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Mommy’s Little Soldier: A troubled child. An absent mom. A shocking secret.

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Casey’s Unit is, as ever, full of troubled, disaffected pupils, and new arrival Leo is something of a conundrum. Thirteen year old Leo isn’t a bad lad – in fact, he’s generally polite and helpful, but he’s in danger of permanent exclusion for repeatedly absconding and unauthorised absences. Despite letters being sent home regularly, his mother never turns up for any appoint Casey’s Unit is, as ever, full of troubled, disaffected pupils, and new arrival Leo is something of a conundrum. Thirteen year old Leo isn’t a bad lad – in fact, he’s generally polite and helpful, but he’s in danger of permanent exclusion for repeatedly absconding and unauthorised absences. Despite letters being sent home regularly, his mother never turns up for any appointments, and when the school calls home she always seems to have an excuse. Though Casey has her hands full, she offers to intervene for a while, to try get Leo engaged in learning again and remaining in school. The head’s sceptical though and warns her that this is Leo’s very last chance. But Casey’s determined, because there’s something about Leo that makes her want to fight his corner, and get to the bottom of whatever it is that compels this enigmatic boy to keep running away. With Leo so resolutely tight-lipped and secretive, Casey knows that if she’s going to keep this child in education, she’s going to have to get to the bottom of it herself…


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Casey’s Unit is, as ever, full of troubled, disaffected pupils, and new arrival Leo is something of a conundrum. Thirteen year old Leo isn’t a bad lad – in fact, he’s generally polite and helpful, but he’s in danger of permanent exclusion for repeatedly absconding and unauthorised absences. Despite letters being sent home regularly, his mother never turns up for any appoint Casey’s Unit is, as ever, full of troubled, disaffected pupils, and new arrival Leo is something of a conundrum. Thirteen year old Leo isn’t a bad lad – in fact, he’s generally polite and helpful, but he’s in danger of permanent exclusion for repeatedly absconding and unauthorised absences. Despite letters being sent home regularly, his mother never turns up for any appointments, and when the school calls home she always seems to have an excuse. Though Casey has her hands full, she offers to intervene for a while, to try get Leo engaged in learning again and remaining in school. The head’s sceptical though and warns her that this is Leo’s very last chance. But Casey’s determined, because there’s something about Leo that makes her want to fight his corner, and get to the bottom of whatever it is that compels this enigmatic boy to keep running away. With Leo so resolutely tight-lipped and secretive, Casey knows that if she’s going to keep this child in education, she’s going to have to get to the bottom of it herself…

30 review for Mommy’s Little Soldier: A troubled child. An absent mom. A shocking secret.

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    Received this as a Goodreads giveaway and was looking forward to reading it. For me it wasn't in depth enough and only skimmed the surface of emotions and behaviours that I know would happen in real life. I also found some of the actions and words used (such as calling everyone love) annoying, this isn't how a professional speaks to their pupils in any circumstance. Received this as a Goodreads giveaway and was looking forward to reading it. For me it wasn't in depth enough and only skimmed the surface of emotions and behaviours that I know would happen in real life. I also found some of the actions and words used (such as calling everyone love) annoying, this isn't how a professional speaks to their pupils in any circumstance.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jazz Nightingale

    This is one of the more tame reads from Casey Watson. Before Casey became a foster carer, she was a behavioural manager in a comprehensive school, teaching children with various issues ranging from learning disabilities to troubles at home. This story centres around Leo, a student new to the Unit who has terrible timekeeping. Casey has a hunch that there's more to Leo's lateness than not owning a watch and dogs deeper into the problem, uncovering a shocking secret. I've read a few of Casey's boo This is one of the more tame reads from Casey Watson. Before Casey became a foster carer, she was a behavioural manager in a comprehensive school, teaching children with various issues ranging from learning disabilities to troubles at home. This story centres around Leo, a student new to the Unit who has terrible timekeeping. Casey has a hunch that there's more to Leo's lateness than not owning a watch and dogs deeper into the problem, uncovering a shocking secret. I've read a few of Casey's books now, my latest two being library books - Thank you Casey Watson for reminding me how much I absolutely LOVE library books- and I've not read one that I didn't love. Or love to hate. The feelings I have for these books are hard to describe due to the nature of each story. I don't love reading about children who have been neglected and abused but I do love reading about how Casey helped them and how much richer their lives became because one woman cared. I highly recommend Casey Watson for any lovers of Cathy Glass. Even if this doesn't seem like your "thing", you should give one a go. You might be surprised. These books pull on your heartstrings start to finish and I've never been able to put one down so far, devouring them each in one sitting.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    A sort of social services mystery at a slow pace. The slowest moving book by this author I’ve read thus far, at points even a bit boring, but also the least predictable one I have read. This particular story also has a lot more of the information that, in the other story’s, I would call minor plots, or bonus information. This book goes more in detail into the author’s life. That may put some readers off. Therefore, this is probably not the best Watson book to start with; you need to be familiar A sort of social services mystery at a slow pace. The slowest moving book by this author I’ve read thus far, at points even a bit boring, but also the least predictable one I have read. This particular story also has a lot more of the information that, in the other story’s, I would call minor plots, or bonus information. This book goes more in detail into the author’s life. That may put some readers off. Therefore, this is probably not the best Watson book to start with; you need to be familiar enough with the “family characters” to care enough to get through the book. I picked up a stack of Casey Watson books during a bought of illness. Needing something to occupy my thoughts, but not demand undue energy, or detour rest. Not my usual genre, these social-care mystery dramas, were an odd choice for me. I’d relate them to lifetime movies, with a slower pace and narration. However, they fit my purpose well, and filled the restless silence. A purpose not without value.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty Bookworm86

