• 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


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