited  sequel to the New York Times and London Times bestseller THREE LITTLE WORDS

 In her undeniably honThree More Wordsest and inspiring memoir Three Little Words, we were captivated by Ashley Rhodes-Courter, an amazing young woman who—through nine years, forty-four caseworkers, and fourteen foster homes—“not only survived, she thrived” (Teen People).   Since then Rhodes-Courter has become an international advocate for adoption and child welfare. She has been interviewed by Diane Sawyer and spoken on Capitol Hill. She was called upon to run for Florida State Senate. She became a foster and adoptive parent, helping children just like herself. And she has begun to come to terms with her past.

THREE MORE WORDS tells the riveting story of how the foster kid who refused to slip through the cracks has begun to change the world.

Each year, an estimated 30,000 adolescents age out of the foster care system without being adopted. Only about 7,000 of these young adults go on the college or vocational training. The remaining 23,000 children are left to fend for themselves, many becoming involved with drugs, alcohol, unplanned pregnancy, prostitution, and ultimately jail. This is a real problem affecting our nation and Rhodes-Courter is an advocate for change. She has the unique perspective of both a foster kid and parent, and aims to put the “child” back in “child welfare.”

THREE MORE WORDS also reveals the nuances of life after foster care, including college, marriage (which began with a beautiful wedding on a boat that was almost hijacked—literally—by some biological family members) and having kids, from fostering children and the heartbreak of watching them return to destructive environments, to the miraculous joy of blending biological and adopted offspring.

 Whether she’s overcoming self-image issues, responding to calls for her to run for Senate, or dealing with continuing drama from her biological family, Ashley Rhodes-Courter never fails to impress or inspire with her authentic voice and uplifting message.

 


17 July, 2013

Sequel to Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s THREE LITTLE WORDS sold!

I first met Ashley Rhodes-Courter when she was 16.  I represented her adoptive mother, Gay Courter, a wonderful commercial novelist, and nonfiction writer.  Ashley had just won a contest sponsored by Scholastic for an essay on “What Harry Potter Means to Me.”  As a child, Ashley had been in and out of foster homes from age 2-12.  The encouragement she received from teachers, and a love of reading saved her from the often abuIMG_9703sive and sad circumstances in her foster homes.  Harry Potter gave her hope.  A year later, Ashley won another essay contest, this one sponsored by The New York Times magazine for teens.  She wrote movingly about being adopted—finally—by a loving family.  At that point, Ashley had been disappointed by so many families that she wasn’t quite sure what to expect. So when the judge asked her how she felt about her adoption, she uttered three little words:  “I guess so.”

That grew into a memoir about growing up in the foster system.  Published by Atheneum, a division of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing, Three Little Words went on to sell over 120,000 copies, hitting The New York Times bestseller list.  15115267Ashley, who since her teens, has been speaking out about the rights of children, especially in foster care and adoption situations, crisscrossed the country, addressing audiences as diverse as those who work in the justice system to schools and parent and teen groups.  The book was optioned for film, and as I write, director James Mangold (Girl Interrupted, Walk the Line) is collaborating with actress Reese Witherspoon in a feature film that should be released in the fall of 2014.

Ashley is now 27, married, with a biological son. Together with her husband, she has already fostered many children, trying to apply the lessons learned as a foster kid to parenting.  She has won scores of honors and awards for her inspiring work, graduated college with two majors and two minors, and finished a Master’s degree, all while juggling the life of a newlywed, learning to parent, and a whirlwind public speaking schedule.

I was thrilled when Ashley sent me a proposal for the sequel to Three Little Words, and even more thrilled when her publisher, Atheneum, picked up the publishing rights.  Three More Words continues Ashley’s story into early adulthood.  She will share stories of joy and heartbreak as she learns to live with the families she belongs to—the one she was born into and her adoptive family—and as she forges the bonds of a family of her own.  Most of all, she embraces the “three more words” that she now feels comfortable uttering:  “I love you.”  Three More Words continues the journey but also the biggest lesson of all, learning to give and receive love.

Thanks to a fantastic editor, Caitlyn Dlouhy, and the dream team at Atheneum.

–Joelle Delbourgo

 

 


16 July, 2013

THREE MORE WORDS, Ashley Rhodes-Courter

The remarkable follow-up to the New York Times bestselling memoir about growing up in the foster care system, about becoming a foster parent as well as mother to a biological child, the continuing challenges of dealing with one’s family of origin into adulthood, learning to trust, accept and give love. Rhodes-Courter is a motivational speaker and advocate for the rights of children.  Publication to coincide with release of a feature film based on her first book.  (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, Fall 2014)


26 March, 2010

Rhodes-Courter

Ashley Rhodes-Courter, LCSW, is a former foster youth who went on to become a Clinical Social Worker, keynote speaker, foster/adoptive parent, and New York Times bestselling author (Three Little Words, Three More Words). Since her first national keynote at age 14, Ashley Rhodes-Courter has shared her story all over the world and in all 50 states.  Despite a nearly decade in an abusive foster care system with 14 different placements, Ashley excelled in school because she believed that, “my education was the one thing nobody could take from me.”  Early in her life she felt compelled to advocate for herself and the other children she saw suffering.

Her first book, Three Little Words (Simon & Schuster) was an international bestseller and has been published in 4 countries. Her second book, Three More Words (Simon & Schuster) debuted at #1 on Amazon Bestseller’s List. Both books are used in classrooms across the country and in various community and First Year Experience Collegiate programs. Three Little Words has been optioned for a major motion picture. Ashley’s debut picture book, Sam Is My Sister was published in March 2021.

Ashley has been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, Nancy Grace, ABC Primetime, and other national media outlets.  She frequently appears in local television and newspaper markets.

The Foundation for Sustainable Families (www.SustainableFamiliesFoundation.org) is a non-profit organization Ashley founded to help serve children and families in her own community. Ashley has turned her pain into power and her inspirational story of resilience, philanthropy, and overcoming hardships resonates with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Ashley and her husband were Guardian ad Litem/CASA Volunteers before spending many years as foster parents. They now live in Florida with their three dynamic young children.

Find Ashley on the web at: www.Rhodes-Courter.com