Life of a Bastard – Damien Black

(Reviewed by Jeyran Main)


Life of a Bastard is a book written about the life of Javier, an orphaned boy, and his will to cope with all the moves and suffering he encounters while being in American foster homes.

The book remains truthful to the encounters of incidents that happen in foster homes and displays a realistic image of outcomes, far from the ones we read and hear in articles about success stories. The author believes that there are too many cases emphasizing  just the success stories out there, shadowing the reality of the high percentage of failures. Most children brought up in foster homes do not end up living successfully or having a better life afterwards.

While staying positive is always a good thing, I believe hiding the ratio of success in such delicate situations, dealing with the lives of innocent children, is unacceptable. The author provides stats and facts to solidify the failing system in hand. Facts like how foster care children have a higher chance of suffering from PTSD was interesting. 60% of sexually abused children were among the sufferers.

I believe the author truly hopes that Javier’s story acts as an inspiration for change. A change that is much needed now, rather than a few years from now. He does make suggestions on how things could be dealt with on a grander scale, however, whether his voice is heard, is another issue altogether.

The book is easy to read and to understand. The content flows naturally with stats and facts solidifying the author’s claim and by honoring his promise to Javier, the book takes on an emotional side which also provokes the reader’s mind into feeling for the situation at hand.

I recommend this book to people who want to make a difference in life.

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