White Bar
"You are every bit as good as everyone else, but not one bit better."
-Eldred Lee

Grover L. Wray
Sociology and Social Work Department Chair / Faculty
Ricks 132C,  Rexburg, ID 83460

Phone: (208) 496-1576

Fax: (208) 496-5576

Email: wrayg@byui.edu



Personal Social Work Links

Some Facts on Poverty
Prevention of Child Abuse
NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill)


External Social Work Links


 National Association of School Workers
School Violence


 Drug Use
 Social Work Resources
 Social Work History


Recommended Book List

The Other Side of the River : A Story of Two Towns, a Death, and America's Dilemma
by Alex Kotlowitz

Editorial Review by: School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up-The true story of two cities in Southern Michigan (one white, the other black) separated by a river. When the body of a youth from the black town is found floating in the river, the uproar that surrounds his mysterious death exposes the gaping racial divide that haunts our nation.

There Are No Children Here : The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in The Other America
by Alex Kotlowitz

Editorial Review by:  Publishers Weekly
The devastating story of brothers Lafayette and Pharoah Rivers, children of the Chicago ghetto, is powerfully told here by Kotlowitz, a Wall Street Journal reporter who first met the boys in 1985 when they were 10 and seven, respectively. Their family includes a mother, a frequently absent father, an older brother and younger triplets. We witness the horrors of growing up in an ill-maintained housing project tyrannized by drug gangs and where murders and shootings frequently occur. Lafayette... read more --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago
by LeAlan Jones

Editorial Review:  by Amazon.com
Our America is a no-holds-barred look at the devastatingly poor Chicago neighborhood in which they live. It's a world where elementary school students learn about sex and drugs before they learn how to read, and where many boys do not expect to live to be 20. You finish the book marveling not that so many of those who people it are trapped, but wondering that anyone survives at all.

by Mitchell Duneier

Editorial Review:  Publishers Weekly
Investigating the complex social ecology of a three-block span of New York's Greenwich Village (a neighborhood that helped shape pioneering urban critic Jane Jacobs's thinking on the structure of cities), Duneier offers a vibrant portrait of a community in the shadows of public life. A white, middle-class sociologist whose Slim's Table won plaudits for its nuanced portrait of urban black men, Duneier infiltrated a stretch of lower Sixth Avenue frequented by scavengers, panhandlers and vendors

The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family
by Dave Pelzer

Editorial Review by:  Ingram
"The Lost Boy" is the harrowing but ultimately uplifting true story of a boy's journey through the foster-care system in search of a family to love. This is Dave Pelzer's long-awaited sequel to "A Child Called "It". The Lost Boy" is Pelzer's story--a moving sequel and inspirational read for all.

A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness
by Dave Pelzer

Editorial Review by: Amazon.com
Pelzer has been commended by several U.S. presidents and international agencies, and his previous memoirs of growing up as an abused child (A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy) have touched thousands of lives. He provides living proof that we can "stop the cycle" and lead fulfilling, rewarding lives full of healthy relationships. Ultimately triumphant, this book will have you living through the eyes of a terrified child, a struggling young man, and an adult finally forgiving his dying father--reading with tissues nearby is recommended. Ending with a touching conversation between the author and his own son, you'll finish reading this with a warm heart and an enriched understanding of the need for compassion in all parts of life.

Help Yourself: Finding Hope, Courage, and Happiness
by Dave Pelzer

Editorial Review by:  Book Description
As nearly four million readers have learned from his three previous books, Dave Pelzer doesn't believe in feeling sorry for himself. Abused mercilessly by his mother as a child, Dave has taken everything that happened to him and turned it into something positive so that he can help others. Now happily married and with a child of his own, he celebrates the twin pillars of strength that saw him through his darkest hours: resilience and gratitude. And he shows how anyone can tap into these virtues to live a better and more fulfilling life.

The Privilege of Youth: A Teenager's Story of Longing for Acceptance and Friendship
by Dave Pelzer

Editorial Review by:  Book Description
The #1 New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author who is a shining example of what overcoming adversity really means now shares the final stage of his uplifting journey that has touched the lives of millions.

A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive
by Dave Pelzer

Editorial Review by: Amazon.com
David J. Pelzer's mother, Catherine Roerva, was, he writes in this ghastly, fascinating memoir, a devoted den mother to the Cub Scouts in her care, and somewhat nurturant to her children--but not to David, whom she referred to as "an It." This book is a brief, horrifying account of the bizarre tortures she inflicted on him, told from the point of view of the author as a young boy being starved, stabbed, smashed face-first into mirrors, forced to eat the contents of his sibling's diapers and a spoonful of ammonia, and burned over a gas stove by a maniacal, alcoholic mom.

Hardball: A Season in the Projects
by Daniel Coyle

Editorial Review by:  Publishers Weekly
More a sociological study than a book about sandlot baseball, Coyle, senior editor of Outside magazine, takes us inside Cabrini-Green, the nation's second-largest housing project in one of Chicago's most crime-ridden neighborhoods. We enter a society whose pecking order is determined by guns and crack and where status is marked by Air Jordans. The Near North Little League/African-American Youth League came into being because of the efforts of white Bob Muzikowski, a former drug addict turned Christian insurance executive, and African American Al Carter, who worked for the city's Department of Human Services. Between them a sometimes cool political alliance existed as they strived to help the project's 8- to 12-year-olds.

