Book Review and Tour: The Kid

The Kid

Sapphire

Penguin Press HC

384 pages

Abdul is now nine years old and an orphan.  When we left off in Push, Precious had just given birth, and now she has passed away of AIDs.  Abdul doesn’t even know who his father is, and once Precious is dead, he becomes a ward of the system.  His first foster home is tragically disastrous, with Abdul being beaten to near death.  He then is admitted into an all boys Catholic home. Surprisingly, Abdul considered it home, despite the rampant sexual abuse.

I don’t want to just go through the plot point by point, so I think I am going to stop while I am ahead, but I do want to mention another big aspect of the plot, and that is Abdul’s desire to be a professional dancer.  It all begins with an African dance class, which awakens something in Abdul that has remained dormant throughout his awful life.  Dance is Abdul’s way to express himself, and his self awareness seems to grow more prevalent as the book wears on.

I wrote a recent Sunday Salon book about how much I loved The Kid as I was reading it. I found the book very engrossing, much more than Push, and although the beginning dragged for me a bit, I quickly became invested in Abdul’s story.  I think as the book wore on, the dancing angle got a little too heavy and polarizing.  I was bored by the end of the book, although it didn’t ruin my overall impression.

I think that one issue that will pigeonhole this book is the abundance of overly graphic scenes.  The sexual abuse plays a big role in Abdul’s growth as a person, and he begins to mimic the behavior he has been accustomed to from an early age.  I think that the sex scenes could be very off-putting to a lot of readers, although they play an important role in understanding Abdul’s story.

There is so much to touch on in The Kid that I have only hit on the tip of the iceberg.  It is certainly a very worthy book, and while I have no idea if it will be adapted for the big screen, I think it would make a wonderful movie, just like it’s predecessor.

About Sapphire

Sapphire is the author of two collections of poetry and the best-selling novel Push. The film adaption of her novel, Precious (2009) received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress, in addition to the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Awards in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at Sundance. In 2009 she was a recipient of a United States Artist Fellowship. She lives in New York City.

Sapphire’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, July 5th: “That’s Swell!”

Monday, July 11th: Sarah Reads Too Much

Tuesday, July 12th: Books From Bleh to Basically Amazing

Thursday, July 14th: Dreaming in Books

Monday, July 18th: Wordsmithonia

Tuesday, July 19th: All About {n}

Wednesday, July 20th: Melody & Words

Thursday, July 21st: Reviews By Lola

Tuesday, July 26th: Tea Time with Marce

Wednesday, July 27th: Take Me Away

Thursday, July 28th: Regular Rumination

Tuesday, August 2nd: BermudaOnion’s Weblog

Date TBD: Reads for Pleasure

5 Responses

  1. I’m on this tour too and I’m really looking forward to reading this book, even though I know the subject matter will be difficult to read about.

  2. […] Thursday, July 21st: Reviews By Lola […]

  3. Interesting that you liked this one more than PUSH. It’s too bad that there were parts that got dragged for you because it sounds like otherwise it was a great read.

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  4. This was a hard read for me. Some parts of it dragged but I really did appreciate how easy the author made it to understand the things going on in Abdul’s life and how he would act the way he did. I was amazed at her skill. With all that he did, he was still a somewhat sympathetic character.

  5. I didn’t know there was a sequel to the first book. I only saw the movie, actually, and it was so sad. I’m not sure I could handle more of that.

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