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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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What drew me to this book was that it is set, primarily, in West Yorkshire where I was born and have lived all my life. I also went through the care system many years ago, so can relate to this book.

Once started, I read it through within a day or so it's an easy read, not the subject matter of course, much less to have lived the life. Christopher Kenny doesn't 'wallow' (in pity) in fact he takes quite a humorous approach. It's an excellent read and one I would highly recommend.

What a brave man you are Mr. Kenny, you have my utmost respect and admiration for turning your life around and having the courage to write your book. I hope it does prove cathartic for you and also helps to draw attention to what problems existed in the care system and serves to raise awareness and help changes to continue to be made.

How poignant so much of the writing is, one passage states - 'The saddest part is that as kids in care we knew it, we knew people thought of us as the lowest of the low....' The shame and guilt that can be carried around for years and even lifetimes by children who go through such treatment is shocking. I hope that shame and guilt is firmly passed to the named and shamed in this book, where it belongs. Although at times I think Christopher Kenny has been extremely forgiving to people who let him down badly.

I for one have no problem whatsoever in believing every word he has written.
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on 24 March 2012
I downloaded this book after seeing it plugged by an old school friend on facebook.
I'd been looking for something different to my usual genre so thought I'd give it a go.
I was taken in right from the very beginning. It's easy to turn a blind eye to the fate of kids from broken homes. some adjust well, others not so. My own upbringing was one of both mental and physical abuse, social workers and foster homes. After reading this it became obvious that I had a lucky escape.
There are still many things I don't talk about so for Mr Kenny to be able to write about his experiences in such a candid manner is nothing short of remarkable. His story doesn't pull on the heartstrings so much as open your eyes to what was (and still is) so very obviously a failing system.
More needs to be said and done to improve the 'care' that children receive when admitted into the system.
I take my hat off to you Mr Kenny. Long may you continue to enjoy life and family x
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 March 2012
I downloaded this as a freebie but I would happily have paid for the privilege of this insight which Mr Kenny recounts. Sometimes it's easy to avoid something which we know is going to be uncomfortable. I downloaded this thinking that the synopsis was promising, but I found the cover compelling and the imagery presented remained. For me, that's a cover which speaks to the potential reader. A small child shutting out the wider world? What's going on?

So I read the book sooner rather than 'sometime'. And I'm so pleased I did. This is not a joyful read. Don't get me wrong, it's an honest account and it's not all a doom and gloom 'my life was awful' read. Mr Kenny has given what seems to be a thoroughly frank account of his life. His world and experiences differ from the norm, but he expresses his view of the world in a way that almost normalises some of his experiences.

One of the reasons that I tend to avoid a book like this is that I don't know how to deal with the impotent anger that it leaves. We're not talking about Dickensian Britain here; this account relates to a time we can all relate to personally. The institutionalised attitudes prevalent, and recounted largely without animosity then, remain now. How can a so called civilised society allow such abuse to continue? How can so called professionals justify their rationale and subsequent actions? It's OK as long as you blame the victim. Mr Kenny's book is a not always an easy read, but it's honest. And for that I applaude him and I urge you to read a memorable account of the so called care services in modern Britain. Please don't be fooled into thinking that because the events depicted here took place some time ago that there has since been a quantum shift. Recent accounts of abuse in the system of care providers including local authority, church and private sector will confirm that much needs to be done. Thank you Mr Kenny for your conviction in bringing your personal account to a wider audience.
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on 6 March 2012
I "bought" this book when I noticed that it was being advertised as free for the kindle. Being the 'tight bugger' that I am, I thought why not download it. The book starts off very entertainingly and you see Chrisopher as you do many kids - the loveable rogue. Without going into detail, there is a sad (probably life changing event) that happens to Christopher and having a 9 year old son myself its easy to think about what it would be like to my own son. Christopher, thanks for sharing your story and I hope that karma takes care of things
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on 6 April 2012
Absolutely brilliant book!! I could not put it down. i love the way Christopher Kenny is so honest about his life, the book is hilarious at times actually made me laugh out loud. i love the way he worded it and some of the comments were so funny, "I'm not doris stokes" or "should have gone to specsavers". I was chuckling, on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, pulling my hair out and cringing all the way through this book. i enjoyed reading the book as it reads as though he was actually speaking to you. it was one of those books that you just jumped straight into and it grabbed you. His life is so interesting and amazing how he went through so much but now he leads a normal life. i could really relate to some parts of the book and it has actually made me think about writing my own book, especially the reason for writing the book. its is an amazing read and i highly recommend it.
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on 18 May 2014
I downloaded this free book today despite some reservations and quite literally could not put it down. It was an honest and moving story told in a remarkably frank and humorous way. I have been a voracious e- reader for several years and this is the first book I have ever felt the need to review. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading
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on 30 December 2013
Another great find in the 100 free bestsellers when it was on promotion. Another example of a book you might not come across in other circumstances. It was of interest to me because all these things happened so close to where I live. And not so many years ago either. The author has a good style of 'putting it over' or putting it into words. He seems a very likeable person who's turned his life around and things are now working out for him and I'm glad. Writing this book has been a journey for him, he's looked into past records and found out about the many people responsible and named names. Emotional and sometimes told with a bit of humour. A very worthwhile book to add to your collection. Yes, I think you certainly are OK.
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on 18 June 2014
Not for the faint hearted, this is a true story of the writer's experience of being in care as a child and teenager. Really well written with some self deprecating humour and none of the 'poor me' that you would say was highly justified. Shocking portrayal of child abuse in the child care system and truly inspirational how the writer had the resilience to get through it. Recommended for anyone with a social conscience and shocking that the media continues to expose this type of abuse in the care system today.
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on 9 July 2014
The story touched me knowing what Chris had gone through as a child, Scared to tell of his abuse and becoming a bit of a rebel to stay safe, Easier to pretend you are tougher than you really are to survive and putting a wall around you to protect yourself from other children and in his case many adults,.
Whether it is physical or mental abuse its really sad to read, He does though have a great sense of humour and I did laugh out loud with some of his comments. I also got annoyed at times, I felt like shouting stop making the situation worse for yourself, but then it must be well written, he got me involved in his life. I was unable to put it down.
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on 24 June 2014
Brilliantly written.I can empathize with this author having been brought up in the 'care' system myself, in the 50s and 60s,and due to my parents problems and not anything I had done! I have no doubt the author is telling his story like it was having witnessed similar scenarios. It was, without doubt, survival of the fittest, not just physical but mentally. Well done Chris, for finding a haven with your wife and son as I have with my family.
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