• Cruel to Be Kind

  • Saying No Can Save a Child's Life
  • By: Cathy Glass
  • Narrated by: DeNica Fairman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (224 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Cruel to Be Kind is the true story of Max, age six. He is fostered by Cathy while his mother is in hospital with complications from type 2 diabetes.

Fostering Max gets off to a bad start when his mother, Caz, complains and threatens Cathy even before Max has moved in. Cathy and her family are shocked when they first meet Max. But his social worker isn't the only one in denial; his whole family are, too.

©2017 Cathy Glass (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Cruel to Be Kind

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simple interesting. honest.

The performance was fabulous. The story is interesting. it's a good read that will tug at your heart. very enlightening about obesity and fostering children.

2 people found this helpful

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A++

Cathy Glass is an inspiration. She is a miracle worked in the life of these kids and alot of time the parents of the kids she cares for. I never expected this story to end like it did but sad as it was the kids were and will be okay thanks to her and other kind ppl like her.

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Excellent and very timely

Another excellent book by Cathy Glass!

It's a very well-written and timely story about a little boy who is morbidly obese and his family. Max comes to live with Cathy and her family when his mother is hospitalized with complications from type II diabetes. Cathy's fostering of Max gets off to a bad start when she receives a threatening phone call from Max's mother before his arrival. No one mentions Max's obesity, and Cathy and her family are understandably shocked when they meet Max for the first time. The social worker refuses to acknowlege it, and when Cathy proposes small changes, she's told to leave things as they are. It's not until he has a medical appointment as part of the precess of coming into care, that Cathy is given the go ahead to help Max to begin to lose weight and thus live a more normal life- something he wants for himself.

As the story progresses, the rest of the family gradually warms to Cathy and accepts what she's doing for Max. His three sisters, who also struggle with obesity, also try the program Max is using.

As the book goes on, we learn about Max's mother's terrible childhood and come to understand why she's the way she is -- angry, distant, and we learn why she withholds affection from her children. I found myself liking her and Max's three sisters and cheering them on.

As with many of the books Cathy Glass has written, this one will stay with me for a long time. Sadly, childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions here in the U.S. as well. Thank you for sharing Max's story with us, ands always telling it so well.

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Good foster care story with gripping tale

Cathy Glass tells of a challenging foster care story in England. She takes on an intellectual young boy who is obese and has a mother resistant to changing his situation. The troubles of the family interfere with Cathy's attempts to help the boy in many ways. An interesting riveting read. Recommended.

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Cathy Glass perfection!

Sometime asked me today who my favorite author was and I said Cathy class hands down this one was a really great story.. it kept me engaged the whole time you will enjoy!

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Overweight Is A Special Need

I felt sorry for the family. I noted that for people with complications from being overweight it is a special need. There is a need to recognize this disease and provide for it in the same no fault way we treat other illnesses. We need to have wheel chairs and scooters and even generous sized seating on all public transportation, flights, trains, buses, waiting rooms. As usual I loved the book from what I learned about helping children and people.

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Love cathy glass books

Can’t get enough of her books it is like I was living with her in her foster home great books

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So touching

This book is filled with love, heartbreak & life lessons..that hit a little close to home

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Well Done Cathy

I’ve read all but 3 of Cathy Glass’s novels about her fostering experiences. This is one of the best stories yet.

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As always very entertaining

I love cathy glass and her books. It is always amazing to see the journey she foes thru with her foster kids. This is one of the stories I'm happy to know ends so well.

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  • MissD
  • 06-26-19

A bit boring compared to others.

Read about 7 Cathy Glass books now and this one is probably my least favourite. Not much of a story compared to the others I’ve read. Seems like it’s concentrated more on the stress foster carers and social workers are under, rather than a story surrounding a child. Fast forwarded an entire chapter because all it discussed was foster care vs social work. Wouldn’t recommend.

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  • anna abimbola
  • 02-22-18

Heartwarming

This story was heartwarming and tragic the little boy growing up to be this grown man made me a cry

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-25-22

Cathy glass always fantastic

Always love reading Cathy glass books this hasn’t disappointed at all. Always nice to go on her website to see what happened to children in books.

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  • Kirsty Thomas
  • 07-02-22

a sad and bittersweet story.

a brilliant book although incredibly sad. I love that Max got to go to Uni but it was so bittersweet. I wish his mum had lived to see that.

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  • Linda Keller
  • 04-16-22

predictable

a sanitary view on fostering, focus on obesity over trauma? a fictional story poor reading for a real foster parent.

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  • Jodie-Louise
  • 03-10-22

Incredible read

Absolutely the most amazing woman I’ve ever heard of is you Cathy! You are amazing at what you do to make a change to someone’s life! Such a kind caring women!

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  • Reeree
  • 01-22-22

amazing story

hooked from the beginning didnt want to stop reading . tuff love is always the winner

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  • Sally
  • 07-13-21

apt for today's society

the story of Max is heart warming, sad, emotional, encouraging and moving. a story that in today's society of rampant childhood obesity is a good one to be told. the tragic consequences of generations passing on a legacy of obesity and hurting their children without fully accepting it and the fight others do to help and intervene. well done Cathy and we'll done Max, you are probably a professor somewhere considering you went to Cambridge and I hope you're living living life to the fullest, and been maybe able to teach your own children or niece's and nephews how to ride a bike 😉

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  • Kayleigh lumsden
  • 02-28-21

love xx

love all ur books and this is one of my favourites sad but lovely xx

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-13-21

I enjoyed

I like the narrator, and the the story as the same as Cathy's other books, beautifully written. Not as horrifying as her other stories, this one is a lot more tame.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-14-20

Love these books

The only downside is that the reader has such a beautiful soothing voice I was so relaxed I fell asleep. But I love Cathy's work.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-02-20

such a great listen

love cathys books, working my way through them from start to finish and really enjoying each and everyone