The Kid Challenges Readers
If you’ve seen the movie Precious or read Push by Sapphire you know the extenuating circumstances from which The Kid was born. The kid, aka Abdul, aka JJ, aka Jamal spent the first nine years of his life sheltered.&; Sheltered from the harsh reality of inner city Harlem. Sheltered from his mother’s illness (AIDs) and sheltered from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her parents.
Precious, Abdul’s mother, seemed to have broken the cycle. She was attending college. Raising her son. Protecting him. Ensuring him an education. Loving him wholly and purely.
But her protection backfired. When Precious died Abdul was left alone. He was thrust into a harsh world for which he was completely unprepared. He knew nothing of his family’s history. Nothing of his genetics. He was left with no one and nothing.
Here was a child in need of significant psychological support. And rather than receive help he was thrown into a series of events that altered his life and molded his person, not always for the better. These events challenge the reader. This book, quite frankly, is a hard read.
It is hard because it speaks the truth. There are children in this world born unto circumstances beyond their control. They are the product of generations of poverty. They suffer abuse and then some. And yet society, our system of social services, does little to remedy their plight.
Would I recommend this book? Yes! Absolutely. This book is an important piece of work written by a talented author. We should not avoid that which makes us uncomfortable -- that which makes us squirm. Rather we should open our hearts and bear witness if not for this kid then for children to come.