Thursday, November 29, 2012

HEAL Review of The Discarded Ones by James Tipper

HEAL Book Review: The Discarded Ones by James Tipper
by The HEAL Team

Coordinators and Parent Support Volunteers alike were riveted by James Tipper's The Discarded Ones.  From page one readers are drawn into the life and struggles of Charlie, a teen sent away due to his ability to face reality when his mother could not bear to do so.  Minor details were changed to protect the identities of those referenced in this less-than-fiction work of art.  But, the story itself is true and echoes the painful reality of far too many "discarded ones". 

Whether or not you are a survivor of institutionalized abuse or cults, this book is for you.  It certainly sheds light on how regular kids like Charlie have been discarded by their families and left with strangers in strange environments.  Can you imagine the fear of being left with strangers operating a cultish compound by family members who refuse to face reality and take responsibility?  If not, you soon will if you pick up this book.

The one error, which we understand has been corrected since publication, was the fact that the first bill introduced in Congress to regulate the unregulated, often fraudulent and abusive, behavior modification industry was introduced in 2005, not 2009 as the book suggests.  But, it did pass the House of Representatives in 2009, but with very little bi-partisan support.  See for more information on the 2009 vote.  For information on previous versions of the bill, check out or look up HR 911 AND 2009 using your favorite search engine.

HEAL is happy to recommend this book and we hope you will pick up a copy and take a walk with Charlie.