Hope's Boy, a memoir by Andrew Bridge


“Andrew Bridge has written an affecting, moving memoir which in the end is a poignant cry for rethinking our foster care system. Hope's Boy will stay with you long after you've put it down."
— Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here and The Other Side of the River 

New York Times Best Seller

Los Angeles Times Best Seller

Publisher's Weekly Best Seller

Washington Post Best Book of 2008

People Magazine Critic's Choice
Los Angeles Times Discoveries Book

Reader’s Digest Featured Book Bonus

Observer Magazine Featured Book

2008 Elle Magazine Readers' Prize

Borders Original Voices Pick

Book Sense Pick



Click photo to view Hope's Boy on Tavis Smiley


Advance Reviews of Hope’s Boy

In luminous prose and heartwrenching detail, Andrew Bridge reminds us to honor the power of love in our fractured world.”
Caroline Kennedy

"Critic's Choice ... Shocking, inspiring, unforgettable."              

People Magazine

"It took great courage to write this memoir.... Our discomfort with love and failure has helped create and fuel a foster-care bureaucracy that often operates with a breathtaking lack of humanity. Bridge survived to write this beautiful, moving memoir. So many children don't."

Los Angeles Times

"Filled with vivid scenes and empathetic description, refreshingly free of the self-absorption that mars so many horrendous childhood sagas, Hope's Boy is compulsively readable."
The Washington Post

"Endurance and stubborn survival wend their way through this memoir, which is both a love story of a boy and his mother and an indictment of the child-welfare system."
The Christian Science Monitor

"Hope's Boy is an uplifting tale.... a not-so-subtle call to improve an inadequate service, for as [Bridge] makes clear, he's not the only foster child who lies awake at night waiting for Hope to take him home."

Associated Press

“Bridge, a Harvard Law School graduate who has devoted his career to children's rights, has provided remarkable insights into a dark corner of American society.”
Publishers Weekly

"Bridge writes with honesty and tenderness.... For a tale well told, and the courage and dignity to tell it without bitterness, for a message ultimately of hope, Dickens would be proud."


"Once you read Hope's Boy you will find that many of your ideas have changed. If you never really thought about foster care, you will now. If you thought foster care was a benign and necessary system, you will challenge that assumption every time the subject comes up. If you thought that parents whose children wind up in foster care are all criminals and monsters, you will have to think again."

— Book Reporter

“An inspiring account”
Library Journal


Readers' Praise for Hope’s Boy

Many popular childhood memoirs are sensationalistic in tone, what one reporter called, "child abuse as entertainment." You don't get that feeling reading "Hope's Boy." Bridge's prose is simplistic and honest. There are no horrendous abuse claims, nothing to stir our prurient interests. In the end, it is the story of a boy who never lost hope in his mother or himself. Bridge now dedicates his life to being a children's advocate, helping others like himself in finding their source of hope.

Helen Brunet. Bourg, LA

Hope’s Boy is incredible! I read it in two days between cooking and cleaning on my days off from work. The book shows how one child survived. Can we imagine what would happen to many of the other children if we could get a decent system in place? Mr. Bridge is to be commended on his courage, honest, compassion and bravery in telling his truth. I hope the people who helped him along the way recognize themselves and realize that no kindness is wasted.
— Kathryn, Barnes & Noble, Irving, Texas

Hope's Boy should be required reading for anyone who is involved in, or cares about, those tens of thousands of children in the United States who each year are removed by legal process from the care of their parents.  Andrew Bridge's profoundly engrossing and moving memoir provides a perspective that only to a person who was such a child can know, and only a gifted writer can express.
— Andrew Bogen, chairman of St. Anne’s and New Village Charter High School, two Los Angeles organizations with a special focus on teen girls in foster care

Hope's Boy is amazing. A friend of mine gave me an early publication copy that had been passed on to her. She loved it. I can only say the same… The book is honest and heartwrenching. He opens the reader to a world of lost and forgotten children that too few know enough about. He reminds us how much better we can do for them and how much more we owe them. An absolute must read.
— Rebecca, Goodreads.com

Full of compelling characters, Hope's Boy is reminiscent of Angela's Ashes.
— Joyce Frohn, Apple Blossom Books, Oshkosh, WI

I happened to get the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Hope’s Boy.  I feel so moved after the journey your book took me on that I felt compelled to write you. Thank you for sharing and revealing so much of yourself… How appropriate for your mother’s name to be Hope…since she delivered a boy that brings I am sure, hope to many.
— Jeanette, Bayonne, NJ

The haunting look on the cover of Hope's Boy tells a story that has been repeated far too many times in the child welfare system. Hope's Boy is a must read for any person that cares about the plight of the abused and neglected of our country.
— Tony Walker, MA, President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Anne's

Mr. Bridge’s book is a remarkable account of inner strength, courage, and triumph in the face of adversity. Most inspiringly, Hope’s Boy is the story of one child’s determination to seek out and hold on to love, even in life’s darkest places.
— Anne Jump, Editor, Susan Sontag, At the Same Time: Essays & Speeches

Riveting and moving - a haunting debut.
— Eliot Schrefer, Author, Glamorous Disasters and The New Kid

For all of us who are committed to helping, Bridge's book is a necessary and painful reminder that we must be ever mindful of the unintended but devastating consequences our actions in the name of helping can have. It is also a necessary and humbling reminder that love and a sense of belonging can never be replaced by even the best of our intentions and interventions.
— Sandra L. Johnson, Raleigh, NC

