Etched in Sand

Etched in Sand

A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived An Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island

Book - 2013 | 1st ed. --
Average Rating:
Rate this:

#1 International Bestseller

Regina's Calcaterra memoir, Etched in Sand, is an inspiring and triumphant coming-of-age story of tenacity and hope.

Regina Calcaterra is a successful lawyer, former New York State official, and foster youth activist. Her painful early life, however, was quite different. Regina and her four siblings survived an abusive and painful childhood only to find themselves faced with the challenges of the foster-care system and intermittent homelessness in the shadows of Manhattan and the Hamptons.

A true-life rags-to-riches story, Etched in Sand chronicles Regina's rising above her past, while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together through it all.

Beautifully written, with heartbreaking honesty, Etched in Sand is an unforgettable reminder that regardless of social status, the American Dream is still within reach for those who have the desire and the determination to succeed.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2013.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780062218834
Branch Call Number: 362.73309747 Calca
Characteristics: 306 p. ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 05, 2017

Cookie, is a Monster who tortured and abused her children time and time again; they were in and out of foster homes - some of which were horrific experiences. Children who become wards of the state enter a world of unknowns: they have little to no control over who will care for their welfare. Fortunately, most youths survive their time and emerge successfully. However, there are many who suffer within the system. My experience with Children's Aid is that the administrators are reluctant to accept as truth any complaint from the child: "you cannot believe everything they say -- they are probably looking for attention/sympathy." This attitude was clearly portrayed in "Etched in Sand". The psychopathic mother was a mentally unstable con artist who consistently convinced the authorities that her children - and especially Regina - were truly delinquent children.
The courage and determination shown by these five siblings resulted in their owning their destinies that, without their will to survive, might well have fallen through the cracks.

I have indicated age suitability of 13 and over. For any young people suffering from abuse - either within or outside of the system, it is an inspiring book that might provide them with the belief that they also can overcome obstacles and win.

Apr 15, 2017

A disturbing story but the author overcomes her childhood and succeeds to make her life a success. Hard to believe how horrible this mother was and the inept system that allowed these children to grow up in such neglect.

ArapahoeKati Sep 24, 2016

I just finished this and I can't get it out of my mind. Definitely a downer but it's hard to stop reading once you start because you are desperate to know if everything turns out okay for this family.

Meishi Feb 14, 2015

Hauthingly beautiful

d2013 Sep 08, 2014

Even though she and her siblings endured years of neglect, abuse and homelessness she triumphed against all odds. A book I could not put down.

dollfacecrafter Nov 06, 2013

heartbreaking story of horrible abuse and neglect that the author and her siblings had to endure.

Sep 06, 2013

Very interesting book. But hard to read as the events depicted were harsh and made me oh so sad.

Regina Calcaterra describes the abuse she suffered as a child by her mother and by some of the foster families. She triumped in spite of that.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Aug 05, 2017

Eil_1 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top