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Barbara Davenport has written two books and is at work on a third. Grit and Hope (University of California Press) takes the reader inside Reality Changers, the country’s most effective college readiness program, where 94 percent of its graduates go on to college. Davenport followed Reality Changers over five years, with full access to the program, to founder Christopher Yanov, and to the courageous students whose stories are the heart of this book. Their stories offer an intimate look at the withering prejudice, family problems and academic challenges they must overcome to rise from America’s underclass. In interviews with students, parents, and program staff, she explores what drives students to achieve beyond their expectations, and also examines the costs of their dreams. Portraits of students give a human face to two of the most vexing questions facing the country: immigration and inequality.

The Worst Loss (Henry Holt and Co), written as Barbara Rosof explores parents’ and siblings’ experience when a child dies. It draws on families’ own stories and on groundbreaking research on grieving to examine why families must grieve and what helps them heal. She explains the psychological tasks that parents and siblings face in coming to terms with their loss and charts the course of both acute grief and the long haul of mourning, and she teaches bereaved parents how to help their surviving children.

She practiced psychotherapy for more than two decades, and she’s written for the San Diego Union Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, Stanford Magazine and San Diego alt-weeklies CityBeat and the Reader.

Barbara is a graduate of Bennington College and Simmons College School of Social Work, and holds a certificate in child psychotherapy from the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. She has two adult daughters and she lives in San Diego.