Review of Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius

A South African boy succumbed to a strange illness that left  him trapped in his own unresponsive body. Aware of his surroundings but unable to respond, Martin was vulnerable and lonely.  One amazing massage therapist began to suspect that there was more to Martin than anyone guessed. An excruciatingly slow journey of learning to communicate began. Martin’s experiences “speak” for themselves as testaments of what is possible for many people in similar medical dilemmas.

Today, Martin has broken forth with the fervor of enjoying life and advocating for others. You can follow his adventures on Twitter and Facebook.  I also enjoyed watching this video that he made when submitting his book for publication.  Seriously, who could resist that smile?



Avenue of Spies- A Review of an Alex Kershaw masterpiece

Paris has been called a city of light.  During World War II it became a city of darkness. It was Hitler’s prize and a privilege for high ranking Nazi officers to live on the prestigious Avenue Foch.  Torture chambers were a normal part of some households along this street.  Ordinary French citizens kept their windows and doors tightly shut through the long hot summer to prevent hearing the screams. Paris was a city abandoned to hopelessness and terror.
There were some who resisted the smelting pot of evil. Living on the very same street as several dedicated Nazi officials was one family who was determined to kindle hope and resilience.  The Jackson family endured the increasing pressure of ordinary life in Nazi France while using their home as an extraordinary escape route for those fleeing from the terror.
The Jackson family was determined to resist  the noose of Nazi capture. Even in the face of paying the ultimate price this family knew the value of human life and wanted to see the restoration of Paris.
This anecdote was riveting, terrifying, and informative.  It deserves to be on the list of “must reads”  for history.

Hiding in the Light by Rifqa Bary (review)

As an immigrant from Sri Lanka, Rifqa is raised in a strict Muslim home governed by the code of her family’s culture. The trouble is that her home is also filled with violence. It is a harrowing tale of a teen’s life trapped in abuse in which she fears no one will believe what is happening to her or help her escape. Rifqa literally runs away to save her life. These events occur in a country that guarantees freedom of religion yet Rifqa feels that her conversion to Christianity will be her death sentence. After her escape, she must endure more humiliation by being arrested as a runaway and living in several foster care homes (some of which were sub standard). Things become a further muddle when politics and immigration officials become involved. There are endless court cases and a life in hiding from her family and the press. Her only real escape was turning eighteen and becoming a legal adult. She survived and thrived by graduating valedictorian of her high school class and developing the confidence to live on her own. Alas, the trouble continues as Rifqa still lives in hiding while attending college and limits contacts with her friends because of the pervasive threats toward them. However, the book ends on a positive note as Rifqa forgives her family and makes plans for a life lived in freedom.
Rifqa’s experiences are related eloquently and left the reader completely absorbed in her peril. How many abused children are living with the terror of a violent parent in this country? How many teens are waiting for a safe and caring foster home? How many people would believe a troubled teen claiming violence at the hands of her own father? This book cries out for a response from each of us.
This book was provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.