Cyndy Etler

Cyndy  Etler

At 13, Cyndy was homeless. At 14, she was locked up. At 15, she was suicidal. At 30, she was teaching tough teens at an alternative school. Today Cyndy is a bestselling young adult author. Honest and raw, her memoirs bring readers into the life of a kid who will do anything to feel accepted. When she’s not writing, Cyndy is coaching teens. With humor and non-judgement, she helps kids figure out what they most want, and how to get it. Cyndy holds a Master’s degree in Secondary Education and a Bachelor’s degree in English and American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is a Certified Youth Life Coach via Youth Coaching Institute, and a licensed English, Special Education and English as a Second Language teacher. After years of hopscotching across the country, Etler now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and her dogs

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The Dead Inside: A True Story

The Dead Inside: A True Story
Biographical, 9781492635734
Recommended for teens
Recommended to read before TBF

At age fourteen, Cyndy Etler had escaped from her violent home only to be reported as a runaway and sent to a drug rehabilitation facility that changed her world. Behind the closed doors of Straight, Inc., the program used bizarre and intimidating methods to treat its patients. In this memoir, Cyndy recounts the living nightmare that she endured for sixteen months at Straight, Inc.

We Can’t Be Friends: A True Story

We Can’t Be Friends: A True Story
Biographical, 9781492660903
Recommended for teens

I wasn't popular before I got locked up in Straight Inc., the notorious "tough love" program for troubled teens. But when you're psychologically beaten for sixteen months, you start to absorb the lessons. The lessons in Straight were: You are evil. Your peers are evil. Everything is evil except Straight, Inc. Before long, you're a true believer. And when you're finally released, sent back into the world, you crave safety. Crave being back in the warehouse. And if you can't be there, you'd rather be dead. This is the story of my return to my high school. This is the true story of how I didn't die.

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  • I'm a trained boxer.
  • My father was married to the Tootsie Roll heiress before he married my mother. I'm like, a chromosome away from being candy-rich.
  • Animals talk to me, and I understand them.
  • Years after my husband and I built our dream home in North Carolina, I visited the youth homeless shelter in Connecticut where I had stayed 30 years earlier...and realized the two places are almost twins.
  • I spent 17 years teaching struggling teens in alternative and inner city high schools.
  • If I were a superhero I would be Señora Oyente, Lady Listener, with the power to understand what kids are saying in any language they use. I'd heal whatever the kids struggle with, just by listening.
  • If you can only read one of my books before TBF you should read The Dead Inside: A True Story, because it tells the raw, real story of what many kids go through - abuse at home; trying weed to fit in; being forced to OBEY - in other words, the story the system makes sure you don't hear.