Author: Matt Zachary
Publication Information: Porterlance Books, c2013
Library of Congress Classification: PS3626.A6526
Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Child welfare–Effect of managed care on–Fiction
I liked this book. An easy read–if reading about a child alone in a system that just passes him from one home to another without any real concern is easy to read. At least there was no sexual abuse. That would have been too much.
Nicholas is fourteen. He remembers his mother, but his father he has no memories. He’s told that he was a drunk who abandoned Nicholas and his mother, who died shortly after. So he is now passed from home to home. He’s living in a large home with a bunch of other foster children. The two oldest children are twins and they terrorize the rest of them, including Nicholas. That is, until one day a new kid a year older than Nicholas and just as big as the twins moves in. They make friends and he protects Nicholas.
An altercation at school caused by others causes the state to pull Nicholas from the home and put him into another one. The wife is nice and supportive, but she is married to a drunk, violent man who terrorizes Nicholas, who when threatened pees himself. Nicholas is eventually taken to yet another home. Though Nicholas’ experience here is much more positive, he experiences a major loss that helps shape him for the next book.
Nicholas resembles a tennis ball, being hit back and forth, here and there. No one cares about Nicholas or watching out for him. Moving him from house to house has a devastating effect on his psyche. It’s understandable why Nicholas is withdrawn and quiet. He is the main character through three novels. He is also discovering his sexuality, which by the third book he is gay and living with another guy.
The writing flows pretty well; the language is not stilted. Will I read the next book? Definitely. I want to find out what happens to Nicholas. Will he have a happy life, or end up broken and battered, the survivor of a broken system?