“My dream is to write a book for kids abused just like I was, and that by sharing my horror and shame with them, these children of war will know they are not alone.”
Thus begins Children of War, a book written by Deana Ruggieri and Tom Nelson, the true story of Mike Rodriguez, a young man who chronicles the torture and repercussions of childhood physical and sexual abuse, an inadequate child welfare system, alcoholism, heroin addiction, and multiple incarcerations.
Mike forces us to think about tough contemporary issues, while urging his readers to seek help. Mike’s salvation arrives in the form of a journal and a pen, the means to record the horrors of his lost childhood and to somehow make sense of his place and purpose in the world. In his primitive scrawl, Mike writes not just to save himself but to share his story with young adults in the hope that it will save others like him from a similar fate. Mike’s life purpose was to write Children of War in hopes it would end the struggle for others like him and remarkably, Mike drew to himself the very team of people who would help make that possible.
Mike Rodriguez’s story was featured in two documentary films, Skid Row and Without A Home. As a survivor of child abuse, Mike worked with struggling youth through GROWTH Foundation and the LAPD’s Juvenile Impact Program. Mike also served Skid Row as an outreach worker through the Americorps program to help other addicts off the streets and into treatment.
Children of War provides a therapeutic platform for youth and adults to share their stories in an effort to help themselves heal. Mike teaches the value of putting pen to paper, of journaling to heal, and his technique and story are the center of PEN TO PAPER; a journaling workshop designed for participants in treatment programs.
We’re thrilled to announce the first printing of Children of War: The Mike Rodriguez Story is sold out. A second printing is coming soon. Please contact us if you wish to reserve a copy.
Interview with Deana Ruggieri and Host Beth Lynch from Inner Light Teachings