The Journey of The Kid

BlogHer Review

If the author's intent was to take the reader on a long, tiring journey, Sapphire can consider herself a success. I was exhausted after reading The Kid.

The book tells the story of Abdul, the son of Precious from the novel Push by the same author. Spending the first nine years of his life in poor but relatively safe conditions, Abdul is thrust into a world of pain after his mother dies. Abdul transforms from a loving young boy into something else completely over the eleven or so years the book documents.

Reading about the utter destruction of such a young soul may be too traumatic for many readers as Abdul transitions through his early years with a level of trauma that most people will find outright horrifying. Sapphire's graphic description of what the boy experienced, as well as what he then forced upon others, is shocking as well as heart breaking. As someone who has never experienced this level of abuse, seeing the character progress through his own circle of abuse was eye-opening and disturbing. I honestly had to put the book down a few times to get out of the story.

I read Push, Sapphire's original book and I loved it. It may have been because the character was female or because of how she got through her trauma by loving to write -- I could relate to her. In The Kid, Abdul is so different to everything I have ever known and experienced, that even though it was interesting learning upon this whole other world, it was exhausting living it through him.

I found the The Kid to be claustrophobic, confusing and stressful to read, but to truly get us to understand how life was for Abdul, J.J., Crazy Horse and Arthur, Sapphire's style of writing at the "speed of thought" worked. I closed the book feeling as lost, sad and confused as Abdul.

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