No Words Wasted Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | January 6, 2015

    Matt Burgess: IMG 35 Seconds

    Late at night on September 22, 2014, at a housing project basketball court in Brooklyn, a white cop pushes a black man against a chain link fence.... Continue »
    1. $18.17 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      Uncle Janice

      Matt Burgess 9780385536806

Qualifying orders ship free.
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton Child Care and Parenting- Adoption and Foster Care

The Lost Children of Wilder: The Epic Struggle to Change Foster Care


The Lost Children of Wilder: The Epic Struggle to Change Foster Care Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1973 Marcia Lowry, a young Legal Aid attorney, filed a controversial class-action suit that would come to be known as Wilder, which challenged New York City?s operation of its foster-care system. Lowry?s contention was that the system failed the children it was meant to help because it placed them according to creed and convenience, not according to need. The plaintiff was thirteen-year-old Shirley Wilder, an abused runaway whose childhood had been shaped by the system?s inequities. Within a year Shirley would give birth to a son and relinquish him to the same failing system.

Seventeen years later, with Wilder still controversial and still in court, Nina Bernstein tried to find out what had happened to Shirley and her baby. She was told by child-welfare officials that Shirley had disappeared and that her son was one of thousands of anonymous children whose circumstances are concealed by the veil of confidentiality that hides foster care from public scrutiny. But Bernstein persevered.

The Lost Children of Wilder gives us, in galvanizing and compulsively readable detail, the full history of a case that reveals the racial, religious, and political fault lines in our child-welfare system, and lays bare the fundamental contradiction at the heart of our well-intended efforts to sever the destiny of needy children from the fate of their parents. Bernstein takes us behind the scenes of far-reaching legal and legislative battles, at the same time as she traces, in heartbreaking counterpoint, the consequences as they are played out in the life of Shirley?s son, Lamont. His terrifying journey through the system has produced a man with deep emotional wounds, a stifled yearning for family, and a son growing up in the system?s shadow.

In recounting the failure of the promise of benevolence, The Lost Children of Wilder makes clear how welfare reform can also damage its
intended beneficiaries. A landmark achievement of investigative reporting and a tour de force of social observation, this book will haunt every reader who cares about the needs of children.

About the Author

Nina Bernstein is a reporter for the New York Times. In 1994 her New York Newsday series about Wilder won Columbia University School of Journalism?s Mike Berger Award, and she was awarded an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellowship to continue her research into foster care. In 1995 she received the George Polk Award for distinguished metropolitan coverage. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

(the epic struggle to change foster care )
Bernstein, Nina
Pantheon Books
New York
Children's Studies
Child welfare
Social Services & Welfare
Child Advocacy
Foster children
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Trade Cloth
xiv, 482 p.
9.57x6.45x1.54 in. 1.80 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Learning Outside the Lines: Two Ivy... Sale Trade Paper $7.98
  2. The Family of Adoption: Completely... Used Trade Paper $8.95
  3. Giving Away Simone: A Memoir New Trade Paper $19.00
  4. Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves...
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  5. Outsiders Within: Writing on... Used Trade Paper $11.00
  6. Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish...
    Used Trade Paper $3.50

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Adoption and Foster Care
History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family
History and Social Science » Sociology » Social Work

The Lost Children of Wilder: The Epic Struggle to Change Foster Care Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details xiv, 482 p. pages Pantheon Books - English 9780679439790 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at