Book Review – The Gus Chronicles II

Reflections from a Kid Who Has Been Abused

By: Charles D. Appelstein, M.S.W. (and Gus E. Studelmeyer)

About: Sexual & Physical Abuse, Residential Treatment, Foster Care, Family Unification and Much More 

Disclaimer: This book review is my opinion of the book. If you have a different opinion of the book that is great. I know I have loved several movies and books that other reviewers have not liked and disliked movies and books that receive great reviews. I think we all have. If you would like to submit your own review, I may consider posting it. Thanks.

The Gus Chronicles II is a continuation of Gus E. Studelmeyer’s stay at a residential treatment center(RTC).  Gus E. Studelmeyer is a fictional character that is living in a residential treatment center(RTC). The author uses a fictional person to address realistic situations in an RTC, and for the most part does a very good job.

The main character “Gus” is the narrator of the book and tells his story as a resident in an RTC. In this book he is mainly helping a new kid “Jay” adjust to residential care and preparing for his own return home to live with his birth mother.  He also interviews and talks with other characters to get their perspective.  Like the fist book this book is easy reading and presents information with little of the psychological speak. It does a good job of using terminology and phrases common to residential childcare.

I enjoyed this book more than the first, maybe because I can relate to it better.  This book was written in 2002 and more closely reflects the childcare I recognize.  The first book was written in 1994.  I think the books should be read together, but The Gus Chronicles II could easily be read on it’s own.  The few times that it refers to the first book is not critical to understanding this one.

This book seems to have MORE profanity than the first and it has spread to the staff, although that is a reality in many programs today.

I still find Gus the genius – Cheesy and I was especially annoyed by a conversation between Gus and the real author Charles Appelstein about the death of Gus’ best friend, but I am not normally a fiction reader.

I recommend this book to all residential childcare providers.  There seems to be so little to read directly related to houseparents, I think we should read what we can to help us be better at what we do.  And although this book is considered fiction it will give you some good information to help you be a better residential worker. 

You can buy the book from by Clicking here – The Gus Chronicles II