Monday, November 28, 2011

A Must Read Book

    I would recommend this book to anyone. It's an easy book to read and makes you think about what you have and should be grateful for. If your the type of person that likes memoirs this is definitely a book you have to read. I don't have anything negative to say about this book, it was very well written and was a page turner.


     Ashley's mother, Lorraine gave birth to her when she was only seventeen years old and then shortly after she had another baby, Luke. At the age of three Ashley and Luke were taken from her and they ended up in foster care. Ashley was in foster care for nine years and was place in many homes. Ashley and Luke were seperated many times but ended up together at a children's home. They lived with their grandpa and Adele in South Carolina for many months. Luke and Ashley got very attached to Adele and saw her as a mother figure, but they knew it was to good to be true and knew they could be taken away any minute. While they were outside playing their grandpa got shot, and shortly after they were taken away once again. After that they were both placed in the care of the Moss'. There they were both abused, but they eventually got out of their worst nightmare. Once they were placed in a couple other homes, they both got sent to the Children's Home of Tampa. They lived there for a while until two families became interested in them. Luke got adopted first then Ashley by Phil and Gay Courter. It took many months for the adoption to become official. During the time Ashley wasn't giving the Courters the easiest time, especially Gay. As time passed and the adoption was official Ashley grew to love Phil and Gay and knew that they would always be there for her.

By far the Best Chapter in the Book

     Chapter 12

      Chapter twelve was the best because the storm had passed for her and she was finally adopted by a loving family. She has gone through so much and it makes me happy to see that something went right for her. In this chapter Ashley reunites with her mother, Lorraine and meets her half-sister. One of my favorite parts about this chapter is when Ashley sues Mr. and Mrs. Moss and tries to get justice. In this chapter she also wins a contest and gets to meet J.K. Rowlings.

The Tone

     Page 297
  During this part of the story Ashley is returning home from college and they were celebrating her finishing the first draft of this book. They had a present for her and when she opened it, it was a music box that played, "You are my Sunshine." At the moment she had a feeling that she had never known before and that was, home. Ashley's tone seems calm and happy and then towards the end it sounds relieved because she finally has a place to call home.

Significant Events

1.) At seventeen years old Ashley's mother, Lorraine Rhodes gave birth to her. Lorraine lost Ashley when she was only three years old. Ashley was very attatched to her mother and promised her she would never call anyone else "Mom" or drop the big "L" word. She couldn't wait for the days that she could see her mother and sit in her lap. Ashley's mother promised her she would get her back one day and everytime they were together she said they would be together soon. Ashley always hoped that would happen but deep down she knew it was never going to happen.

2.) When Ashley was a little older her mother, Lorraine got pregnant again and gave birth to a baby boy. Soon after the baby was born it died. Lorraine didn't know what to do so she put him in a box and never spoke of it again.

3.) Her mother got pregnant once again by Dusty and had another boy who they named Luke which was her little brother. Shortly after that Ashley and Luke were taken away from her.

4.) Ashley and Luke were taken into foster care. Ashley desperately wanted to be with her mother, but no one would tell her what was going on because she was to young.

5.) During one of the visits with her mother she brought up her first baby brother that was in the box, and her mother told her not to speak of that ever again. When Ashley went back to her foster home she told the foster parents about it and they called on it. After that happened, neither Ashley or Luke got to see their mother for a very long time because she got in trouble for it. When they got to see her a couple more times Lorraine told Ashley that she was signing the papers to give up Luke because she only wanted her and Luke belonged to Dusty.

6.) During the next several years of Ashley's life she was placed in many different homes before she ended up at the Courters. Ashley and Luke were separated many times, but sometimes they would end up together in foster homes. Ashley was placed in a Children's home twice. At the second home, The Children's home of Tampa, she ended up being there with Luke.

7.) Ashley and Luke ended up living with their grandfather and girlfriend, Adele, in South Carolina. They lived here for many months until they were taken away from them. Ashley and Luke got very close to Adele. Their grandfather was shot while they were outside and social services ended up taking them away shortly after that incident. Adele wanted the kids and promised she would try to get them back.

8.) Ashley ended up being placed in one of the worst foster homes with her brother, Mr. and Mrs. Moss house. She lived here for several months. While she was here her things were taken from her, during time outs she was made to squat, hot sauce was forced down her throat, and many other things. Eventually Ashley told somebody what was going on in the house and they took her somewhere else.

9.) Ashley and Luke ended up at the Children's Home of Tampa. At this place Ashley became close to Ms. Sandness and made many friends here. They both ended up getting adopted by a family, but Luke blew and got sent back.

