Liz Murray had loving parents but they were addicts who spent their welfare checks on drugs, sometimes leaving Liz and her sister with nothing but ice cubes and toothpaste to eat. When she had a home its filthy backed-up shower meant she couldn’t bathe, so classmates made fun of her rancid smell, grimy appearance and tattered clothes. In first grade she was cutting school to look out for her parents. By 15 she was homeless and on her own. It’s a childhood you would not wish on anybody, but like Jeannette Walls in THE GLASS CASTLE being neglected made her resourceful, and it’s transfixing to read how she coped with a life that’s hard to imagine. It was not a straight path to success, but she ultimately managed to get accepted by Harvard even though she was squeezing four years of high school into two while living on the streets.