The Kid Broke My Heart

BlogHer Review

I assumed that The Kid by Sapphire would be intense from watching the movie Precious, but I had no idea how intense it would be.

This book tells the story of Precious's son Abdul. Early in the book his mother dies and his world begins to fall apart.

He starts out with a friend of his mother's but she is unable to care for him. There begins his journey through the system. Abdul doesn’t understand why he can’t just go back with his mom as he gets placed in foster care. In his first home he is placed with a single woman that has all boys, and in this home his trouble starts.

Abdul gets sexually and physically assaulted for the first time in this house. When he is beaten enough to warrant a trip to the hospital he finally gets out of there.

His next stop in the journey of life is a Catholic boy’s home where the abuse should stop but only continues. He is sexually abused for years by the men in charge. Despite all this abuse he is excelling in school and starts to show promise of making more out of his life.

He finds a friend in this home named Jamie. Abdul then starts to sexually abuse Jamie. One wonders if this is because this is all he knows a male to male relationship to be or if he is really a predator too? They continue this friendship despite the abuse. In one of the times they skip out on group activities together Abdul finds out that Jamie sells himself or services to get things like smokes. Abdul will use this type of barter through the rest of the book to get things he needs from basics of food and shelter to clothes and money in his pocket.

Abdul finds an African dance class at the YMCA and becomes interested. He joins the class despite being told no from the Brothers at the home. Dance becomes his light in the dark. It gives him focus and purpose.

The book details a lot of Abdul's dreams, sometimes blending reality into and out of them. It is hard at times to know what is real. But as you read you find out it is hard for Abdul to tell what is real and not also. One of these times comes when he is taken to the police station for sexually assaulting a small boy in the home. He doesn’t know for sure if he did it or saw one of the brothers do it.

But he is taken out of the boy’s home and thrown into the home of an old woman who he is told is his great-grandmother.

He didn’t know he had any family left and it appears she is it. But he doesn’t want to believe it. He longs for the structure and schooling of the boy's home and isn’t sure why he can’t go back. The anger and pain build and begin to bubble over as he acts out even more.

And all this only gets you to the middle of the book. It is well written and brought tears to my eyes several times. It is however very graphic and could offend. I don’t recommend it for anyone under 18. It broke my heart thinking of how the system failed this poor child and caused his life to continue down the hard path it was started on. Once you start this book you will want to keep reading until you finish to find out what happens next.

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