The School From Hell by Larry Higdon is a contemporary novel that follows on from The Storms Of Deliverance. It is another powerful read told in the first person from the point of view of Katy (who is Johnson’s ex wife from the previous book). The style is engaging as I really felt I was ‘experiencing’ life as Katy.
The novel is difficult to read at times due to the topics covered. Set in a poor school in a deprived area with small children who have tough lives, the reader really feels the desperation. It is in this desperation that bonds are formed. “Who knew what a difference you made in the life of another person?” Small children will grab kindness where they can.
There are uncomfortable subjects of child abuse, neglect and drug taking. It is in this atmosphere that some children live. Their lives are heart breaking.
The reader witnesses the character development of Johnson (from the previous book). I cheered his progress and delighted in his heart.
Play therapist Katy believes that children learn through play. “Play is their language, and toys their words.” What they will not speak, they may act out. Katy is more than just their therapist, for some, she is their lifeline. Children hang on to her words. “Working hard is more important than what grade I get.” She is their friend, teaching them life skills and coping mechanisms. She is their champion in a world that doesn’t see them.
We show one face to the world and another behind closed doors. The struggle with Bi Polar and suicidal thoughts are presented in the book.
The children in this novel are big, brave survivors. The spirits of the forgotten and ignored will bring a tear to your eye.
An incredibly powerful read.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.