About this item

Regina’s Calcaterra memoir, Etched in Sand, is an inspiring and triumphant coming-of-age story of tenacity and hope. Regina Calcaterra is a successful lawyer, New York State official, and activist. Her painful early life, however, was quite different. Regina and her four siblings survived an abusive and painful childhood only to find themselves faced with the challenges of the foster-care system and intermittent homelessness in the shadows of Manhattan and the Hamptons. A true-life rags-to-riches story, Etched in Sand chronicles Regina’s rising above her past, while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together through it all. Beautifully written, with heartbreaking honesty, Etched in Sand is an unforgettable reminder that regardless of social status, the American Dream is still within reach for those who have the desire and the determination to succeed.



About the Author

Regina Calcaterra

Regina Calcaterra's memoir Etched in Sand, A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island (HarperCollins Publishing, 2013) is a #1 international best-seller and a New York Times best-seller.  As a result of Etched in Sand's messages of resilience, optimism, the plight of foster children, that no child is a lost cause and how we can all positively impact the life of a child in need, it has been integrated into college and high school curricula throughout the U.S. and been selected for community reads. She is also co-author of Etched in Sand's sequel which she wrote with her younger sister Rosie Maloney, Girl Unbroken, A Sister's Harrowing Journey from the Streets of Long Island to the Farms of Idaho (HarperCollins Publishing, 2016) . Girl Unbroken has also been integrated into college curricula alongside Etched in Sand.

Etched in Sand's and Girl Unbroken's impactful messages include those of resilience, optimism and perseverance; how kind acts can forever impact a child in need; the vital role of the public library system, public education and the public university system on impoverished children; how educators can forever impact transient children; that no child is a lost cause; childhood hunger, poverty, abuse, abandonment & homelessness; the power of sibling bonds; risk of homelessness for young adults aging out of foster care parentless; determination to succeed regardless of social status; and breaking the cycles of addiction, alcoholism, child abuse, homelessness and incarceration.

Calls to Action

Etched in Sand and Girl Unbroken have resulted in readers and those who have heard Regina speak: adopting older foster youth; becoming first time foster parents; changing the rules of a food bank that now allow children to get food without no longer requiring that they be accompanied by a parent; further developing the first program at a Long Island library that provides library cards for the homeless to allow them to access all of the library's resources, although they do not have a permanent address; becoming guardian at litem and CASA members to ensure that every child in foster care has a voice; learning how we can all forever impact the life of a child in need although they may only be before us for a moment in time; and, increasing fundraising goals and/or becoming first time contributors to related community based organizations. Additionally, after learning that foster youth age out of the system parentless, a teen created an annual event called Teens Gotta Believe, where he raises community awareness about the need for adoptive parents for older foster youth and raises funds for You Gotta Believe, a not-for-profit that works towards getting older foster youth forever homes.

Professional Bio

Regina is a partner at the law firm of Wolf Haldenstein where she practices securities litigation and federal civil rights



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