I've Never Read A Book Like The Kid Before

BlogHer Review

I closed the novel, The Kid, by Sapphire, and let out a deep sigh.  “Finished?” my husband asked.  I nodded yes.  “So, how was it?”

I honestly and simply replied, “I have never read a book like it before.”

If I had to describe The Kid in one word, that word would be haunting…..

the kid sapphire The story, which is a sequel to the book Push begins the day of nine year old Abdul’s mother, Precious’s, funeral. Like Abdul, I lost a parent at a young age, so I immediately sympathized with him.  Unlike Abdul, I had another parent to love, care for and protect me, while guiding me to adulthood.  I thought that Abdul had someone in his corner too, as his story begins with him staying with his mom’s close friend, Rita.  Sadly that wasn’t the case.

Abdul lost more than his mother; he lost his name, his home, and his connections with everyone close to her.  But, most importantly, he lost his childhood and his innocence.  He was shuffled around, and forced to live through unthinkable situations.

The Kid is broken up into four parts.  These parts detail Abdul’s life from when he is nine years old until he is twenty.  Each part is told in the first person, in Abdul’s voice.  This is what made this book so unusual, but yet so unforgettable.  The story was confusing at times.  At points, I couldn’t understand what was happening to him.  But, that was the whole point.  The story wasn’t clear to me, because it wasn’t clear to Abdul.  He didn’t understand what was occurring, so he couldn’t express himself properly.  But, as he began to understand what was going on, so did I.  It was remarkable. I felt like I was living his life with him, in foster care, in an orphanage, and later as a dancer.

The Kid doesn’t just tell Abdul’s story, it tells the story of people whose lives intercepted his.  To me, the most unforgettable was Toosie.   As she told her life story to Abdul, written in the broken, poor grammar, phonetically spelled style of her speech, I was captivated at what she went through, and how she was able to carry on. At times she brought me to tears, and other times, I found myself laughing at her innocence. Days after I read her tale, I was still haunted by her story.  

What I loved most about The Kid was its unpredictability. There were so many twists and turns, and the story never played out how you would have expected it to. That is why I loved the forth part the most.  In the final part of the story, again, you find Abdul in a situation where he doesn’t know what is happening to him, or where he is.  As he tries to piece together the pieces of his life, so do you.  The story progresses at lightning speed. It is impossible to put the book down, as loose ends are tied up.  When you finally reach the final page, you know you will be haunted by the lives of everyone for a long time to come.   

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