This book was recommended to me by my cousin and it is a very touching book. It is a true story about a woman who works in NY and passes by a boy begging for food. Living in NY she has passed many homeless people without thinking twice. This time as she walks by she stops in the middle of the street and decided to turn back to the boy. She walks back to him and offers to take him to lunch. This begins the unlikely friendship between a woman and this 11 year old boy. The story takes us through the years of their friendship and the gaping differences in their lives. It is a story that could be any one of our stories if we would just take the time to stop and see the humanity before us. "For a good part of Maurice's childhood, the greatest harm he faced came from the man who gave him life." What a confusing place for a child to be, the people who are supposed to take care of and nurture you are the very people you are afraid of. "What does it mean when society says you're unfit to be a mother? Are there circumstances to be factored in before that judgment is made? What if a mother is doing the best she can in the face of crushing adversity but still doesn't measure up to society's standards? When does a mother lose her right to be a mother?" As I volunteer in the foster system and have sat in on many court cases, these are the questions that must be answered. It is not always a cut and dry answer, there are so many factors to consider. It is not easy to make these decisions that alter lives. "We know about stuff like Chrismas, but kids like me, we know we can never have it for ourselves, so we don't think about it." The harsh reality for so many children. "But I also think about how fleeting such moments of innocence are, about how good intentions and wide-eyed optimism and even love can only protect us from the harsh, corrupting reality of life for so long." "...how the things we carry with us from childhood define who we become." I don't believe our childhood ever leaves us, the good or the bad, but we can choose what we will carry with us into adulthood. "All of our stories, as much as they are about anything, are about loss. And, perhaps, they are about what might have been. But the beauty of life is that inside these disappointments are hidden the most miraculous of blessings. What we lose and what might have been pales against what we have." So beautifully said. "If love is the greatest gift of all-and I believe it is-then the greatest privilege of all is to be able to love someone." And it is, it truly is. "I consider my childhood a gift,' Maurice once told me. 'It happened to me so I could learn the right way to raise my children. I saw what my father did, and I might have grown up thinking that was the only way to handle children, like my father handled me. But then I met you, and that's when I realized there was another way.'" The impact of one person on another, can in turn, reach generations. It really is amazing what one act of kindness can do. A little love goes a long way.