The Summer of Owen Todd by Tony Abbott
What do you do when the only way to help a friend may also hurt him?
“Children should always speak up, no matter how it might hurt to do so… Better to lose a friend than lose a life.” Abbott
I read this in one shot, and it was both gut-wrenching and heart-breaking. That is the author’s intent. I can’t get my head around recommending this to its stated audience, namely eight year old kids and up, but the truth is that child abuse is an appalling reality for some very young people. Abbott directs his strong message to those who know something bad is happening to a friend. The message is to speak up and tell a trusted adult. Secrets, he shows, are often destructive, because the perpetrators threaten and menace the victim, and threats add layers of terror and guilt to the act of child-abuse itself.
The message unfolds in a strong story with believable characters and, ironically, a lot of normal life going on around. One doesn’t let up and relax to enjoy. The menace is prevalent throughout. This book will make you sad and angry, but it is a necessary message for all.
Tony Abbott is a skillful and prolific writer of fantasy, adventure and other genres, and you’ll do yourself a favor by visiting his website to see what else he writes. http://www.tonyabbottbooks.com/books/