Below is the opening chapter of To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, the new book by Cris Beam, as recommended by Longreads contributing editor Julia Wick. Thanks to Cris and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sharing it with the Longreads community.
1. King Solomon’s Baby
It was an unusually warm October in Brooklyn; the men had switched their puffy coats for crisp white tank tops, and the young mothers pried back the plastic casings on their strollers. All two thousand people from the Roosevelt housing projects seemed to be tumbling outdoors, leaning on cars or gathering at the bodegas, slanting their faces toward the sun to soak in the last bits of warmth before winter. You couldn’t tell, on a clear morning like this, that the Roosevelt Houses still tipped the scales in the 81st Precinct with their homicide rates, that by nightfall the bodegas would ﬁll with toothless addicts buying loosies for a quarter. A bright morning like this could make anybody grateful.
Read Cris Beam’s memoir, Mother, Stranger.