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Just a Boy: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood Hardcover – 15 Jul 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (15 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091898218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091898212
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Harrowing" (The Sun)

"Heart-rending" (Woman's Weekly) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The paperback of The Sunday Times bestseller which spent seven weeks at No 5 - a heartbreaking but inspirational story of a childhood destroyed --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Miss J. H. Pritchard on 26 Feb 2006
Format: Paperback
There are so many books being published nowadays about victims of murder, violence and abuse; many of which are often written very badly and for the wrong reasons. This book "Just A Boy" is totally different and written for all the right reasons. It has many positive messages for any reader.
Richard McCann's mother, Wilma, was murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper in 1975. Many people will remember those awful years when headlines were in the media everyday about the victims of Sutcliffe. But I wonder how many people have given any real thought about how the deaths of those victims affected their families? McCann's book gives a clear insight into how the media and social systems further abuse these innocent victims.
McCann's style of writing is very moving; it is not complex - it is straight to the point and hits the reader with a huge impact. I have spent 25 years working with both children and adults who have experienced abuse and can assure readers that this book truly reflects the world of victims of abuse. The book is honest, powerful and emotive; yet is it not sensationalised in any way - it is a true account.
McCann starts the book from the morning his mother did not come home. He then takes the reader through his childhood, where he and his siblings experienced extreme forms of physical and emotional abuse. His younger adulthood was also filled with trauma and torment BUT McCann is an incredibly determined person who survives and makes a success of his life. He starts to find some fulfilment.
What I love about this book is that it will educate all sorts of people. It will help victims of abuse who currently feel despondent or anyone who has been bereaved; it will give them hope and demonstrates that survival is achievable.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ilovereading on 28 April 2006
Format: Paperback
Richards book is absolutely amazing! Both Richard and his sister Sonia had a terrible shock when they woke to find their mother had not come home, and then to find out that she'd been murdered by the Yorkshire ripper. Yet somehow they both survive but not before a long and arduous life. Richard suffers beatings on a regular basis at the hands of his alcoholic father, and later to add insult to injury he is told when they are adults that his sister Sonia has been sexually abused by their father. Richard made some terrible decisions in life, but I could understand fully why he'd done so after reading the first half of the book. This book gives the reader a fantastic insight into the lives of what Richard describes as 'the forgotten children of violence' Children that have a pain that can never heal when they have lost a parent to such violence. A must read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs J. Martin on 23 Feb 2006
Format: Hardcover
Thoughtfully written, this true account of a young boy, just five years old, who loses his mother to the murderous "Yorkshire Ripper", is an emotional yet uplifting read.
In telling his story, Richard takes us from the innocent world of a child, through the grief of a terrible, unjust loss. As if that were not enough, the boy loses the rest of his childhood to savage domestic violence. When he is old enough to escape, he shares with us the rocky start to his adult life and the indomitable strength and determination he shows as he decides that he will survive and make good come of the evil he has experienced and lived through.
A rivetting, moving read from a talented writer who is brave enough to let the reader into his life and share experiences that will take you on a journey to desparing depths - and back again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 15 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
From when I started reading this I only put it down three times, and each time I lasted less than five minutes before I had to bury myself in it again. Rarely before have I read a book from start to finish in one go but then never before have I come across a book written with such emotion and honesty.
I journeyed with the author through the intensitiy of his trials and tribulations, constantly hoping that against all odds everything would turn out alright for him and his troubled sister.
It's good to be reminded every once in a while that there's more to a person than that which you can see.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. WALKER on 30 Aug 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent read and written with such passion.

As Richard's Mum was murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper the subject matter is disturbing but it is told from a child's point of view and gives us a valuable insight into how the family coped in the aftermath.

I have actually heard Richard speak publically about his life and he truly is an inspiration to all ages.

GOOD LUCK IH THE FUTURE RICHARD

RECOMMENDED.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Maya Readman on 11 Nov 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in 2 hours! I couldn't put it down, I had to know what happened next. There is so much emotion in the book you can feel it. Everyone knows the story of the Yorkshire Ripper but this shows the horror he left behind him. It shows how determination and inner-strength can win through. Richard McCann comes over as a strong, clever and sensible man with a deep understanding. He shows this in the way his describes his pathway through life - from troubled youngster to army career then into the world of drugs and prison and finally out into a world where he can release his emotions.
A fantastic book which will help anyone put their world back into perspective! Lets hope Richard writes more.
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