4 out of 4 stars
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Sticks and Stones: A Childhood Memoir by Ambrose Martin takes us on a journey through Ambrose’s childhood. Growing up, Ambrose didn’t have a lot. His family of nine lived in a one-bedroom house. Technically, it’s a two-room house because they put a wooden partition in the middle to create a bedroom. The book shows us the good and bad experiences Ambrose has had growing up in poverty.
I enjoyed reading this book a lot. We are taken into Ambrose’s world, and we get to see how life was for him living in poverty. The author writes all his good and bad experiences and leaves nothing out. I like how the book reads like a conversation. We get to understand his thoughts and feelings. This made me feel closer to the author. Everything was described with so much detail that I felt like I was there with the family.
My favourite part of the book was all the moments the siblings played together. Despite not having any toys, they still made the most of what they had, and they never complained. For example, they turned their little brother’s pram into a go-kart.
Furthermore, I felt many types of emotions whilst reading. Sometimes I would laugh out loud, and sometimes I felt like crying. It made me be grateful for what I have, and I realised that I took the small things for granted. E.g., having lights in the house and an indoor toilet. These are things Ambrose’s family didn’t have.
It’s honestly inspiring reading how close their family were. They were inseparable and loved one another immensely. It teaches readers that you don’t need materialistic things to make you happy.
The one thing that I didn’t like about the book was that at times the story moved slowly, and it felt like it was dragging. Other than this, everything else was great. The book didn’t take long to read because it’s only 219 pages long.
Overall, I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because I enjoyed reading it thoroughly. I found three mistakes, so it is professionally edited. There’s one graphic scene that involves slaughtering a cow. There are also some instances of abuse and bullying, so if you are sensitive to these topics, then avoid reading the book. I would not recommend it to young readers. This is a great book for those you enjoy reading memoirs.
Sticks and stones
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