    Review for 'Mummy's Little Soldier' by Casey Watson. This is the sad story of how Leo came to end up in 'The Unit' that Casey used to work in before fostering. 'The Unit' is based in the school and is for children with a range of difficulties from learning difficulties to disabilities and in Leo's case challenging behaviour. This book also speaks about some of the other children in 'The Unit' at the same time. I must say I certainly was not expecting the 'secret' that came out and won't say much Review for 'Mummy's Little Soldier' by Casey Watson. This is the sad story of how Leo came to end up in 'The Unit' that Casey used to work in before fostering. 'The Unit' is based in the school and is for children with a range of difficulties from learning difficulties to disabilities and in Leo's case challenging behaviour. This book also speaks about some of the other children in 'The Unit' at the same time. I must say I certainly was not expecting the 'secret' that came out and won't say much here as not to spoil it for readers who want to read it. However I will say how it made me realise how judgemental people can be and not to judge a book by its cover so to say. I love the fact that Casey also includes what later happened to the children later on in life. I have yet to come across a book that she has written that I have not enjoyed reading even though every one has been written due to difficult times for children. I rated this 5/5 on Goodreads and Amazon.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marc Clegg

    another brilliant casey watson book!!! mummys little soldier is based before she was a foster carer so was good to get an insight into the unit that she worked on before fostering. really enjoyed this book and just gos to show that not everything that appears black and white is as simple.i wish teachers at my school had taken as much trouble as casey did to find out what was going off in my home life. another smasher from casey!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Deters

    Technically, I would give this book 3.5/5!stars—I thought it had a good storyline and message. Though, I did find it a bit slow to start. The storyline followed a decent amount of characters, but I never forgot who was who. A good reminder that everything is not always as it seems—especially when you only have a glimpse into the situation via a kiddo! Definitely recommend this read to teachers and other folks in the school system.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ellie Grace

    I found it really hard to get into this book- the beginning I found was very tedious and boring as it was just Casey talking about the unit and her teaching and day to day life in the unit and nothing else was really happening. Even with Leo introduced into the book I still found it very slow moving and anti-climactic in my opinion and I probably wouldn't read it again. I found it really hard to get into this book- the beginning I found was very tedious and boring as it was just Casey talking about the unit and her teaching and day to day life in the unit and nothing else was really happening. Even with Leo introduced into the book I still found it very slow moving and anti-climactic in my opinion and I probably wouldn't read it again.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    A happy ending This was my first full length Casey Watson book and I loved it! The stories of the kids are sad but these had reasonably happy endings. I'm going to have to try another to see if they all end that way. A happy ending This was my first full length Casey Watson book and I loved it! The stories of the kids are sad but these had reasonably happy endings. I'm going to have to try another to see if they all end that way.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    What a great read started out a very troubled boy with a whole lot of issues to deal with had a very happy ending

  10. 4 out of 5

    donna grant

    Another great read. I enjoyed this book as much as I have done the others. Casey really let's me into get life with her books. Keep up the good work. Another great read. I enjoyed this book as much as I have done the others. Casey really let's me into get life with her books. Keep up the good work.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Always enjoy Casey's books - this one goes back to her teaching career and was really quite interesting. Always enjoy Casey's books - this one goes back to her teaching career and was really quite interesting.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeanine

    Loved it..

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    Very good

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I really enjoyed this book and glad for a pleasant ending :) I'm realizing these books are good for giving vent to all of my pent up motherly urges lol or perhaps they just stir them on :) I really enjoyed this book and glad for a pleasant ending :) I'm realizing these books are good for giving vent to all of my pent up motherly urges lol or perhaps they just stir them on :)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

    Written when Casey was working in a school not as a foster parent.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Queen

    Unlike Mummy's Little Helper, the motivations behind this situation came as a complete surprise. Mrs. Watson shared her insights and built up the suspense in such a way that the reader went through the same journey as she did in order to discover what was happening with a child who seemed to have a good heart but was showing signs of trouble. It's always amazing how it takes so long for people to notice, to truly pay attention, and to do something about it. Thank goodness Mrs. Watson had a Unit Unlike Mummy's Little Helper, the motivations behind this situation came as a complete surprise. Mrs. Watson shared her insights and built up the suspense in such a way that the reader went through the same journey as she did in order to discover what was happening with a child who seemed to have a good heart but was showing signs of trouble. It's always amazing how it takes so long for people to notice, to truly pay attention, and to do something about it. Thank goodness Mrs. Watson had a Unit where she could truly get to know students who were struggling and reach the heart of the problem, unlike most teachers barely managing academics in a classroom of thirty pupils. I read this in the summer and found it ironic that I was exploring teacher drama on my time off from real life teacher drama! I relate to Mrs. Watson as a role model for myself, not only as an educator, but also as a parent. Here's some of my favorite quotes. When you're a mum and you start the day by having words with your teenage children, you spend the rest of it feeling miserable, even if you're in the right. 1 If you didn't start the school year full of optimism and energy, there was a fair chance you'd be burnt out by Christmas. 4 There came a time when you just had to trust your kids to do the right thing; trust that you'd brought them up to be independent enough to look after themselves. 14 She captures the essence of teacher-hood masterfully: "You know how women forget the pain of labour the minute it's all over? Well, that's sort of what it's like working in a school much of the time. And why, to my mind, the school year is arranged as it is--so that the teachers can have regular breaks. Half a term, more or less, is around six weeks in length--just about the maximum length of time in which you can expect relative harmony. Any more than that and the teachers--not to mention the pupils--are frazzled and badly in need of some time off. And it's a break that has magical powers. Because whatever traumas and dramas have developed over the term, every time you return it's as if they've been spirited away, and you invariably see things with rose-tinted glasses." pg. 41 As with so much in education, motivation and determination were powerful forces for good. 113 Life was all about change, always; that was the thing. About changing circumstances, and our ability to adapt to those changes was probably one of the better ways we had of predicting how well we'd cope and how happy we'd be in life. 120 When a kid was just shouting for reasons of being defiant, authority was a dish best served calm and slow. 179

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    This is an absorbing true story of a boy at breaking point and whose behaviour is threatening expulsion from school – until his problem is identified and help is at hand. When thirteen-year-old Leo joins Casey’s small unit in mainstream education he is prone to outbursts of anger, unauthorised absences and to bad timekeeping in getting to school in the mornings and after home lunches. He is otherwise a likeable and helpful boy. Letters home are ignored and his mother avoids all efforts to get her This is an absorbing true story of a boy at breaking point and whose behaviour is threatening expulsion from school – until his problem is identified and help is at hand. When thirteen-year-old Leo joins Casey’s small unit in mainstream education he is prone to outbursts of anger, unauthorised absences and to bad timekeeping in getting to school in the mornings and after home lunches. He is otherwise a likeable and helpful boy. Letters home are ignored and his mother avoids all efforts to get her to visit school to discuss Leo’s problems. Leo is secretive, defensive and is on his very last chance when matters come to a head and once again he absconds from school. Casey is determined to get to the bottom of what is troubling Leo so profoundly and decides to take the bull by the horns and pay a visit to his home. What she discovers changes Leo’s life beyond his wildest imagination. Casey Watson’s storytelling is involving and interesting and I loved the way she built up a trusting relationship with her pupils. Despite this, Leo would not address what was happening at home and with stubborn determination carried on living the life he was so used to. I liked the way she included the stories of her other pupils, classmates of Leo’s and I particularly liked the way Casey updated their stories in the Epilogue. It made me feel warm and happy and completed my enjoyment of the story. I would like to thank Lovereading and Harper Element for sending me as copy of ‘‘Mummy’s Little Soldier: A troubled child. An absent mum. A shocking secret.’’ by Casey Watson’ sent out to me in return for an honest review. I really enjoyed this true story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Kendall

    I received this book as part of good reads giveaways. Casey Watson is a Sunday Times best selling author. The book is set in a secondary school and focuses on 5 children who have been referred to the behaviour management unit of which Casey Watson is manager. Corey has a personality disorder and is in foster care, Darryl is on the autistic spectrum, Carl has mild learning difficulties an itchy head and a Mother I could quite happily slap, Ria has a personal struggle that is impacting on her schoo I received this book as part of good reads giveaways. Casey Watson is a Sunday Times best selling author. The book is set in a secondary school and focuses on 5 children who have been referred to the behaviour management unit of which Casey Watson is manager. Corey has a personality disorder and is in foster care, Darryl is on the autistic spectrum, Carl has mild learning difficulties an itchy head and a Mother I could quite happily slap, Ria has a personal struggle that is impacting on her school life and the books main focus is on Leo. Working alongside her work colleague Gary, a child protection officer, they try to fathom out why Leo's behaviour is the way it is, whilst trying to find out what is going on at home. Where is the elusive Mrs Felton, Leo"s Mum? Is Leo being neglected? Why does he need anger management sessions? If you have ever wanted to be a fly on the wall of a behaviour management unit of a school then this is the book for you. I enjoyed this book . I'm new to goodreads but I know they are keen for any giveaway books to be passed on. I'm not sure how you go about it but my copy is here for anyone who is interested. Thank you to Harper Collins for posting me this copy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Aveen

    I enjoyed this book, although I prefer Casey's stories about her Fostering experience, I have enjoyed the books about the children she taught in the behaviour modification program or "the unit" in the school she worked. I like the fact there are a number of different children whose stories we follow, even though the story mainly focuses on one. I had guessed the main twist in the story before it happened but it was still interestin to read and I also love reading the epilogue at the end, to see I enjoyed this book, although I prefer Casey's stories about her Fostering experience, I have enjoyed the books about the children she taught in the behaviour modification program or "the unit" in the school she worked. I like the fact there are a number of different children whose stories we follow, even though the story mainly focuses on one. I had guessed the main twist in the story before it happened but it was still interestin to read and I also love reading the epilogue at the end, to see what became of the children in the years that followed

  20. 5 out of 5

    Priscilla Stubbs

    This was an interesting read, and an insight into the problems that many children have to face. Leo's story was fascinating although quite early on I realised what the main problem was, having to care for his disabled mother, being afraid of being taken into care and coping with schoolwork. I am sure this is an all too familiar story. There was a satisfactory to the end of the story. I see that Casey Watson has written other similar stories and I would love to read them to. This was an interesting read, and an insight into the problems that many children have to face. Leo's story was fascinating although quite early on I realised what the main problem was, having to care for his disabled mother, being afraid of being taken into care and coping with schoolwork. I am sure this is an all too familiar story. There was a satisfactory to the end of the story. I see that Casey Watson has written other similar stories and I would love to read them to.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway. This is the first Casey Watson book, that I have read, but I am sure it won't be the last. I enjoyed reading this book and I was gripped from the very first page until the last. I thought it was very interesting and the insights into children's behaviour, very useful. I loved the way that Casey writes with such empathy and compassion for the children in her care. I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway. This is the first Casey Watson book, that I have read, but I am sure it won't be the last. I enjoyed reading this book and I was gripped from the very first page until the last. I thought it was very interesting and the insights into children's behaviour, very useful. I loved the way that Casey writes with such empathy and compassion for the children in her care.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Here Casey is a special Ed teacher with her own classroom of the most difficult kids. The story focuses on a boy whose biggest problem is truancy. But there's also a shoplifting issue and a little anger management. And a largely absent mother. Neglect? A bad kid? What I love about these books is watching how Casey gets to the bottom of things. She's very astute. And persistent. Here Casey is a special Ed teacher with her own classroom of the most difficult kids. The story focuses on a boy whose biggest problem is truancy. But there's also a shoplifting issue and a little anger management. And a largely absent mother. Neglect? A bad kid? What I love about these books is watching how Casey gets to the bottom of things. She's very astute. And persistent.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maureen H

    A compelling read Excellent read, as always with Casey's books. I could not put it down. It beggars belief how selfish Some parents are. Always heart warming to know there are people like Casey around. Would definitely recommend this book to friends and family. A compelling read Excellent read, as always with Casey's books. I could not put it down. It beggars belief how selfish Some parents are. Always heart warming to know there are people like Casey around. Would definitely recommend this book to friends and family.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Jacobs

    This book had me hooked from beginning to end, It gives a great insight to problems that some children face, without losing the storyline to the reader. It is very well written and the first Casey Watson book that I have read. I will now be looking to read more, as this was just my type of book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Claire louise Hopkins

    Absolutely loved this book from start to finish.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    This was an enjoyable read, took a while for me to get into it, as it did not get going as a must read page turner till later, however the style and characters were good.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mrs A Foster

    Inspirational Another brilliant book by Casey - well worth the read - plus you get to hear about their endings x

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gayle

    Another fantastic read like all of Casey Watson's books . love them all Another fantastic read like all of Casey Watson's books . love them all

  29. 4 out of 5

    Asha Greye

    A very interesting book that kept guessing right up to the end.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gayle

    another fantastic read of Casey Watson

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