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Portrait softcover book 5.5x8.5 in the hands of a woman on the light blue blanket_GBS Cove

Garbage Bag Suitcase

Garbage Bag Suitcase is the true story of Shenandoah Chefalo’s wholly dysfunctional journey through a childhood with neglectful, drug-and alcohol addicted parents. She endured numerous moves in the middle of the night with just minutes to pack, multiple changes in schools, hunger, cruelty, and loneliness.


Garbage Bag Suitcase is not only the inspiring and hair-raising story of one woman’s journey to overcome her desolate childhood, but it also presents grass-root solutions on how to revamp the broken foster care system.

What People Are Saying

“While it is a story of one small child falling through every conceivable crack, it represents countless children across our country.”

Susan R

“I would highly recommend this book to anyone working with youth, those who know of children in the foster care system and anyone who has ever loved a child.”

Lin B

“You will never see foster care the same way after reading this book. This is a must read for teachers and care givers of all varieties.”

Barbara C

Client Photo.webp

Meet Shen

Plagued and embarrassed by her name (a humiliation enhanced by a nomadic childhood that made it impossible to build lasting relationships), Shenandoah Chefalo developed a tough skin at an early age. Along the way, she learned to deal with disappointment, push through discomfort, overcome adversity, and accurately gauge people, qualities that have helped her to succeed.


  • 2017 - DAR Women in American History Award

  • 2017 - Best Non-Fiction Ebook from IPPY Awards

  • 2017 - Midwest Book Awards, Winner for Best Non-Fiction in Social Science, Political Science & Culture

  • 2017 - Independent Publisher Awards, Winner for Best Non - Fiction, Personal E-Book

  • 2016 - Winner of the DAR Women of the Arts Recognition Award

  • 2016 - Pinnacle Awards-Best Memoir

  • 2016-  Beverly Hills Book Awards Best Regional Memoir

  • 2016 - Winner, Readers Choice Memoir

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