Riding on a train from Baltimore to Atlantic City, New Jersey, a young boy holds an orange cellophane peanut butter cracker wrapper to the light, foreshadowing a change in his future and that of his companions, an older sister and a younger brother. What lies ahead is a challenging journey for the three children whose mother, traveling with them, abandons them at the end of the train ride. A non-fiction biographical memoir, A Dickens of A Life, is a true story highlighting the impact of abandonment and the influence of education and the foster care system. It is an amazing story of survival and personal accomplishment involving the children being separated, at times, as they faced the uncertainty of tomorrow, never knowing whether it would be another moving day into a different home. Told through the eyes of the author, Daniel, the memoir depicts bright and dark moments and his coming of age, rising to become an accomplished educator. The memoir is told, in part, through a collection of personal writings of the author deftly woven into an inspiring narrative as the author and his siblings wrestle with the question of how a mother could abandon her children.