"The Kid" by Sapphire


TITLE: The Kid

AUTHOR: Sapphire

PUBLISHER: Penguin Books

PUBLISHED DATE: June 26, 2012

ISBN: 978-0143121206

PAGES: 400

Chyle...this book.

I'm all in my feelings about this book. It's definitely a hard read. I dare say even harder than the first book, Push. I wanted to put it down at times, but I persevered because for so many young people, not just in inner cities, but around the world - this is life. If people are surviving this everyday, I can read it. I won't allow myself to ignore or silence the voices of people who are hurting, and so I pushed myself to finish this book just like I had to push myself to finish Push when I read it some five years ago or so.

This book is the long awaited sequel to Sapphire's first novel, that was made into a blockbuster movie, Precious. This story follows Precious' son, Abdul through the foster care system - and what an indictment. If Push called out the ills of the school and social services system, it doubled down in this book. Because you are in Abdul's mind, and he is often jumbled up, confused, disassociating, and trying to recreate his history and identity in order to feel normal. There were times when I was confused and trying to figure out what's going on. Unfortunately, many children who end up with negligent parents, no relatives, and end up wards of the state, probably feel exactly the same way. You'll read as Abdul morphs from victim to predator, as he tries to piece together a life through dance, and learns the horrific history of his family. This book comes with a significant trigger warning. There will be parts of this book that are hard to stomach, and may leave the faint of heart with the inability to sleep at night.

Recommendation: If you work with youths in the foster care system, this should be required.

Audience: I honestly don't know what to put here. The subject matter is very disturbing, but this book is about a teen. The publisher, and almost anywhere you go would classify this as an adult book, but I think for teens who find themselves in the situations described in this book, could find a voice speaking out things they are afraid to say or admit could be therapeutic.

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