10.) Ashley was adopted by Gay and Phil Courter. This became her permanent family and home. At first Ashley gave Gay a hard time but as time passed things changed. It was many months before they could make the adoption official and when the day came, Ashley spoke those "Three Little Words."

Two places out of Fourteen

      The most important place in this book is the Courters house. It's an important place because it's a place she can finally call home. Before this house she had been in fourteen other placements. It's located in Crystal River, Florida. There's a view of the river from their house and many animals can be seen outside. At first Ashley didn't think she would like living here, she thought it seemed like more of a place Luke would like.

     Another important place is The Children's Home of Tampa. Ashley shared a bedroom here and there was a pool and play area.  Her and Luke were reunited here and she lived here much longer than other places until one day she was adopted. At this place she met Ms. Sandness who she became very close with and she made many friends here. Gay and Phil Courter first met Ashely at the Children's home of Tampa.

Main Characters

      The main characters in Three Little Words is Ashley Rhodes-Courter, Gay and Phil Courter, Luke, Ms. Sandness, and the Moss's.

      Ashley Rhodes-Courter- Ashley is the author of the book. People in the book described her with red hair and a very intelligent person. When she was three years old she was taken from her mother and put into foster care. She has one other sibiling, Luke, who is younger than her. She always tried to watch out for him and be there for him. The only thing she wants is to be back in her mothers arms. She goes through many hardships but manages to come out on top.

      Luke Rhodes- Luke is Ashley's youger brother. He was a fidgety kid who needed a lot of attention. He had a lot of behavorial problems in his childhood considering what he had gone through. He was just a baby when he was taken from his mother. He thought of Ashley some what of a mother figure since she was the only thing he had at the time; he loved her dearly. As they were going through the foster system they were separated a lot over the years.

     Ms. Sandness- Ms. Sandness was Ashley's primary at the Children's home of Tampa. She was described as a very nice person by Ashley. She was yonger. Ms. Sandness was an important character because this was the first person Ashley got close to in years. She ended up leaving to to persue her master's degree, but was there to support Ashley through her adoption and they also kept in contact after.

     Marjorie and Charles Moss- They were in their middle ages. They had fourteen foster kids. Majorie and Charles Moss were thought of one of the best foster parents and were seen as role models. They took the kids belongings, they kept them outside with girls on one side and boys on the other, they barely fed them, and did many cruel things to each individual. Ashely lived with them for many months until she began to speak up and tell people what they were doing. Majorie Moss did most of the dirty work while Charles Moss just ignored everything. Ashley was only taken away because they thought she was lying and didn't want her to ruin their reputation. Later on in life she tries to sue them. Through out the lawsuit it was found that Mrs. Moss was abused as a child and had a very strict mother which made her unstable to be a foster parent.

      Gay and Phil Courter- Gay and Phil Courter adopted Ashley when she was twelve years old. They were older than Ashley expected. Gay was a genorous, caring, loving, and an honest foster mom. Phil had more of a relaxed personality and did anything to make Ashley happy. They adopted Ashley because they knew they were meant to do something great in life after  a death experience and they also filled their empty nest. Ashley gave Gay a very difficult time at first and did anything to make her angry. As time passed things smoothed out and Ashley eventually had a mother-daughter relationship with her. Ashley was always close to Phil and didn't give him a hard time like she did with Gay. Ashley now has a home and loving family to go home too.


Three Unexpected Words Spoken by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

       The title, Three Little Words, relates to the book because it was words spoken by Ashley Rhodes-Courter during her adoption. Everybody was nervous, but especially Ashley because she grew up without knowing if she would ever have a permanent home and knew even though the Courters were officially adopting her they could send her back to the Children's Home with one phone call. When the judge had asked her if she wanted to to sign the papers and make everything official, she said,  "I guess so." Those three little words changed her life.  

Ashley Rhodes-Courter

       Ashley Rhodes-Courter was born in North Carolina in 1985. She fell into the foster care system at the age of three. During the next nine years of her life she was placed into fourteen different homes before being adopted at the age of twelve by Phil and Gay Courter. Ashley graduated with honors from Eckerd College. There she completed a double major in communications and theatre also with a double minor in political science and psychology. She serves on a few child welfare boards including, Children Without a Voice USA and Family Focus Adoption Services. This is the only book Ashley Rhodes-Courter has ever written and she states she could have never done it without her loving mother, Gay Courter.

Three Little Words

Rhodes-Courter, Ashley. Three Little Words: A Memoir. New York: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division; 1st edition. 2008.

"Three Little Words" -Ashley Rhodes-Courter