The Kid is Sapphire’s long-awaited follow up to her best selling novel Push. You did read Push, didn’t you? Perhaps you saw the Academy Award winning film, Precious, that came from the book? I read the book a couple years before I started this blog, and it shook me. It upset me. It gave me hope. The Kid follows the story of Precious Jones’ son, Abdul. The book opens with nine year old Abdul getting ready to attend his mother’s funeral. With no known family to love and care for him, he is placed into the system – entering foster care, an orphanage, and then finally at the ripe old age of thirteen – he sets out on his own.
A good book is one which moves you – moves you to think, cry, laugh, dream, to act. This book will get inside your brain and take up residence. Abdul’s story so affected me that I was unable to get a good nights sleep while reading it…. my dreams taking me to the hopes and horrors of young Abdul’s life. The writing will shock you with it’s in-your-face frankness and coarse language, until you are numbed by it. Abdul’s stream-of-consciousness and dream sequences will haunt you. The writing is brilliant. I love Sapphire’s imaginative and creative use of language.
Abdul is such a solid character. You know he had a good start in life with the strength and love from his mother. But she is gone, and he is forced to adapt through difficulties and increasingly worse situations. Child rape, sexual exploitation and other abuses become everyday in his world. I wanted to throw the book and scream “NO” for him… but he is a smart boy, and he learns to cope and survive in part by creating new identities and names for each place in his life. Eventually, he has to face himself, reclaim his name and history and live.
I even love the cover of this book. It is a shocking yellow – it makes you take notice. But you see that yellow is just paint, covering up the true color… or perhaps making the old new again? Maybe it signifies something else all together…. You decide.
Is it absolutely necessary to have read Push first? Probably not. I know that I was already in a specific mind set, prepared to read this because I had read Push. But I think this book also strongly stands on its own. The impressions I carried with me from Push are conveyed subtly throughout this book. I would be curious, though, to know how someone who hadn’t read Push, or maybe didn’t see the movie (I haven’t seen it myself) feels about this book.
I loved this book so much that I want to share. I am giving away my hardcover copy of The Kid to one lucky US entrant. Please fill out the form below between today and July 21 at midnight. I will contact the winner on Friday July 22.
The Kid http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=sara023-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1594203040&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=sara023-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004S2XOL8&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=sara023-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002VECM4A&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
Penguin, July 2011
Source: TLC Book Tours
Also Available at
The Book Depository