Posted in Kees2Review

Wild Boys by Helen Pastor

A Parent’s Story of Tough Love

wild-boysFor too long Helena, a mother of four boys, had allowed her eldest son Joey to call the shots. By the time he was seventeen, Joey had left school early and was teetering on the wrong side of the tracks. Despite Joey no longer living in the family home, Helena did his washing, cooked his meals, handed over money for his groceries, and spent her nights driving him around town with music shaking the car. With Joey on a first name basis with the local police, Helena needed to do something about his disruptive behaviour before it ripped her family apart.

Wild Boys details how Helena learned to be a better parent and reveals how we all can learn to have better relationships with our sons.The book also explores the challenge of disengaged youth from a mother’s perspective and offers an intimate insight into rarely chronicled aspects of youth work.

My Review:

I wish this book was available ten years ago so I could have prepared myself better as a parent to a teenager. As the mother of boys myself, Wild Boys is the perfect guide to grace my shelves. The journey from boy to man is tough enough without adding to it the social trials and tests thrown in its path. From the first page, I could relate to Ms Pastor’s experiences. I’ve had the same doubts, confrontations, discussions and battles, so it was good to know I’m not alone.

Not only should parents read this book, their kids should too. For young men going through this transition, it might help them seek help outside the parental realm before it’s too late. Wild Boys showcases the need for teenage boys to be kept busy and out of trouble during this difficult period, as well as the difference an adult who is not part of their family circle and who understands them can make.

A confronting yet comforting read, I’m glad Pastor could share these experiences with us. Well-written, easy to read, Wild Boys is a book that will hopefully be passed down through the generations as our modern parenting world becomes more difficult and demanding every day.

Thank you to DMCPR Media and UQP for my advanced reading copy.

Posted in Kees2Review

With Just One Suitcase

With Just One SuitcaseWith Just One Suitcase by Cheryl Koenig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Australia might not have a long history but the one it has is rich and filled with a patchwork of migrants who made this country the land of milk and honey it is. It’s why, a few centuries later, we still attract people to our shores. With Just One Suitcase is one of those stories that makes us a nation to be proud of.

Life is full of mysteries and Fate plays a massive part in the way our lives play out. Even more so for the two boys, Frici and Istvan – one Jewish, the other Catholic – and a war that destroyed dreams and innocence, yet gave strength and courage that ultimately built a nation.

With Just One Suitcase is an inspirational read that I believe should be in every school library as a tribute to those who made this country a great place to be.

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With Just One Suitcase

Cheryl’s fourth book, ‘With Just One Suitcase’, is the true story of two boys, Frici & Istvan – one Jewish, one Catholic – living two kilometres but worlds apart in Timisoara, Romania, when WW2 shatters their innocence and their lives. Spanning two continents and three generations of two families whose lives unexpectedly intersect in their adopted country, this book beautifully captures the loss and dislocation wrought by war; and the struggles and challenges of starting anew in another country. ‘With Just One Suitcase’ is a tribute to the courage and resilience of two men who bear the scars of war, who faced and overcame adversity while never surrendering their optimism for the future. It is Cheryl’s homage to her father, Frici, and her father-in-law, Istvan; and her belief in the importance of history to understanding ourselves.