The Kid is Dark and It's Worth It

BlogHer Review

This book deceived me. I looked at it a week ago and thought “It’s light, short -- a mere 375 pages -- I’ll be able to get through it quickly.” I did not anticipate the weight, the substance, the depth that would fill the pages.

The Kid by Sapphire, is not an easy read. Within the first 50 pages the reader is thrown into a dark world that deals with serious, heavy topics -- sexual and mental abuse, questions of sexuality, violence, and race are found on every page. The Kid is Sapphire’s sequel to Push, and is as hard to stay with as the first book and movie, Precious. The Kid’s title character is Abdul Jones, son of Precious, and this is where the redemption, the reason for reading, comes in.

From page one, Abdul’s voice is heard loud and clear. Sapphire’s stream-of-conscious narrative drips with character and lands the reader firmly in a very specific time and place. It doesn’t matter what horrible things Abdul endures -- you stay with him because you know him. From the little boy who loves to learn to the man who finds his soul in dance, Abdul is alive.

There are horrors -- things that the reader doesn’t want to imagine could happen -- and I applaud Sapphire for going to that dark place. It’s messy, but it deserves to be told. The plot hits a few slow spots, but where it really soars are the details about relationships Abdul pursues. Despite all his set backs and disadvantages, he continually reaches out and that is where the real story takes place. From family history through adult relationships, the character is complete.

It took me much longer than planned to read this book, but the time was worth it. Will I read it again? Probably not, but Abdul will not soon be forgotten.

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