Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Kid by Sapphire

How many of you watched the movie Precious? How many read the book Push by Sapphire? It was such a powerful story that there were certainly times that I burst into tears while reading. But in that story there was...dare I say; HOPE. 

Not so with Sapphire's latest story, The Kid. This story is painful. It's definitely not fair of me to say this when I'm far from the end. But I'm struggling to finish it and I often times find myself grimacing while I read. This is the story of Precious' son, Abdul and it takes place at her funeral when Abdul is 9. This doesn't give away any details of the story as this is what is written on the cover. 

When I picked up this book, it was with the hope that although Precious had lived a life of abuse that she was able to give her son something more. I was disappointed to see that this was another tale of childhood abuse...and abuse that is described with incredible detail--details that I don't want.

I closed the book at the 2nd chapter, sickened by what I was reading. Though I may sound as if I am bashing The Kid, I'm not. Sapphire's writing is beautiful, like poetic prose. And Abdul is a boy/young man that is intelligent, hardened, and so pitiful. But when you can bring vivid life to a character, when you take the time to develop your hero and to cause the reader to hope for them, to fall in love with them and then you heap abuse on them, then yes, you have succeeded in 'moving' your reader. But at what price? So that they can close the book before finishing it??

I read several of the reviews; each stating that this is not a book for the sensitive. I took 2 days away from the story before picking it up again, this time with the knowledge of what I would be reading.  I'm happy I did. I'm still reading it, and it's still painful, but there is a beauty in this story, and a message. It's such a simple message--and yet people still don't get it. 

Treat the children with respect and love--if not for the people that they are now, but then for the men and women that you want them to become.


  1. you got me scared to read it lol

  2. I recommended Precious to people because that story was about overcoming adversities. As of yet, I'm unable to recommend this one. If graphic depictions of sexual abuse against children is more than you can stomach than pass this one by.

  3. These stories need to be told, but at what price? I know that there must be storytelling that includes the difficulties of growing up among the poor and the disenfranchised, as well as the folks among them that embody hope and manifest it daily by loving their kids, working everyday and maintaining an extended family life. What I want to know is why does trotting out out the pathologies of poverty make a splash, make bank, while the struggle of non profits and other assistance agencies to stem the tide does not. In other words...who profits?

  4. I saw the movie Precious it was very good, it also made me realized again that Im very blessed with who God gave me as my parents. However I do not want to read the book Push, because Im a vivid reader, and Im afraid if I read this book, and the Kid I might hurt someone after I read this story. I hate reading like this.

  5. Well I'm half way through The Kid and I'm enjoying it (or maybe that's not the right description. I don't want to put it down. That's better).

    Despite the graphic abuse, people still may not like this book because it gets confusing following the boy's thought process as he can't differentiate between his dreams and reality. I still grimace--less now that he describes the torture he'd put his rapists through. I can get with that.


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