Saturday, February 29, 2020

My Story Starts Here by Deborah Ellis - ADVISABLE

My Story Starts Here: Voices of Young Offenders by Deborah Ellis, 176 pages. NON-FICTION. Groundwood Books, 2019. $17.

Language: PG13 (12 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13



Here are the experiences of more than 20 young adults and 10 adults who have been in and out of (or have had family members in and out of) the children’s criminal justice system in Canada. These people give the facts as they are -- the ugly truths and buds of hope -- and all of them encourage readers to not repeat their mistakes.

We may all occupy space on the same planet, but we each live different lives. While some details are left out or made vague to protect the identities of those sharing their experiences, enough is shared here to make you grateful for what you have -- people, things, opportunities. Ellis does her best to help every reader relate by asking questions that put readers in the shoes of those they read about and giving application ideas at the end of each experience shared. Whether you are in a bad situation or you know someone who is or you just want to see life from someone else’s point of view, those interviewed want you to read this book and know you are not alone. The mature content rating is for underage drug and alcohol use as well as mentions of rape and sexual abuse. The violence rating is for bullying; criminal activity, including stealing and gun violence; mentions of self-harm, suicide, and murder; and mentions of physical, mental, verbal, and sexual abuse.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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