Posts Tagged ‘Sexual Abuse’

The Catholic Boys by Mike Ledingham with brothers Gerard and Chris.

August 5, 2019 Comments off

catholicThe Catholic Boys by Mike Ledingham with brothers Gerard and Chris. Pub. BMS Books, 2019.

The word paedophile is enough to send shudders through parents and caregivers everywhere and I thought carefully about whether a true story of child abuse was appropriate for a children and Young adult literature blog.

After reading the short autobiographical book of the three Ledingham brothers who were sexually abused by catholic priest Father Francis Green while attending St Joseph’s Onehunga Catholic school, I had no doubts I should review it.

Literature reflects life and this true story is a reminder and a warning to parents and children alike that there are bad people out there. It also offers support to other children who have been sexually abused to speak up and to let them know they are not alone.

Francis Green was a despicable man who preyed on young boys and Mike, Gerard and Chris tell their stories and the effects that it had on them at the time and for the rest of their lives. All lost confidence, suffered guilt, had trouble forming relationships, had problems with alcohol and drugs and have reached retirement in a state that could have been a lot better.

The Catholic Church for its’ part was at first in denial, secondly protective of the offending priests, thirdly obstructive to anybody seeking the truth and lastly lacked understanding with compensation for the wrongs done.

It is shameful. Patrick Dunn Bishop of Auckland Catholic Diocese does have his comments in the book.

A courageous story of a terrible wrong.

Very readible for anyone who needs to know about this subject.

Categories: Realism Tags:

The Mud by Mick Stone

December 8, 2017 Comments off

mudThe Mud by Mick Stone. Pub. BMS Books, 2017

The coast around Whakakatane has sandy beaches and muddy estuaries and these form the backdrop to this rather disturbing story of 17 year old Emily Lewis who has been abused by the man she knows as father for much of her life.

Emily has been taken off a boat she has drifted around the estuary in, talking to her yet unborn baby, while her mother’s house has become a crime scene after she was stabbed in the back. Are all these events linked?

Emily is cautioned and taken to the cells, moved around the court and psychiatric circuit which she is well adept at handling and it is she who narrates the story. I liked Emily, she is clearly able academically but her life has virtually been snuffed out by adults who clearly need to be dealt to under the law.

Emily  has the opinion that “there is nothing you or anyone else can do about me”. Adults all the way down the line have failed her. How very sad. This story is only 105 pages long and is a short sharp punch in the guts. It is written to assist others who are in the same predicament as her.

Secondary and young adult

Nano Tech by Denis Wright.

April 7, 2015 Comments off

nano techNano Tech by Denis Wright. Pub. Makaro Press, 2015.

A novel for high school students that is clearly meant to shock. And it does.

Professot Meinhoff is an American Biologist who invents a virus that is meant to cure diseases that are ethnically selective. He understands that such  viruses could also be used for evil as they are capable of being used to wipe races out without touching others. Mankind is littered with evil men who have tried to do this.

Meinhoff creates a virus that works on the melanin in skin pigmentation which if put in the water supply of American cities could wipe out black Afro Americans without touching the white population. Fortunately Meinhoff is a genius and can hold all the formulae and gene structures in his head without putting them to paper or keeping computer files.

A white supremacist gang capture Meinhoff while he is lecturing in New Zealand but things go wrong and a group of intellectually gifted year 13  high school students are kidnapped at the same time along with their vivacious teacher Bernie. The gang is hell bent on getting Meinhoff’s secrets out of him by fair means or foul and there are going to be casualties.

Each student has their own quirks and problems but none more so than Joe who speaks very little, has spacey moments and hasn’t been right since an accident when he was 10 years old. He narrates the novel and it is his story that is the second part of the shock syndrome of this novel along with the Stockhlom Syndrome effects on the teacher Bernie.

I will let you the reader decide how effective this novel is. Sexual abuse is not an easy topic to discuss in a YA novel.

Killing God by Kevin Brooks

December 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Kevin Brooks is one of the best writers of Realism for Young Adults in the world of children’s literature. Killing God lives up to the awesome standard that he has set with his previous books Candy, Being, Martyn Pig and Road of the Dead.

This story is about Dawn who is in a dreadful state psychologically. She is 15 years old but has an inner secret self who is 2 years younger due to a dreadful event that happened to her at that age. The book is about getting that out into the open, and Brooks is a master at doing this.

Dawn lives with her mother who is a sad case. She lies around all day getting drunk and watching television. Dawn is a loner. But the two have a secret that keeps them going, that is related to the disappearance of the father and husband two years earlier.

When two worldly and brazen girls, Mel and Taylor, come into Dawn’s life, all that has been hidden comes to the surface in a dramatic way.

This is a riveting tale that maintains suspense throughout and also gives vent to the existence or not of God and the relevance of God in the life of someone who feels they have been forsaken.

The music and lyrics of the band Jesus and Mary Chain are spread throughout the text in a meaningful way.

If you like realism at it’s starkest and most thought provoking, then this is the book for you. Definitely Young Adult or Senior Secondary.

Categories: Realism, Young Adult Tags: