Create the family you want to have

Rufus the Rapper- a book review

Written by, Kate Oliver, MSW, LCSW-C  

When one of my mentors, Louise Fleischman, recently wrote and published her book, Rufus the Rapper  (illustrated by Laurie Barrows), I was excited to get to read and review it.  I first met Louise in 2003 as a participant in a year-long externship on attachment disorders that she and other staff developed at a local adoption agency.    Louise has since opened a private practice in Howard County, Anchor Counseling & Training, and we continue to collaborate professionally.   I think she is among the best in the field of clinicians working with attachment disordered children and their families.  Louise and I are both find storytelling to be a wonderful way to help children to acknowledge their own struggles and find a way to see a better future.

Rufus the Rapper is a story about a dog that has a history of abandonment, abuse and neglect.  He, like most of the children I have worked with, has little understanding of the hows and whys of all that has happened to him.  Rufus learned to adapt by engaging in unpleasant behaviors designed to keep others, especially caregivers at bay.  Through the gentle care of a family, Rufus finds a way to learn to connect again.

This book is a great book for children of all ages (I even use books like this with teenagers) who have been through the foster care system and/or who have been adopted at an older age and their siblings- even siblings without the same experience.  It is also good for any children in families that care for abused or traumatized animals and is really safe story for all children to read as a way to help children build empathy for pets and people who have had a difficult road.  With a non-threatening story with a non-judgmental stance toward Rufus, the story clearly shows how it is that animals and children sometimes take on undesirable behaviors in their efforts to survive.  Unlike other adoption and foster related stories, Rufus does not sugar coat the harsh reality for a dog or child who has ambivalence about being adopted, nor does it paint a pretty picture that says that once he was adopted, everything was fine.  Although parents of children adopted at an older age will wish it only took three weeks (like it does for Rufus) for the undesireable behaviors to subside, children will recognize themselves in this story and reading it with a child can lead to some great conversations and give kids a means to describe some of their experiences.

You can find out details for purchasing Louise’s book by clicking on the Amazon Widgets button at the top right of this page,* and you can contact Louise via email:  She is an excellent clinician located in Woodstock, Maryland.

*see disclaimer

Related Posts:

The Spectrum of Attachment (

August 9, 2012 - Posted by | resources/ book reviews

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