Lost boy : Top Ten Quotes

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  1. “I have no friends, no place to hide, nothing to turn to.” p. 13

    Dave describes an incident that took place during the years in which he was abused. He has temporarily escaped from his abusive mother and is walking the streets, intending to get to the Russian River, which he remembers from when he was much younger. He is determined never to go back. He is nine years old at this point.
  2. “I was uncontrollable. I ran from room to room, jumping on every mattress in the home. I bounced so high my head banged again and again against the ceiling. I didn’t stop until I saw stars. I didn’t care. The other children clapped their hands, egging me on.”

    p. 43 Dave has just arrived at his very first foster home, at Aunt Mary’s, and he is expressing his relief and joy at his new freedom.
  3. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for it to come to this. I didn’t mean to tell the secret. I didn’t mean to hurt the family. Can you ever forgive me?’

    p. 66.This is the note Dave writes to his mother when he is in the courthouse for the first time. His mother is also there. He gives the note to his mother. She reads it and tears it in half without a word.
  4. “I . . . I remember one Saturday afternoon . . . she had me pick up some dog poop . . . all I had to do was throw the poop in the garbage disposal, and she’d never know. I knew if she found out, it’d be too late. I mean, by the time she heard me turn on the disposal, it would be too late . . . but I ate it because she told me to.”

    pp. 101-02.Dave describes to Lilian Catanze one of the more disgusting episodes in the history of his abuse by his mother.
  5. “David, you have to understand something. You’re a foster child. . . . And because of that, you’ve got two strikes against you. You have to be careful of everything you say and everything you do. If you get into trouble, we . . . could lose you.”

    p. 142. After Dave has broken the rules and cycled down his mother’s street, Lilian impresses upon him the seriousness of his situation and hints at the prejudice many people have against foster children.
  6. “If there’s one thing I will not tolerate, it’s a liar and a thief!”

    p. 158 Rudy is losing his patience with Dave, who keeps getting into trouble. Dave has been caught stealing a model airplane from a store and denying that he stole Rudy’s cigarettes. Rudy says that unless he changes he will end up at a juvenile detention center.
  7. “You’ve overcome more in 12 years than most folks will ever accomplish in a lifetime.”

    p. 206 Lilian speaks to Dave during his stay in the detention center, encouraging him to maintain good behavior.
  8. “Russell's head dipped to his worn-out sneakers. I realized how withdrawn he looked. His shirt was paper-thin and his arms were spotted with small, dark purple marks. My head snapped up to his face. I knew. I shook my head, not knowing what to say. I felt so sorry for him. For years I had been the sole target of Mother’s rage. Now in front of me stood my replacement.”

    p. 241 Dave meets his younger brother by chance when he lives within a mile of his former home. He realizes that his mother is now abusing Russell.
  9. “After kissing Alice, my mother, and shaking Harold’s, my father’s, hand, I opened my mouth to say something appropriate. But this moment in time needed no words, for we knew what we all felt—the love of a family.”

    p. 297 Dave is about to go off to join the Air Force, and this is his goodbye to his foster parents. He has finally found the love and acceptance he was searching for within a family.
  10. “Years ago, I truly doubted whether I’d make it out alive. In my former life I had very little. Today, as I stand in my utopia, I have what any person could wish for—a life and the love of my son. Stephen and I are a family.

    p. 303 These are the closing words of the memoir. Dave has survived and flourished, against all the odds.

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