Emotional isolation, being homeless as a child, having your mother taken from you, experiencing the humiliation and pain of a harsh foster home – these ingredients would be enough to ruin anyone’s life. But not Andrew Bridge. Hope’s Boy is the remarkable story of how he created himself. We read and marvel, and we learn what courage means and how service to others transmutes pain into genuine hope.
— Dr. Paul Cummins, Executive Director, New Visions Foundation

A devastatingly moving memoir of a lost childhood…
— The Country Bookshop, United Kingdom

Hope’s Boy captures an unprecedented child’s perspective into the world of foster care…a personal and penetrating description of the deep wounds children suffer when placed in the cold and unnatural world of foster care.
— Amy Pellman, Commissioner, Los Angeles Superior Court

I was deeply moved by Hope's Boy…a heartbreaking, unforgettable love story about a mother and her son. I don't know that I've ever read anything more powerful about love and loss than Andrew's searing prose about his mother's embrace as she struggled to hold onto him when he was being pried from her arms.
— Michael Gordon, New York, New York

Hope’s Boy reminds me why I’m a social worker. Bridge lends a powerful voice to so many foster children who have learned to “be still,” who continue to long for their own enduring bond with a forever parent.
— Marci White, Clinical Instructor, UNC School of Social Work

I cannot stop thinking about your story. My admiration for your spirit, your resilience, and your hopefulness runs deep. I commend you for your achievements, both personal and professional, and for being an advocate for thousands of lost children. My heart goes out to them and to you. Thank you for sharing this monumental story. I hope one of your book tours will bring you to Northern California, particularly the Bay Area. I'll be there!

— Loretta D., San Francisco, CA

I just finished your book and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. I used to be a Big Sister and did some work in the juvenile system... One thing that resonated with me was something I learned in my training for the juvenile system: no matter what happens, kids always love their parents. Your book really touched me... Thanks again for a fantastic book.

— Laura, Davenport, Iowa

I just finished reading your book "Hope's Boy". I am a avid reader, but, once I started reading it, I could not put it down... My heart soared when I read your words. You overcame such horrible obstacles and truly became Hope's Boy. I pray that you have found peace and most of all happiness, safety and love. Once again thank you for being so honest. I know your book made a huge difference to me.

— Georgia R.

Wow, I just finished reading your book tonight. There just aren't words. I felt such sadness but hope for you, for the little boy you were, for your struggles...
I'm so glad for you that you were able to always hold on to the love that your mom had for you. When you wrote about finally hearing from my Mother after so many years and finding your way hours on the bus to Norwalk, I was entranced. I just couldn't stop crying for both of you... Thank you again for sharing your story.

— Susie R., NC

I don't really know why I am so moved to send this note....all I know is that after reading your memoir I just had to. I am a memoir fanatic, and have read more than I can even count....yet I've never felt the need to reach out and acknowledge someone's story until now. I guess I'd just like to tell you that I can't even begin to imagine the strength of your spirit. Reading how you endured for years with absolutely no emotional nourishment of any kind moved me to tears. Knowing that you've spent countless years of your life to give back, when nothing was given to you, touches and amazes my heart... I am so thankful you told your story. I pray you never tire of trying to help, you are changing lives through the work that you do....the words that you write....the story you tell.

— Andi S.

I just finished reading Hope's Boy... Thank you for writing it. There is a line in it that rings so true..."a childhood that has lasted forever". I aged out myself... its amazing that... decades away from it, all of it still lives inside of me as if it was yesterday. I've grown up, made a "success" of my life against some tough odds, never forgetting what it felt like to be that little boy with the blank stare. The same stare you have in the jacket cover pic.

— Anonymous, Chicago, IL

I have felt strongly compelled to contact you after finishing your memoir yesterday morning. I work in the child welfare system in Florida; training and licensing foster parents and placing children in their homes... I feel that our foster care system is so unbelievably flawed. A system that boasts having the 'best interest of the child' at hand a lot of times has everything but. Thank you for writing so candidly of your experience as a foster child. I admire you as a human being and as a fellow professional for your bravery, loyalty, honesty, and most of all for your continued diligence in helping better the system and protecting the children in it.
— Anonymous, Florida

Wow! I just finished reading your book and it was one of the best books I've read. I reread pages and chapters along the way in disbelief and wanting to fully comprehend your every word. Your story is so emotional and as a reader, as a mother and as a person, I felt for you in every way. It is a tribute to your mother that she, however fraught with mental illness, was able to give you what little she was able and you embraced it and carried it with you throughout your life... Andrew, thank you for writing such a poignant memoir. Your courage is amazing and I will encourage every one I know to read your book.

— Kara D.

This is my third attempt at emailing you after finally composing myself. I have read many books and never has any one of them moved me as this one has... After listening to you're heart wrenching story of loneliness and isolation in the foster care system, you have put a face on all of those children who are a statistic. Hope's Boy will have a special place on my bookshelf. A place where Andy and his story will be safe at night and will have meaning and purpose.
— Gina D.

I salute you for the inner strength that you were able to summon in overcoming and breaking through the myriad of barriers that others placed in your path... Congratulations on an excellent read.
— Steve C., Bellevue, WA


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