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From the Publisher

This book has been awarded with the Gold Seal of Literary Excellence.

"A person diagnosed with EMR, (which stands for educable mentally retarded) has an IQ range of 50-70... learning will take them longer."

Tarell Johnson is born on a summer day in 1984, to a mother addicted to crack and a father who does not want him. His grandmother attempts to care for him, but after repeated kidnappings by his birth-mother, he is finally taken by Child Welfare. He is adopted by a Ms. Thomas, a physically and emotionally abusive single mother who keeps him in clothing bought from Goodwill. Tarell's status as an "EMR" or person suffering from educable mental retardation becomes apparent, and before long he is sexually abused by a teacher who only wants to take advantage of him. At eighteen, the adoption agency informs him of his actual parents and his curiosity makes the vindictive Ms. Thomas kick him out. Tarell flees to New York where he sings on the subway for money. He is seduced by a series of women and even a man who only want to use him sexually for a short while before kicking him back on the streets. Eventually the young man is tricked into marriage by a 44-year-old 400 pound HIV-positive woman. Again, it is only for her own benefit, and Tarell finds himself out on the streets. It is not until Tarell finds Theresa, a Christian woman who helps young men in trouble, that Tarell finds true love and care. Theresa helps him mature and learn, until Tarell overcomes his disability and graduates from college, able to support himself.

Spotlighting the plight of an educable mentally retarded child of a single, drug-addicted teenage mother, the author has provided a window into the world of mental disability and the concomitant poverty and abuse such a child can face. The theme of human depravity and aggression against the weak is made quite viscerally manifest. It is the author’s contention that only a selfless and Christian dedication to the welfare of such individuals can lift them from a condition of dependence to one of self-sufficiency. Some irregular grammar may jar some reader's ears, but the characterizations and plot are gripping and realistic.

- US Review of Books

Published: Trafford on
ISBN: 9781490729442
List price: $3.99
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