The idea of child protection conveys a clear enough idea of keeping the kids safe. Nevertheless, for caseworkers like Marc Parent, author of Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk, protecting children is a very difficult, oftentimes strenuous business. According to Parent child protection is a job where you are thinking on your feet. No one is ever going to be qualified to train you to react precisely to each and every situation. According to him they run into homes, unannounced, in the middle of the night to wake everybody up, strip everybody down and look for bruises among other things. Nobody can ever tell you that you will be able to guess what transpires when you do that.
Parent was a child abuse investigator in New York City for a little over four years working the graveyard shift from four to midnight. His job was to answer to reports of children in serious danger and then show up at their home to try to get rid of that danger. He along with fifteen other members were covering a city of over seven million. Turning Stones was his version of those four years. The book was his effort to get people to think about the children he discovered in some enduring way. This book is tragically peculiar and strange. The actuality of it smacks you like a ton of bricks. It gets real bad as rats running around the apartment while children slept on the floor, drug dealers in the passages. This book is unpleasant to read, but everyone needs to read it. I just don’t think that people comprehend the despair that these kids feel everyday of their lives.
The detail he uses is immense. He started a story from the kid’s spectacle, giving the reader a feel of the environs and then eases the reader into the actual incident. Marc Parent has also done a great job of not placing the criticism directly on one person. He has given the information, and then leaves the rest up to the readers. People in this occupation are not getting the apperception they merit. This is a hazardous but noble profession with little incentives and encouragement. Turning Stones is a well-documented encounter with children in danger in New York. Marc Parent makes the book facile to read and helps the readers really jump into the action of each case he attends to. This book is in fact a reality wake-up call to people all over the nation, eminently those living in small towns.
The children and adult characters in this book lead normal lives one day and deteriorate the next. Marc’s work at Emergency Children Services is commendable. In spite of the disheartening nature of the cases, the book is not depressing in view of the fact that it leaves you with the thought that notwithstanding the fact that there will always be appalling problems in the world, one person can make a difference. Marc Parent from his experiences has selected eight cases to explain by example how society permits extremes of indignity to happen. And in the book Turning Stones, Mr. Parent inquires the more agonizing question of how he himself failed to save a child. The book has a proximity that makes it unforgettable.
Marc Parent’s gifts are not literary they are more precious. He has an unselfish heart, and an honest one. The sole weapon we have against failing our children is awareness, not so much of their feebleness as of our own. Turning Stones is an admirable step toward that consciousness. Turning Stones is Parent’s attempt to graft onto the harsh description of these families’ lives the faces of individual children and their mothers. It is the finest way he can conceive of to stir up tenderness and help readers’ consider those families’ anguish and distress on the equivalent scale they would use for the children they love and want to guard.