Dandelions by Jennifer Buck


The story of Josephine or "Yonder" as she is comically referred to, I think of the word “displacement.” When the world you know which is not perfect but it’s the world you can accept and build your dreams and future is suddenly turned upside, if you had this happen to you in your childhood you will perfectly relate to the struggles of “Yonder” and her family.

The Reagan backdrop is bright and well detail at the height of the AIDS ignorance, fear of the “gays,” being poor, being considered White Trash, our language as a country was still not PC Jennifer lays out the battles of a young lesbian knowing who she is at a very young age. Being forced to move to a part of America, I didn’t know about until this book “pig pickin” what is that I thought.  Jennifer’s follies to express love to a crush is no different my indiscretions, but we as a society did make homosexuality as something evil and sinful hopefully we have evolved from such stupidity. 

The family dynamics well thought out the characters that interact with “Yonder” are not just one dimensional, but she adds chapters to give them a sense of history and why this person may be the way they are now. People are shaped by their experiences even the ones that consistently screw up. My stand out character within Yonder’s clan is Ma’am not mom, but Ma’am right there tells you she demands respect and you might think that she is an extreme religious old woman but as Jennifer added more background history.  What I walked away with is a woman trying to save her family from their misfortunes they seem to land at her doorstep when there is trouble, I say her rules and her demand of respect in exchange for her to help is the price of admission. I was able to keep track of other characters which can be overwhelming sometimes in other forms of media.

In most liberal places being gay is no big thing but do young people know about the struggle I think the same of all American conflicts, we take many things for granted. Open this book and feel the hurt, the pain, and the hope of a young lesbian that wants to survive and be somebody. A reflection of America not so long ago and the daily fight to keep us from going back to those ignorant times is a good reason to understand what Jennifer crafted in her book. I look forward to her next book.

90s Underground Newsletter


Life of a Bastard Vol. 2 (2018) will Include  three volumes of this trouble making newsletter by the foster care heroes of YRC connecting the events of Life of a Bastard Book Series. 


Give the Gift of Reading


Life of a Bastard Vol.1

“A Coming of Age Story in New York City’s Foster Care System”

Book Series by Damien Black

Illustrations by Laura Caiafa


Paperback & Ebook


"An uncensored account of Javier Soto’s life as he journeys through foster care. The story tells of a deserted child, robbed of his innocence and tossed through the evils of a 1980s’ American society. With survival becoming the ultimate goal, will he ever break free from the world of institutionalization? "


Life of a Bastard makes a great stocking stuffer.

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Have a Safe Holiday Season

Thank You,

Damien Black