Shaw, Susan. The boy from the basement.

Author:Flint-Ferguson, Janis
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

SHAW, Susan. The boy from the basement. Penguin, Dutton. 208p. c2004. 0-525-47223-1. $16.99. JS

In her second novel, Susan Shaw has created a haunting study of an abused boy and the journey he makes toward a normal life. Told from the 12-year-old's point of view. the story follows Charlie as he sneaks up from the basement where his father has sent him as a punishment. Obviously sheltered from society and cultural customs, Charlie is unprepared to find himself locked out of the house and on his own. He is found by police officers and taken to a hospital where the real details of his experience and rigid upbringing come to light. In the hospital he is befriended by Aaron, a sensitive and typical young teen who is both amazed and amused by Charlie's lack of understanding about the world.

In Part Two of the novel, Charlie's recovery begins as he is sent to live in a foster home with strong but sympathetic Mrs. Harrigan and a younger...

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