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Christina Meredith had a rough start to life. Abused by her mother and other adults, it took years for authorities to finally remove her from her mother’s home and place her in foster care. But life in foster care was not a perfect fix. At age 18, Meredith aged out of foster care and was suddenly on her own, sometimes even living out of her car as she struggled to make ends meet. Meredith chronicles her engrossing story in her memoir CinderGirl: My Journey Out of the Ashes to a Life of Hope.

The book is very captivating, and I read it in one sitting. CinderGirl is the kind of book that you want to tell your friends and family to read so that they can see a close-up look of the plight of children in foster care. Meredith is a smart, hard-working woman, and she was able to pull herself out of her dire circumstances through working long hours and never giving up. I was excited for Meredith when she [spoiler alert] rented her first apartment, moved to California with her sister, and then won the title of Miss California, with foster care reform as her platform. Meredith is now making great waves in foster care reform.

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