Coyotes: A Journey Through the Secret World of America's Illegal Aliens
by Ted Conover

Editorial Review by:  School Library Journal
The title refers to the name given to those people who smuggle illegal aliens into the United States. Conover lived among the people who pay `"coyotes"' enormous sums of money to be brought into this country secretly under conditions that are full of physical threat. The most touching part of the book is the description of Conover's visit to Ahua catlan, the province from which many of the men he has met come. Here he witnesses what has happened to the families left behind.

Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women
by Elliot Liebow

Editorial Review by:  Publishers Weekly
Skillfully blending a social scientist's objectivity with humanitarian concern, he observes women who live in a variety of shelters near Washington, D.C.--how they interact with one another, family and shelter staff; pass their days; and struggle to retain their dignity in the face of rejection by society. Liebow maintains that homelessness is a Catch-22, with few ways out; that homeless women are remarkably supportive of one another; that shelter workers are often dedicated.

It's the Little Things: Everyday Interactions That Anger, Annoy, and Divide the Races
by Lena Williams

Editorial Review by:  Megan
As a nation, I think we are all a little bit too serious sometimes. This book was a great read. I really don't think Ms. Williams was attempting to speak for every black person and condemn every white person. She was (in my mind at least) simply shedding a little light into her perception of the encounters she has with the people around her. If this book makes you think about your actions and increases your ability to have meaningful relationships with other people, what is the harm?

Days In The Lives Of Social Workers: 50 Professionals Tell "Real-Life" Stories From Social Work Practice
by Linda May Grobman

Editorial Review by:  the Back Cover
You will observe social work practice in the following settings and roles: community and inpatient mental health, inner-city and rural schools, prisons, adventure-based therapy, private practice, HIV/AIDS, public health, administration, hospitals, the military, managed care, residential treatment centers for adolescents, hospice, homeless outreach, college counseling centers, public child welfare, nursing homes, international social work, public policy, community organizing, youth centers, and many more.

Home Town
by Tracy Kidder

Editorial Review by:  School Library Journal
Kidder presents a masterful guided tour of Northampton, MA, which dates back to the Puritans and then became a mill town during the Northeast's industrial boom. It suffered from urban blight during the blossoming of suburbia, but has recently managed a high-end renaissance. The author's goal is to show readers the community through the eyes of its citizens, particularly a young, straight-arrow police officer who sees not only the plush Northampton of yuppies and Smith College professors, but also the projects.

White Men On Race

By Joe Fegan & Eileen O'Brien


Editorial Review by: Inside Flap

Based on the reveling and provocative testimonies of about one hundred upper income white men, White men on Race shows how these men see racial "others," how they see white America, how they view racial conflicts, and what they expect for the country's future.  Covering a range of topics, from how they first encountered black Americans to views on blacks today, interracial dating, affirmative action, current immigration, crime, and intervening in discriminatory situations, their views enlighten us on the racial perspectives of the country's twenty-first century white male elites.



By Stephen O'Connor


A powerful blend of history, biography, and adventure, Orphan Trains fills a grevious gap in the American narrative.  This dramatic book tells of a little known but enormously influential child welfare effort: the orphan trains, which between 154 and 1929 spirited away some 250,000 abandoned children to the homes of families in the Midwest and West Combining the accounts of orphans -including those of surviving orphans who took the last train out - and the biography of an indefatigable crusader for children, Stephen O'Connor at last does this history justice.


Life Without Father

By David Popenoe


The American family is changing,.  Divorces, single parents, and step-families are redefining the way we live together and raise our children. Is this a change for the worse?  David Popenoe sets out the case for fatherhood and the two parent family as the best arrangement for ensuring the well-being and future development of children.  His argument has two critical assumptions, which he supports with evidence from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, biology, and history.  The first is that children flourish best when raised by a father and a mother with their differing psychological and behavioral traits.  The second is that marriage, which serves to hold fathers to the mother-child bond, is an institution we must strengthen if the decline of fatherhood is to be reversed.


Worlds Apart: Social Inequalities in a New Century

By Scott Senau


"..the only text for undergraduates that provides a framework for analyzing inequality within U.S. society as well as the relationship between global stratification systems and internal systems of social difference.  Places each issue and dimension of inequality in the context of  a changing global economy.


Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions

by James W. Pennebaker, PhD


Psychologist James W. Pennebaker has conducted controlled clinical research that sheds new light on the powerful mind-body connection.  This book interweaves his findings with insightful case studies on secret-keeping, confession, and the hidden price of silence.  Filled with information and encouragement , Opening Up explains: * How writing about you problems can improve your health * How long-buried trauma affects the immune system * Why it's never too late to heal old emotional wounds * When self-disclosure may be risky- and how to know who to trust.




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