The Boy From the Basement is a YA realistic fiction book about a young boy escaping his abusive past and his fears. 12-year-old Charlie lives in a home where he is condemned to the basement of his home, his "punishment," according to his father. He does not know how to read, what numbers are, and has never been outside, just hurt by his father while his mother just stood by and watched. When Charlie is afraid of a spider, he accidentally goes outside and embarks on a journey of finding love and learning to heal.
This book is quite short, 198 pages, but full of emotions and intense scenes that will move you to tears! I loved the symbolism of the spider and what it meant to Charlie, as well as his mentality of "punishment."
The Boy From the Basement is very sad and inspiring. Unfortunately, it is a true story for many kids in the world. The character development of Charlie is extraordinary. He wants his parents back, and for the longest time he doesn't understand that what he went through is wrong. He is afraid of his father, but loves him, too. He goes from blaming himself to realizing that he can be independent and gains a self-worth and confidence that is incredible and inspiring.
This book should be required reading in school. I can think of so many essays to write, from symbolism to basic characterization. I think that this book could be eye-opening for some people and it is also educational about psychology and really shows the power of positive thinking and self-esteem. It teaches coping skills, especially about fear and how to change your thinking. Readers can take away from this book the fact that life can always get better, and that even taking tiny steps can still be huge progress.
I highly recommend this book, and I cannot wait to read another book of the author's, Black-Eyed Susie!
Title: The Boy From the Basement
Author: Susan Shaw
Publisher: Dutton Books
Rating: 5 Stars