Clark's Eye on Books

Clark I reviews books and sometimes writes them!


Stanley James
Author: Clyde Henry
ISBN: 978-1-4363-6145-3, Pages: 244, $15.99, Publication Date: November, 2008, Paperback, Fiction, Published by Xlibris Corporation

Children are raised with the hope and expectation their lives will be better than their parents. School is a reverent place in children’s lives and their experiences are supposed to be entertaining, educational, and teach them the “Golden Rule”. Stanley James is a novel which does not follow this path. It is the story of a young boy who has learning disabilities and Clyde Henry tells this tale from an inside view. Even though this is a novel, Stanley James is based upon the true story of the author’s cousin.

Coming from an era of the 1950’s and 60’s, it is a wonderful first novel by Henry based on first-hand knowledge gleaned from attending St. Mary’s Catholic school in Alexandria, Minnesota, where he matriculated as learning disabled. He was a student who had been misdiagnosed and was not able to keep up with regular school children. Yet, with all his supposed disabilities, he graduated college Magna cum Laude, and also obtained a Masters Degree in Architecture from The Ohio State University.

His cousin was not as fortunate in his career path and this is the crux of the story. Humorous at first, we explore some funny tribulations which befall both boys as they meander through their younger years. Stanley James comes up with some concrete thinking which is far beyond his years and abilities which make you want to read on and enjoy the rich laughter which is engendered by this lad.

This is not a barn-burner novel. However, it is one which will anger you at the treatment given to youngsters in our society by those who are charged with the responsibility to care for them. By the time you turn the last page, you will realize that some institutions are in need of reformation. When you ask if the situations described are still going on, your answer will be found in the daily newspaper. Yes, the situations go on and Clyde Henry means to do something about it.

There is a foundation which receives the proceeds from these book sales. The website is www.stanleyjames.org. By buying this book, you will contribute to those needy children who are described. There are many books which discuss problems and our need for reformation, but few seem to put their hard capital into constructive change.

Buying this book is a good read and is for a good cause.

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Children and chickens, both are property until a child comes of age and the chicken is dinner. The ASPCA is responsible for looking out for both of them, and is better able to protect the chicken. This same anger fueled me as I wrote "Beaufort Falls", a book in which the most responsible characters in the novel are kids. In the late seventies, the setting for "Beaufort Falls", and the mid eighties when I was involved with counseling children and families, the institutions were brutally devoid of anything that indicated any sort of human touch.

This sounds like a good book. As soon as my book budget returns, I'll check it out.

Mari Sloan
Mari:

Thanks for the input. I worked for a time as a Juvenile Court Judge and it is such a sad state of affairs the abuse these kids have to suffer.

Clark

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