Kicked Out ~ Richard W Hardwick

Kicked Out ~ Richard W Hardwick

Sixteen-year-old Danny is kicked out by his parents and has nowhere to go but a shelter for homeless teenagers. There he finds a friend in the more experienced Goochy, who helps him find his feet. But the other residents are every bit as troubled and complex as Danny, and with drugs, alcohol, crime, sex and violence always on the cards, the house is soon simmering like a pressure cooker about to blow. In this turbulent environment, between binges and wild escapades, Danny begins to reflect and grow. But a discovery about his family places him under a pressure he cannot contain…

Kicked Out draws on the author’s experiences of working with young homeless and young offenders and is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand today’s unwanted youth. Hard-hitting and unsentimental without being bleak, gripping, at times hilarious – you will never look at kids on the street in the same way again.

My thoughts:

I knew from the very first page that this book was going to be great and I was right; I finished it in four days which for me, is very quick!

The book follows the life of Danny, a 16 year old who finds himself in a Children’s Home. He quickly makes friends, and enemies. Bearing in mind that the author is writing from his own experiences of working in such an environment I found this book really rather sad that these forgotten children could end up living such a life.

The characters were all so different and each had their own individual traits. Some I found really rather amusing and I laughed at their antics. The children had all been abused in one way or another and its not surprising that they were mostly very angry and turned to drink and drugs for a release.

Apart from Danny ‘the angry new one’, my favourite characters were Goochy ‘the experienced one’, Paul ‘the smackhead’ and Lucy ‘the I’m too good to be here one’.

The storyline was brilliant and I haven’t stopped raving about this book to all those that would listen. It has given me some real insight into how homeless children are cared for and the reputation that they are often given when all they really wanted was to be loved. They are the way they are because of other people mistreating them.

I feel that I could write and write about this book but I wouldn’t want to give anything away.

A gripping book which I couldn’t put down and when I finished it, I hugged my 13 year old son a little tighter.

I really hope the author writes some more books about his experiences.

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