Suggested CASA Book List

Here are 10 books that have been recommended to enhance you knowledge and understanding of topics related to your volunteer work. These are suggestions and you can read books you find as long as they relate to this work and possibly to your case.

  1. “What Happened to You” *
    • 2021 Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry – An in-depth look into trauma and the way that if can affect the brain AND the shift that can happen when we ask “what happened to you?” rather than “what is wrong with you”. Highly recommended by numerous volunteers
  2. “Evicted”
    • 2016 by Matthew Desmond. Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. Set in the poorest area of Milwaukee, the author follows eight families during the economic crisis of 2007-2008 as they struggled to pay their rent and the cycle of poverty that put barriers up along the way.
  3. The Body Keeps the Score
    • 2014 Bessel van der Kolk. The Body Keep sthe Score teaches you how to get through the difficulties that arise from a traumatic past by revealing the psychology behind them and revealing some of the techniques therapists use to help victims recover.
  4. The Invisible Child:”
    • 2021 by Andrea Elliott. This is an astonishing story about the power of resilience, the importance of family and the cost of inequality-told through the crucible of one remarkable girl. This books takes on poverty, homelessness, racism, addiction, hunger and more as they shape the lives on one girl and her family.
  5. “Coming Out to the Streets: LGBTQ youth experiencing Homelessness”
    • 2020 by Brandon Andrew Robinson. LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented in the US homelessness population. In this book the author examines their lives. This looks into lives they lived before they experience homelessness-within their families, schools, and other institutions-and later when they navigate the streets, deal with police and access shelter and other services.
  6. “The Shadow System: Mass Incarceration and the American Family”
    • 2020 by Sylvia A. Harvey. A searing expose of the effects of the mass incarceration crisis on families-including 2.7 million American children who have a parent locked up. The author follows the fears, challenges, and small victories of three families struggling to live within the confines of a brutal system.
  7. “A Place Called Home”
    • 2022 by David Ambroz. “A Galvanizing, stirring memoir about growing up homeless and in foster care to become a leading advocate for child welfare”. David was the speaker at our Rally for Kids lunch in April 2023.
  • The Newcomers”
    • 2017 by Helen Thorpe An account of refugee teenagers at a Denver High School