BOOK REVIEW: It Begins and Ends with Family. Author Jo Ann Wentzel.

Let’s meet the author!


For several decades in addition to other jobs, I wrote. Mainly non -fiction for many online websites and several in print places. I worked for weekly newspapers. I was involved in Parenting Today’s Teen in a couple capacities. I was a Small Business Examiner and also wrote articles for rescue pets at the Examiner. I wrote for Helium, Associated Content, Suite 101 where I specialized in party and holiday articles. I covered many topics but many of my articles were parenting ones many geared towards foster parents. I also wrote a non -fiction book about our many years as foster parents and working with clients and young people and their families. It Begins and Ends with Family is available as an e-book on Amazon. The print format will also be on Amazon in a couple days. You can get it right now at Create Space.

Just recently I began to expand my writing and released my first fiction book. It is called Ultimate Betrayal. There are similar titles so find the one by Jo Ann Wentzel. It is a Christian book about end times and good versus evil. It features a ‘what if ‘scenario where a certain criminal element explodes till no one knows what to do with them. The solution is almost as bad as the problem. I’ve already been asked for a sequel. You can buy this book in e-format and print on Amazon and in print format on Create Space.

Knowing that the audience is all that matters and they are how books get noticed, read and reviewed, I humbly ask for your support.


It Begins and Ends with Family is a book written by parents who fostered over 75 kids, mainly teen aged boys and often eight at one time. The book relates the experiences of a foster parent and some of the discoveries made about why and how to foster. These parents learned that everything comes down to families. It starts with how children are raised and what type of family dynamics are present in their natural family. It continues with what the foster family can do with these children once the dysfunctional family unit has spoiled them. It ends when the foster family has done all they can to undo any harm done and start that child on the right path. Family impacts the situation when the child returns to their family of birth and needs to fit in again but, often with a whole new set of rules and values. The real key to calling this experiment a success is when these children grow up and have relationships and children of their own. So it truly has everything to do with family.

Our house was for those who had so many behavior issues that it was our house or detention. We had some of the worse kids and some of the most damaged. We know every child we fostered was not a success, but we can still offer advice since difficult kids demanded unique parenting methods. We hope you enjoy the descriptions of some of the kids we fostered and their specific issues we tried to solve. After working with all types of kids each with their own different challenges, we are sure you will enjoy the antics and anecdotes involved with many years of working with kids from many Midwest counties.

MY REVIEW 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 It Begins and Ends with Family.

I believe that reviewing non-fiction presents us with a unique challenge. It requires the reader to focus on the fact that these people are real.

These people are not the fictitious characters we all love to escape with. These folks exist in the world, they feel, they cry, they laugh and sometimes they bleed.

For this reader, this book hit a chord, a raw nerve ending. That moment when the recognition at gut level hit so hard I needed to stop for a moment, take a deep breath and then continue, simply because I needed more.

Author Jo Anne Wentzel writes with love, she writes with knowledge and compassion, more importantly … she writes with a truth and honesty that is as soul touching and memorable as anything I have ever read in non-fiction, perhaps even more so.

The definition of the word “Foster” says in part, ‘ To encourage the development of (something, especially something desirable).’

That something in this book is the development of a nurturing, structured and loving environment for damaged children. A place where they can learn to feel safe. A place where they can perhaps learn what it is to trust.

The author and her marvelous family provide a safe haven where children are given the chance to feel loved, for perhaps the first time in their chaotic, disturbing and often dangerously unpredictable lives.

It is a book that caused me to cry, and then laugh through my tears, as the author’s humor surfaces. Moments when all I could do was nod my head and say to myself, ‘Ah, yes.’

In this readers opinion, this book should be ‘Mandatory reading’ for all people intending to foster a child, or already fostering.

The system doesn’t always work the way it is intended to, and so many children slip through the cracks.

I for one am so grateful that people like this author and her family were there to pick up those pieces, and put them back together again with the binding element of love.



 All Books by Jo Ann Wentzel on AMAZON


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13 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: It Begins and Ends with Family. Author Jo Ann Wentzel.

  1. Thanks so much Soooz. So appreciated.

    On Sun, Oct 16, 2016 at 4:18 PM, Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke. wrote:

    > Soooz posted: “Let’s meet the author! For several decades in addition to > other jobs, I wrote. Mainly non -fiction for many online websites and > several in print places. I worked for weekly newspapers. I was involved in > Parenting Today’s Teen in a couple capacit” >

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure, Jo. The book really struck a deep chord in me. I mean it when I said I believe it should be ‘Mandatory Reading’ for any folks either considering Fostering or already doing so. I know too many caring folks who took on this awesome role, thinking the had all the necessary tools to do so. They were totally unprepared for the toll it could take on everyone involved.
      Thank you for writing and sharing.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Jan Hawke INKorporated and commented:
    am re-blogging this interview and review because this book deserves to be read by the widest possible audience. The world we live in today is not a kind one. People like Jo Ann Wentzel and her husband, who give so much to the children who have had the worst of starts in life need and deserve to have their voices and their stories heard, if only to give hope for the future of humankind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jan, thank you. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. So many of the kids I lived with on the streets would have had a future, if more people had reached out and offered them a chance. Just a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sooz – it’s my pleasure and privilege to support Jo Ann and all those wonderful fosterers who help get countless young lives back on track in any way I can. I’m in total awe of the commitment, faith and sheer guts and determination of these wonderful carers. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be able to hack it myself, although I can write about the long-lasting effects of abuse, as my way of contributing to awareness and promotion of rehab routes and solutions.


  4. It takes a great heart to be a foster parent, especially in a developed countries, such as the US. This is something we still enjoy in my native country, Nigeria, where, “It takes the village” to bring up a child. Sad to say, America has a lot to learn from Africa in areas like this.


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