Official Review: A Boy Who Mattered by Marshall Frank

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kdstrack
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Official Review: A Boy Who Mattered by Marshall Frank

Post by kdstrack »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Boy Who Mattered" by Marshall Frank.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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A Boy Who Mattered: Examining the Roots of Drug Addiction by Marshall Frank is a nonfiction book. The author shared the story of his oldest son, who became a drug addict. As a loving father, Marshall tried many different strategies to help his son. He carried out an in-depth investigation into the factors that influence young people to fall into or be attracted to drug use. He hoped his studies, and his mistakes, would serve to educate and illuminate others. Knowledge is the key to help others avoid the nightmare of a drug-addicted child.

The book had three sections. The first section described Bennett's life. His parents divorced when he was only a year old. Emotional turmoil and an unstable home life plagued Bennett's youth. His mother encouraged him to smoke marijuana when he was only twelve. He ran away from home numerous times. Bennett's father signed him up for SSI payments, (Supplemental Security Income.) Bennett received taxpayer dollars monthly for his entire adult life. This steady stream of income served, principally, to support his drug habit. Bennett fathered three children, but did not form close emotional ties with any of them.

The second section presented the author's investigation into studies done about the various factors that produce drug addicts. Studies show that an unhealthy home environment is the number one factor influencing the tendency to use drugs. Societal standards and governmental aid can do more harm than good. The author highlighted the damage done by the monthly SSI payments Bennett received and the influence of rap music on youth. Marshall cited numerous websites that offer help, advice, and resources for addicts and families of addicts.

The last section presented reflections written by Bennett's family members. His half-brother, three children, father, and the editor described how Bennett's drug addiction affected their life. We often delude ourselves into believing that our actions are insignificant and do not harm others. These heartbreaking letters will make you rethink this premise.

I enjoyed the photos that the author included in the story. Pictures help to personalize the story and connect readers to the main character. The book also featured many of Bennett's poems. The emotional and moving verses opened a window into Bennett's soul and revealed his inner struggle. The poetry, more than Marshall's description of his son's plight, helped me to connect to Bennett and comprehend his pain.

I enjoyed the historical notes at the beginning of each chapter. The author correlated national events with the gradual societal slide into our nation’s acceptance of the use of drugs. At one time, marijuana users were arrested and imprisoned. Now, numerous states have passed laws that allow for the sale and consumption of marijuana.

Some of Bennett’s poems from his book, "The Black Hole," were difficult to read. My heart cried when I read the lines he wrote about his mother. “Hey Mommy, keep your men, your wine and bags of grass; For I will always remember the days that I came last.” Bennett also kept a diary. One entry read: “Loneliness is a hunger. It’s knowing if you pick up the phone to call anyone you care about, just to hear a voice, they don’t answer because they know it’s you.” I also noticed more than ten misspelled words in the book.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. This book is not a father’s complaint about his drug-addicted son. It is a labor of love, for his boy and for others. Readers will comprehend his frustration of not knowing how to help his son escape the nightmare of drug addiction. Bennett's story will educate both young people and parents about the causes and the dangers of drug use. The author achieved his goal of telling his son's story and of providing educative resources for other families facing this same situation. I would happily give this book the full rating if the spelling errors were corrected. This book would be beneficial for anyone who knows a family member or a person struggling with addiction. I believe this book should be in our schools to educate young people about the dangers of drugs. Some readers, who have already watched a loved one get swallowed up by drug addiction, might find the narrative to be overwhelming in its honesty.

******
A Boy Who Mattered
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Shabram22
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Post by Shabram22 »

I like books that educate others and share their experiences so that others don't go down that same path. Thanks for your review of the book.

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Post by Everydayadventure15 »

This sounds like a very personal journey through this family’s experience with drug addiction. Their story is both heart-breaking and relevant to the drug epidemic today. With the proper editing, I agree that this could prove to be a very educational resource. Thanks for the great review!

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Post by Cecilia_L »

This sounds like a powerful book. The quote you included brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for your excellent review!

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Post by kdstrack »

Shabram22 wrote:
29 Jan 2020, 05:12
I like books that educate others and share their experiences so that others don't go down that same path. Thanks for your review of the book.
This was one of the author's goals. He was honest about his experience with his son. Hopefully, this book will help other families. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

kdstrack
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Post by kdstrack »

Everydayadventure15 wrote:
29 Jan 2020, 12:05
This sounds like a very personal journey through this family’s experience with drug addiction. Their story is both heart-breaking and relevant to the drug epidemic today. With the proper editing, I agree that this could prove to be a very educational resource. Thanks for the great review!
Hopefully, this book will reach many families and schools. Education and hearing about the consequences of drug consumption can help people make better choices. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by kdstrack »

Cecilia_L wrote:
29 Jan 2020, 16:39
This sounds like a powerful book. The quote you included brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for your excellent review!
The diary and poetry were reflective of Bennett's inner struggle. I was glad the author included them, even though they were difficult to read. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by Julius_ »

I like poetry, especially emotional ones such as those found in this book. Thanks for mentioning that. I'm going to pick this book. Thanks for the review.
We're all philosophers. When there's a tough choice to be made, when faced with the facts of birth,love or death or simply when thinking about what we want to do with our lives.

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Post by kdstrack »

Julius_ wrote:
31 Jan 2020, 09:58
I like poetry, especially emotional ones such as those found in this book. Thanks for mentioning that. I'm going to pick this book. Thanks for the review.
I hope you have an opportunity to read this captivating story! Thanks for commenting.

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Post by espo »

It takes a lot of courage for a father to write this type of book. While I don't agree with the author when he points out the damage of SSI payments and rap music, I do think that it must have taken a lot of strength to write this book. You wrote a very insightful, well-written and vibrant review. Thank you!
The strongest impetus a man will ever have, in an individual sense, will come from a woman he admires.

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Post by kdstrack »

espo wrote:
31 Jan 2020, 11:19
It takes a lot of courage for a father to write this type of book. While I don't agree with the author when he points out the damage of SSI payments and rap music, I do think that it must have taken a lot of strength to write this book. You wrote a very insightful, well-written and vibrant review. Thank you!
The father's strength and honesty were admirable! I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by.

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Post by Julius_ »

A book with pictures that assist the readers to connect different characters to the stories. Your review was well written.
We're all philosophers. When there's a tough choice to be made, when faced with the facts of birth,love or death or simply when thinking about what we want to do with our lives.

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Post by kdstrack »

Julius_ wrote:
02 Feb 2020, 07:41
A book with pictures that assist the readers to connect different characters to the stories. Your review was well written.
I agree that the photos enrich the story. Thanks for your kind words, Julius.

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Post by Chipochashe »

Thanks for the great review. It certainly sound like a good resource for those who have loved ones with drug addictions.

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Post by kdstrack »

Chipochashe wrote:
03 Feb 2020, 13:47
Thanks for the great review. It certainly sound like a good resource for those who have loved ones with drug addictions.
The author has a deep desire to help other parents avoid having to go through this situation. Thanks for reading. I appreciate your time and your comments!

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