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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just A Boy - Incredibly Powerful
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...
Published on 26 Feb 2006 by Miss J. H. Pritchard

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a boy.........
same review as 1st book...but one would need to purchase both books together to get the full facts about the story.
Published 1 month ago by noggin


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just A Boy - Incredibly Powerful, 26 Feb 2006
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. For people who may not believe that such atrocities happen in our society the book will raise their awareness and give them a reality check. McCann's moving story should make everyone feel guilty about the fact that a lot of us have probably been sucked in by the media's potrayal of events and not given enough thought to the children who were left motherless. Finally, professionals and workers need to realise that we are still making the same mistakes as we did 30 years ago.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart -wrenching, 28 April 2006
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
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT READ, 30 Aug 2006
By 
J. WALKER (YORKSHIRE) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart wrenching story of a childhood torn apart by violence., 23 Feb 2006
This review is from: Just a Boy: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (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
5.0 out of 5 stars just a boy, 14 Mar 2005
Amazing it just proves that what ever life throws at you you can com back better and stronger. Anyone who thinks Peter Sutcliffe should be released read this book and think again, good luck to you Richard
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent First Book, 14 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Just a Boy: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Hardcover)
Once I started to read Just a Boy, I could not put it down. The pain and suffering this family endured is unimaginable, sometimes heart wrenching. One often hears about tragic events in the daily news but who ever really stops to think how those families ever manage to survive then, and in the years that follow.
I found the book to be a most honest and frank story. It emerges from thirty years of locked up emotion to reveal a unique story. It is written with such vivid detail that its hard to believe those memories could be recalled from such a young age. Obviously they have stayed raw for a very long time. I could almost sense the relief that the author feels, now his experiences are out in the open. This is a true story which will stay with me, even though the book is now back on its shelf, and I would recommend anyone to read it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just A Boy, 28 Aug 2005
This book is the most inspirational that I have ever read! I completed it in two days!! It is the most amazing story of human triumph and of how things can be turned around to help your self and others! it is a must for anyone who has lived through similar circumstances! Thank you for sharing your story!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!, 2 Mar 2005
This review is from: Just a Boy: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Hardcover)
This book gave me another insight into an era I lived through. Being in my twenties and thirties during this time and living in Leeds, the fear was constant. Richard has written a very true account which at times is so honest, that you cannot help but feel the pain for him. Having had the pleasure of meeting Richard, the traumas of his youth have certainly made him the very strong and sincere person he is today. I look forward to reading many more of his books in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a Boy: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood, 11 Nov 2004
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This review is from: Just a Boy: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping, 29 Sep 2004
By 
esther birchall (Leeds, W . Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Just a Boy: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood (Hardcover)
This was a fascinating read, I couldn't put it down for two seconds. The author has had such an impossible beginning in life that it seems incredible to me that he has gone on to write such a compelling book.
I was particularly impressed by the authors honesty regarding his own shortcomings, and the sensitivity with which he wrote about his eldest sister.
The writing was particularly evocative and I often felt like a helpless bystander to the horrific events unfurling infront of me.
After reading this book I have a better understanding of how difficult it is for the victims of such horrific crimes, and that is a credit to the author. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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Just a Boy: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood
Just a Boy: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood by Richard McCann (Hardcover - 15 July 2004)
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