• "A masterly piece of storytelling"

    Jan Mark, Carousel
  • "Not for the faint-hearted, opening with a sickening scene of incest forcing a 16-year-old boy to leave home and gathering momentum with gritty, though never gratuitous, scenes of painful childbirth, pigeon neck-ringing and exploding pheasants. But it works"

    Eileen Armstrong, The School Librarian
  • "Exceptional and so heartbreakingly real"

  • "Paulsen's coming-of-age memoir is nearly Steinbeckian in its unadorned but effective prose, and the events of the author's young life have a universality that will draw in readers heading for their own rites of passage"