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The reader will both adore and judge the foster families throughout the book: first the reader will feel respect for those helping the children caught in the system; then judgement because they are obviously stifling the teenagers; then excitement: adoption! Then more heartbreak.
Not all of the stories end in heartbreak, but this also isn’t a fairytale. Many children age out of the system each year, and before that, they are bounced around between many strangers’ houses. The author interviewed the children in care as well as the families who were caring for them, and often kept in touch after the child was no longer with the initial family. In some cases, it appeared as if the author was more concerned about the child’s welfare than either the foster family or the case workers.
To The End of June is an in-depth look at foster care, mainly focused on New York, as the author follows a handful of families over the course of a few years. Interspersed in the family narratives are discussions and thoughts from those who are, or were, employed within the foster care system, as well as the author’s own judgements and ideas about what is wrong and what could be done to help fix the care system.