A Chance In The World - by Steve Pemberton 256 pages
Book Blurb: From the day he is five-years-old and dropped off at his foster home of the next eleven years, Stephen is mentally and physically tortured. No one in the system can help him. No one can tell him if he has a family. No one can tell him why, with obvious African-American features, he has the last name of Klakowicz.
Along the way, a single faint light comes only from a neighbor’s small acts of kindness and caring—and a box of books. From one of those books he learns that he has to fight in any way he can—for victory is in the battle. His victory is to excel in school.
Against all odds, the author succeeded. He attended college, graduated, became a successful corporate executive, and married a wonderful woman with whom he established a loving family of his own. Through it, he dug voraciously through records and files and found his history, his birth family—and the ultimate disappointment as some family members embrace him, but others reject him. Readers won’t be the same after reading this powerful story. They will share in the hurts and despair but also in the triumph against daunting obstacles. They will share this story with their family, with their friends, with their neighbors.
My Review: 4 stars
I was invited to a CASA charity event most likely due to my love of reading and because there was an author speaking about his first book. As noted all around my site, I’m a full-fledged author stalker, so, of course I was in for the event. From the minute I sat down to listen to Steve Pemberton, I was mesmerized. Not only because he was handsome as the devil himself, but also because his story, his presence, and the way he shared it was us, was overwhelmingly sad and hopeful at the same time. I dashed through the book the next day and am amazed that this young boy was not only able to survive, but that he also drew the ability to persevere when the odds were continually against him. His natural ability to read and the lessons he learned from the few books he was able to read/keep/get ahold of, were truly the only positive prayers, influences and morals that he was exposed to. This book will keep you cheering and fearing at the same time. It makes you want to grab your kids and squeeze the bejeezus out of them. It makes you realize that every time you smile at someone, offer a hand or share a bit of yourself; you really, truly could be offering him or her a new lifeline.
Quotes I liked:
- “Books for me were what the ocean is to the fearless explorer-deep and mysterious, boundless and soothing. I loved the smell of books, the feel of their weight in my hands, the rustle of the pages as I turned them, the magnificent illustrations on the covers that promised hidden treasures within.”
- “Like food, books were hard for me to come by. If I were caught reading without permission, a merciless beating would follow (Robinson Rule #12).”
Tags: Non-Fiction, 2012, Race
Labels: 2012, Non-Fiction, Race