Endorsements for LOST and FOUND:
"I had heard rumors of Jan Sells' heroic work at King Middle School
in Berkeley during the time my son was a student there. How wonderful
that she's collected all her stories into a book now, letting us look
into the minds and hearts of the troubled teens whose authentic voices
are all too rarely heard. Jan not only lets us hear them, but also
lights the way toward understanding and healing. Everyone who works with
at-risk kids--as well as parents of teens--will find a wealth of
insight and tools for communication in LOST and FOUND: Troubled Teens in
-Barbara Quick, author Vivaldi's Virgins
"Very seldom do we find a person who tells such a revealing story
based on her own life experience in working with at-risk youth. For 20
years, Jan Elise Sells brought her heart to work with her everyday to
help make a difference in the lives of so many young people. With
remarkable insight, expertise, and love, Jan shares the stories of
adolescents being lost, and hopefully found, and for many, guided away
from a life of violence, crime and imprisonment. I am grateful to Jan
not only for doing this work for so many years, but for writing about it
to help educate others. Our youth need our love and compassion now more
-Jarvis Jay Masters, author Finding Freedom and That Bird Has My Wings
"Let's be grateful to Jan Sells for recounting her pioneering work
with troubled teens. A must-read forteachers and parents, this rare and
remarkable book will reward everyone with a teen-ager in their life."
-Joanna Macy, author Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in Without Going Crazy
"These stories of teens are riveting! While filled with painful
portraits of youth in real distress, Jan Sells's unflinching document of
the myriad losses and tragedies of young lives is filled with hope.
Compassion, commitment, and courage on the part of caring adults CAN
bring a lost teen back to a place of inner and outer home. A wise and
loving handbook for any adult who cares about, and cares for, the lives
of young people."
-Betsy Rose, Activist Singer/Songwriter
"Middle school is a crucial age in any teen’s life affecting
self-esteem and often setting the course towards well-being or
self-destruction. Lost and Found provides a valuable map for supporting
young people through the most difficult issues they face. Filled with
real-life stories that engage the reader, the clarity, heartfulness and
wisdom in this book is a treasure for any parent or adult working with
teens. Highly recommended."
-James Baraz, author of Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on
the Road to Real Happiness, co-founding teacher, Spirit Rock Meditation
Center, Woodacre, CA
"As a compassionate and insightful middle school counselor, Jan
Sells helped countless young teens at King Middle School during the
years I was principal there. Her stories will inspire and guide all
those who are striving to counsel or mentor adolescents as they grapple
with the challenges and complexities of their lives.
--Neil Smith, CoSuperintendent, Berkeley Unified School District
"Beautifully told in meticulous detail, these moving stories from the
daily life of a middle school counselor share with us practical tools
for working with the challenging issues teens face. But more than that,
the book gives us a model of hope and inspiration for the possibility of
transforming individuals and society through listening, compassion,
understanding, and love."
-Diana Winston, Director of Mindfulness Education, UCLA's Mindful
Awareness Research Center and the author of Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide
for Teens, and Fully Present: the Science, Art and Practice of
"A moving and insightful book that delivers vivid case studies of vulnerable teens plus the caring, delicate ways that Ms. Sells approaches each young person and their problems. Highly recommended to those who want to bridge the gap between generations."
-Summer Brenner, author of Richmond Tales, Lost Secrets from the Iron Triangle and Oakland Tales, Lost Secrets from the Town
MORE GREAT BOOK REVIEWS
Take a look at the 5-star reviews on Amazon—28 and still counting!! ;D
See page 5 of the March 2013 edition of the East Bay Monthly:
Check out this inspired review by Sunny Solomon at her exciting web site: BookinWithSunny.com
November/December issue of the California Association of Marriage/Family Therapists (CAMFT) journal, The Therapist, has a great ad, page 49, and a wonderful review, page 73. Check out the link, or read it below:
Review by Rachel M. Moore, LMFT, for the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of The Therapist,
magazine of the California Association of Marriage/Family Therapists (CAMFT)
"The stories in this book are love stories." That's how Jan Sells sums up her tale of the years she spent building a counseling program at a middle school in Berkeley, Calif. Sells' book begins with the loss of her father at age 9 and ends with a poignant portrait of leading a group of preteen boys through the grief of losing their fathers. It is clear that Sells loved her job and that the students whose lives she touched loved her, as well.
Lost and Found, an enlightening read for beginning as well as veteran therapists, is divided into several sections. Bullying, sexual abuse, and substance abuse are some of the topics covered. In the bullying section, the author discusses how she created a conflict resolution program at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. The transformations she describes in the relationships between some of the students who participated in the program are nothing short of miraculous.
In the section on substance abuse, Sells shows how nurturing a nonjudgmental relationship with her young clients helped them see their own worth and overcome their destructive behaviors. Although Sells acknowledges there are many students who unfortunately fell through the cracks, her kind and objective approach with the students she did encounter clearly changed the trajectory of many lives over her 20-year career.
This book is written in an easy to read conversational style, and it is hefty at more than 350 pages. Although some of the details seem excessive (it may or may not be helpful to know the color of the furniture in Sells' office or the minute mannerisms of her students, for example), they do offer a vivid look into the life of a dedicated and passionate middle school counselor.
Sells has written a book of power and hope. She advocates supporting adolescents in the service of helping
them find the strength of their own character. King Middle School was lucky to have her, and her work should
be an example to follow for other institutions across the country.