Friday, April 24, 2009

What are we going to do about David? by Willo Davis Roberts

For those most familiar with Willo Davis Roberts as a writer of mysteries, this book will be a surprise - it's one of the two stories she wrote about abused children. The other, Don't Hurt Laurie, is a story of physical abuse, while this painful novel is more about neglect and emotional pain.

Something happened to David's family a long time ago - his parents don't even seem to like each other anymore and he feels more and more that he's in the way. Now his parents have decided to go their separate ways over the summer and have finally settled their plans. Until his dad realizes they haven't planned anything for David, who suddenly finds himself left in a small town with his strange grandmother, Ruthie. With his caring grandmother, David starts to see possibilities for his future and gains the courage to stand up to his parents and choose for himself where he belongs.

Like her other "problem novel" the story never stereotypes or simplifies problems. David doesn't simply forget his parents or the pain they've caused him and his new friends have their own problems and failures. But Roberts writes convincingly of hope for the future and of the importance of compassion.

Verdict: This story is well-written and intriguing, but the cover is painfully outdated. An interesting personal read, but you might as well weed it.

ISBN: 978-0689317934; Published March 1993 by Athenaeum; Borrowed from the library; Added to my personal collection (I think I got it at a library book sale)

No comments: