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Over the Peanut Fence
Former OMSI president, Marilynne Eichinger, reveals what she learned when she and her partner invited a twenty-year-old street-youth to live in their home. A moving look at traumatized youth and leaders and volunteers who work diligently to help them scale barriers that led them to the streets. Read emotional stories about those who overcame abusive childhoods. -Understand the causes of youth homelessness. -Meet Good Samaritans who work diligently to help traumatized youth succeed. -Learn about the adolescents brain and interventions used to scale horrendous barriers. -Discover what you can do to help. "A profound reflection on the ailing condition of American Society." --Kirkus Reviews
Jack Segal, Consul General of the U.S. (ret.), Chief Political Adviser to NATOâ€

“The machines of war roar past a family’s muddy tent as the mother searches the garbage for something edible. A youngster here in the U.S. scans a dumpster with the same goal, wondering Why me? And we dare to turn away. Our country has left a trail of suffering in our well intentioned pursuit of ‘democracy’ in foreign lands; our nation pretends not to see the homelessness on our doorstep, save to complain about it. This stunning book requires you to ask what you can do to help turn trauma into something better.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A blend of memoir and sociocultural commentary analyzes the problem of teenage homelessness. The author divides her book into several distinct parts: a remembrance of her experience with Zach; a reflection on the root causes of homelessness in the United States; a synopsis of the latest research regarding the functioning of a youth’s brain; an homage to organizations that make a positive difference; and two short stories that dramatize ways in which adolescents can be effectively assisted. The author’s account is lucidly written, both intellectually thorough and emotionally affecting. In addition, this isn’t a work of ax-grinding political partisanship—Eichinger prefers cool-headed analysis to grandstanding. Further, at the heart of her ‘part memoir and part storybook’ is a profound reflection on the ailing condition of American society, withering from the widespread disintegration of the family and the grim plague of ‘lovelessness.’ An astute and moving assessment of an urgent societal problem.”—Kirkus Reviews 

Pam Sandlian Smith, President 2017-18, Public Library Association, Director, Any

[Eichinger] “provides a powerful glimpse into the trauma and abuse that forces young people to run to the streets. Homeless youth are often invisible in their struggle to complete school while caring for themselves. Under overwhelming pressure, they must surmount many obstacles on their path to adulthood. The lucky ones connect with caring adults—a librarian, a counselor, or a teacher. Their stories are a call for action to libraries, government, youth agencies, universities, parents, and volunteers to work together to solve this national problem.”

Phyllis Katz, Ph.D. Science Education, Associate University of Maryland, Founder

“Marilynne Eichinger has woven her personal narrative and research together with her experience as a science center director to make recommendations for those of us who wonder about the people we see with all of their belongings closely held in parks and other public spaces. I share her confidence in the importance of kinesthetic (hands-on) learning as an alternative for those for whom reading is a challenge.”