6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not what you might expect, 1 Dec 2012
I had pre-ordered this book prior to it's being published, and was looking forward to seeing the actual book.
I was expecting something more along the lines of a short-story, written in rather large type-font. When it arrived and I took it out of the mailer, I realized I was going to need to find my reading glasses. Winter is starting to settle in around us here in the American middle-west, so I decided to take the book and a cup of hot tea into the bedroom and snuggle in for a good, long, read.
I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting, with about one 2 minute break while I wandered out to the kitchen to get an apple. And I couldn't help seeing the irony in my apple-wandering to my well-stocked kitchen, as I read about children whose main (and sometimes only) source of food was the mug of porridge they received at school.
It's definitely a book to make you think. I question whether the full impact of the book has even really hit me yet, but here are a few thoughts:
* I'm stunned that, at least up to the point of publication of the book, the Argyle & Bute council have STILL not extended anything even resembling an apology to Martha and/or the Payne family.
* I had not realized that the bullying had reached the extent it had. While Dave is always very careful to remind readers that Martha always had the support of her school behind her, I was more than a bit dismayed to find that the school allowed the bullying to continue as long and as badly as it did.
* How easy it might be to criticize and find fault with Dave and Rebecca's parenting. How much more difficult it would be to find yourself in a similar situation. Although Dave does mention a few things that he now perhaps regrets or wishes he'd done differently, what an extraordinary extended family to have gotten through this with all their children's psyche's relatively intact!
* Although the book lists both Martha and Dave as authors, and I've no reason to believe that Martha wasn't consulted in the writing of it, I think this is actually Dave's story. (Where in the world he found time to keep up with a small-holding while all of this has been going on, and then write a book about it, is a mystery to me!) Martha is truly a talented writer in her own right and I'm hopeful that -- at some point in a few years when she's ready -- Martha will publish her own story.
Buy this book for two reasons:
1) It's the truly amazing story of how one 9-year old girl changed the world.
2) Every copy sold feeds 25 children who, otherwise, would go hungry.