Mar 26, 2013

Tween Tuesday: The Boy From the Basement by Susan Shaw

4 soft snickerdoodles.

Cover Love:  Not really, but it represents the book well.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
I was doing inventory in my library.  I love doing inventory because I get a really good look at the books in my collection.  The problem is that I either want to weed a bunch of books out or read a bunch of books!  This was one that caught my eye.  Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
For Charlie, the cold, dark basement is home. Father has kept him locked in there as punishment. Charlie doesn’t intend to leave, but when he is accidentally thrust outside, he awakens to the alien surroundings of a world to which he’s never before been exposed. Though haunted by hallucinations, fear of the basement, and his father’s rage, Charlie must find a way to survive in his new world. He has escaped his past, but his journey has just begun.
My Thoughts:
One of the most popular books in my library is A Child Called It.  It is such a fascinating true tale of child abuse that it catches a lot of kids interest.  This book would be fantastic to pair with that.

The thing I enjoyed most about this book was that it was all from Charlie's point of view, that is the point of view of a 12 year old with very, very little life experience.  He has no idea why the things that his Father did to him were done.  But he also has no idea why everyone considers his father bad.

In the beginning, it was frustrating that Charlie didn't spell out the things he did that caused his dad to "punish" him.  As the book went on, though, I realized it didn't matter.  I didn't need to know what Charlie did to understand how awful his father was--and it didn't matter, nothing would be bad enough for the abuse Charlie (and his mother) had to endure.

Likewise, we never did get an answer as to why his father was the way he was--why he felt the need to abuse Charlie that way.  But, answers like that only come in movies, his father was very, very sick and very, very cruel.  That was enough to know!  (Also, Charlie is only 12, with the real world expereinces of a 4 year old.  Someday, he will need answers, for now he just needs to learn to be safe and grow, it's just didn't need to be part of this story!)

To Sum Up:
An engrossing fictional tale of child abuse that you know is all too real for some children.  Perfect to read after A Child Called It.

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