Elliott’s reporting covers eight years in the life of Dasani, the oldest of eight children living with her mother, Chanel, her step-father, Supreme and her seven siblings. We first meet the family when Dasani is eleven. They are all living in a run-down homeless shelter in Brooklyn. Chanel and Supreme are plagued with addiction, poverty and homelessness. However, Dasani is bright, athletic and charismatic and has several opportunities to better herself and her living conditions. Yet in order to do this she must sever the strong ties she has with her family.
Invisible Child is a remarkable piece of nonfiction. Andrea Elliott has presented her readers with an extraordinary but ordinary family who cannot break the cycle of poverty, partly because of their own flaws and partly because of a flawed system.