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Fall or Fly: The Strangely Hopeful Story of Foster Care and Adoption in Appalachia by Wendy Welch

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Wendy Welch is best known as the author of The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, a kind of memoir of her work establishing a bookstore in the Virginia coalfields published by St. Martin’s Press in 2012. She also wrote Public Health in Appalachia: Essays from the Clinic and the Field, published by McFarland in 2014, based on her work as executive director of the Graduate Medical Education Consortium of Southwest Virginia. This book zeroes in on the foster care and adoption system in the Appalachian Coalfields. It tells the story with an adept combination of close looks at the experiences of the three parties involved – the kids, the social workers, and the courts. “Fall or Fly is a compelling, unvarnished glimpse into the complex world of foster care and adoption in modern-day Appalachia. Dr. Welch provides readers with a multifaceted view of the system through the eyes of children, foster parents, and caseworkers. It will surely become a treasured resource, not only for those interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents but for those who desire a more complete understanding of the foster care system.” - Bill Carrico.

Athens: Ohio University Press, 2018. 185 pages with notes. Trade paperback