Monday, August 22, 2011

[Book Review] THE KID by Sapphire

Fiction/African American

Andrea reviews THE KID by Sapphire (Penguin Press, 2011)

(Warning: this review contains spoilers!)

First of all, let me preface this review by saying I could not wait to read this because I loved Push, the novel about sixteen-year-old, illiterate, pregnant Precious Jones. Her plight was horrific but under the guidance of her mentor and teacher, Blue Rain, Precious was given a chance to thrive.

The Kid follows the life of Abdul Jones, Precious’ son, from ages nine to nineteen. I did expect a sequel; but unfortunately, this is not one. The author, Sapphire has even mentioned in interviews, she did not mean for this novel to be a continuation of Push. In the first few pages, Abdul has to attend his mother’s funeral after she dies of AIDS.

The safety net that Precious provided for Abdul has been torn away, as he is bounced from different foster homes to a Catholic orphanage to living with his great-grandmother, Toosie. Getting fed up with Toosie and the squalor she lives in, 13 year-old Abdul takes up with his much-older male dance instructor.

Each place Abdul lived; there was horrible abuse and anguish, whether it was physical, emotional, or sexual.

Readers will be appalled at the situations Abdul is enduring, and just wish he had a “Blue Rain” in his life to help him succeed and rise above.

As coarse as his language is and as heartbreaking as his life is, I kept reading just to see what happened next. This book definitely will stir strong emotions, and you won’t forget Abdul Louis Jones for a long time!

Andrea King, Poplar-White Station Library

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