Book Review: The Poor Children by April L. Ford

Book Review: The Poor Children by April L. Ford

Review by Rosanna Haroutounian

The Poor Children
By April L. Ford
ISBN 978-1939650184
CAN $17.99
Independent Publishers Group

The Poor Children is the literary debut of author April L. Ford. The book features seven short stories about children growing up in dark, unsavoury environments devoid of the comfort and sentimentality that accompany most retellings of childhood and adolescence.

Three of the stories make reference to places and characters in Quebec, while the others take place in fictional settings, mostly resembling the United States. Ford herself was born in Halifax and has lived in various cities throughout the province of Quebec.

Each story is told in a distinct voice, reflecting the characters’ diverse backgrounds and personalities. It is not simply economic hardship that connects them. Familial, educational, and social impoverishment is also strikingly obvious.

The reader becomes enthralled in the horror stories of these children’s lives and eagerly reads on to find out how they will be redeemed. The book is a page-turner in an almost voyeuristic kind of way. These stories don’t have happy endings, and we become more interested in just how much worse they get.

While the stories are fictional, they undoubtedly reflect very real circumstances for many children in North America. Over 19 per cent of children in Canada – 1.3 million – live in poverty according to Campaign 2000, a coalition of organizations across Canada working on diverse child and family issues.

But The Poor Children isn’t a call to action. It’s up to the reader to delve deeper and ask, “Why? What next? What should we do?”

Review by Rosanna Haroutounian

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This review is kindly supported by:

LIVRES TROIS CANONS
PLACE NAVILES
3400-SS2, CHEMIN DES QUATRE-BOURGEOIS
QUÉBEC (QUÉBEC)  G1W 2L3
Tel: (418) 204-4325

info @ livrestroiscanons .com
Quebec City English bookstore

Librairie anglaise à Québec 

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Categories: Books, Nova Scotia, Quebec

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