Street Kid by Judy Westwater …. just read


One of those books that have been lying in my book shelf for about three years, and I have been meaning to read it but never quite got there.  Now that I have finished Game of Throne {I cannot wait for the next installment}, and have been committed to that series since October 202.

I really did need to read something else and my eye stumbled on this book I had borrowed from a friend ages ago and just have not got to yet.

Book Title:  Street Kid – One Child’s Desperate Fight for Survival

Author:  Judy Westwater

So what’s the book about?  A child has parents who can only be described as dysfunctional on the best of days and the parents go through a divorce.  The psychotic spiritualist father {who is the perfect candidate for a bit of mob justice} takes his youngest daughter, more as a means to spite his wife than his overriding urge to be a good/even mediocre father and decides to raise her.

He is a horrendous father.  His new wife/girlfriend is abusive and hates the little girl on sight.  The “new mom” treats the little girl a bit worse than you would treat a dog with mange – and Judy spends much of her childhood locked outside in the backyard, which may not be bad if you lived in sunny South Africa, but in rather cold and grim UK it becomes an exercise in survival just to make it through a day in the backyard and survive to be let in at night.

The book is a true story based on the author’s experience.

It is obviously a fairly grim story, with very little in the way of characters to redeem it or make it likable   I was constantly amazed by this little girl’s ability to survive and to overcome.  It did remind me a bit of Dave Pelzer’s story, titled “The Lost Boy”  which I read back in 2000.

It did make me think of the incidents of abuse and neglect that must be happening within 100 meters of us every day, and not necessarily in some isolated informal out of the way place.

Who told you about the book?  No one, I had actually never heard of the book, and have not seen a review on it either.

What resonated with you about the book?  I kept comparing her age to my children, and being amazed by her ability to adapt and survive.  I think she shows that the human spirit is so resilient, and the power to overcome is often more powerful than the urge to crawl into a corner and give up.

Overall Impression?  I was not swept away by the book.  I found something about the tone, and the way it was written a bit rushed.  I did not get into the real feeling of Judy.  It did feel like I was looking at this as a third party and the details were being glissed over with very little emotion, but maybe that was the way the story was meant to be – a chronicle of her journey, rather than an in depth expose on how she coped.

Time needed to read?  A fairly thin book, so I got through this in one day over the weekend.

Where did you purchase or obtain the book? Lent to me by a friend.

Would you save this book, pass it along to a charity store, or pass it along to a fellow avid reader?  I would probably add it to the charity store pile, but in reality I need to return it to Joyce who lent me the book about three years ago.  It is not a bad book, but it is not something I would remember in 6 months time, or recommend to someone if they asked me for my top three books in the last year.  It’s sort of okay …. yes a rather lukewarm review I am afraid.

Rating out of 5 stars : * * *

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1 Comment

  1. Alexandra

     /  March 15, 2013

    I cannot read a book like this. I am still haunted by Dave Pelzer’s novels which I read several years ago.


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