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Three Little Words

A Memoir

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


"Sunshine, you're my baby and I'm your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she's not your mama." Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system.

Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative,humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed - and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 07, 2008 – In this engrossing memoir, college senior Rhodes-Courter chronicles her hardscrabble childhood in foster care, detailing glitches in the system and infringements of laws that led to a string of unsuitable—and sometimes nightmarish—placements for her and her younger half-brother, Luke. Using a matter-of-fact tone at times laced with bitterness, the author recounts how she was wrenched away from her teenage mother at age three and was later removed from her unstable grandfather’s home to live in cramped quarters with strangers. She acknowledges that there may have been legitimate reasons for her and Luke’s placement in foster care but pointedly criticizes the manner in which she was repeatedly uprooted. She also blames the ineptitude of social workers who, more often than not, acted as advocates for foster parents rather than the children they were assigned to protect. The girl’s frequent moves and sporadic mental and physical abuse left emotional scars that affected her even after she was adopted by a loving family (the “three little words” that change her life are her guarded consent to legal adoption, “I guess so”). The author’s ability to form intelligent, open-minded conclusions about her traumatic childhood demonstrates her remarkable control and insight, and although there are plenty of wrenching moments, she succeeds not in attracting pity but in her stated intention, of drawing attention to the children who currently share the plight that she herself overcame. Ages 14-up.

Customer Reviews

Really Good but kinda sad!

I we read this book as a class and I really liked it! I knew the book was a memoir but I didn't know it was real! It sad that she went threw all that but... I don't wan ruin the ending for you guys! Really good read tho!

Amazing book will leave you thinking about it long afterwards...

I saw this book in the "teen" section of the library when I was with my 11 year old daughter checking out books. The title looked interesting so I picked it up. I read the first few pages and knew I needed to read it myself. This book was incredible. Not just because what is inside it's pages is true, but the fact that Ashley is such an amazing young woman herself and came out on the "other" side. She is a brilliant writer, and for someone at such a young age, who can vividly portray everything she went through, I was just floored. This book had me in tears and outrage in several parts, but also had me smiling and wondering how this woman survived all that she did. I recommend this to everyone who enjoys reading memoirs. (Note to teenager below..."memoir" is a story of your yes, my teenage friend, it is "real" indeed.) ;) You will NOT be disappointed!!


I totally recommend EVERYONE to read this. Especially, TEENAGERS. When you read this book, I garuntee you that it would turn your world upside down.

The way you look at kids, love, family, and foster homes would be change by this book. I can't even describe my feelings about this. You should start reading it now!!! GO GO GO! :D

Three Little Words
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Level: Grades 9 and Above
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biography
  • Published: Jun 20, 2008
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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