Frank, E.R. America. New York: Antheneum, 2002.
This book alternates between scenes from "Now" and "Then." Back Then, America lived as a foster child to an older woman, Mrs. Harper. Living with them is a man named Browning who gets America to trust him and then eventually begins to sexually molest him. He has to visit with his mother who is always on "errands", and leaves him alone with his older brothers who are bad kids and teach him how to be bad. He eventually runs away from there and lives on the streets until he is taken in by a drug dealer.
In the chapters that take place Now, America is in a different facility, Ridgeway. Most of the scenes center around his twice-weekly therapy sessions. He is resistant to accepting help during the entire time.
During the book, we see America as a nice little boy and then see how life makes him act badly. In the Now parts, the author makes America a sympathetic character so we are rooting for him throughout, hoping he will come around and get some help.