All Alone in the World

Children of the Incarcerated

An award-winning journalist’s “heart wrenching” (The San Antonio Observer) look at children with parents in prison—a Newsweek “Book of the Week” and an East Bay Express bestseller

“An urgent invitation to care for all children as our own.” —Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of Random Family

Winner, 2005 Best Book of the Year, The San Francisco Chronicle
Winner, PASS Award, National Council on Crime and Delinquency

In this “moving condemnation of the U.S. penal system and its effect on families” (Parents’ Press), award-winning journalist Nell Bernstein takes an intimate look at parents and children—over two million of them—torn apart by our current incarceration policy. Described as “meticulously reported and sensitively written” by Salon, the book is “brimming with compelling case studies . . . and recommendations for change” (Orlando Sentinel ); Our Weekly Los Angeles calls it “a must-read for lawmakers as well as for lawbreakers.”


“Powerful. . . . Highly recommended.”
“Well researched and smoothly written. Bernstein’s book pumps up awareness of the problems [and] provides a checklist for what needs to be done.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This is the book we children of prisoners have been waiting for.”
—Chesa Boudin
“An urgent invitation to care for all children as our own.”
—Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of Random Family
“Serious, moving, and well organized . . . this book could help galvanize a national will to tackle such problems.”
Library Journal
“A much-needed voice for those kids serving time right alongside their parents.”
Ruminator Review
“In terms of elegance, breadth and persuasiveness, All Alone in the World deserves to be placed alongside other classics of the genre such as Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities, Alex Kotlowitz’s There Are No Children Here and Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family. But to praise the book’s considerable literary or sociological merit seems beside the point. This book belongs not only on shelves but also in the hands of judges and lawmakers.”
San Francisco Chronicle

News and Reviews

The American Bar Association has awarded Nell Bernstein’s Burning Down the Hous

Books by Nell Bernstein

Burning Down the House
The End of Juvenile Prison

Nell Bernstein

Goodreads Reviews