It has been 15 years since the novel "Push" introduced readers to Claireece "Precious" Jones, an illiterate abused teen mother with AIDS. It has been two years since "Precious," the movie version of that book, rocked the film industry winning a number of major awards including two Academy Awards.Has anyone read "The Kid?" What did you think of it? Even if I hadn't liked Push (which I LOVED!), I'd be a Sapphire fan since she stopped by the blog and left a kind comment at this post (brag, brag, brag!)(OK, all she said was "great post," but it doesn't take much to make me happy!).
Early this month, "Push" author, Sapphire, re-entered the literary scene with her second novel, "The Kid," (The Penguin Press, $25.95). The novel, a journey into the life of Precious' son, Abdul, begins the day of her funeral. Abdul is 9 years old and he's all alone in the world. But despite the opening scene, Sapphire is quick to note, ‘The Kid" is not a traditional sequel.
"It is a sequel in that it continues to look at the profound and devastating effect AIDS has had on the African-American community," said Sapphire by phone before her Tuesday book signing in Atlanta. "I wanted to do another psychological portrait of a character."
Brace yourself for a journey through a new set of social issues that define Abdul's generation from adoption and the foster care system to sex abuse in the Catholic church.
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Sapphire believes some buttons were just meant for pushing. She may not be a social worker, but if she were, heaven help the foster care system.
"We have in our country a large pool of adoptable African-American children, especially black boys, who do not ever get adopted," Sapphire said. "They kind of tell that to Abdul [which they have no business telling him, she adds] to disempower him. They tell him it would be easier for him to be adopted if he was small or a girl or biracial."
For these reasons, Sapphire said she firmly believes in adoption of all sorts from transracial adoption to adoption of children by single women. "Had Abdul been adopted at 9-years-old, I wouldn't have had to write ‘The Kid,'" she said.
Still hoping for change
4 weeks ago