Rock and a Hard Place: One Boy's Triumphant Story

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Overview

A 14-year-old boy's powerful, eloquent, and heartening memoir: how he survived abusive parents, made school and the New York streets his refuge, and finally found a genuine family—only to be confronted with the ultimate challenge of AIDS. Like The Diary of Anne Frank, this is a young person's personal account of rising above the worst terrors of a troubled time. Line drawings.

Written with maturity and wisdom, this book gives voice to the most eloquent and tragic ...

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1993-04-13 Hardcover New The item is from a closeout sale from bookstore. A great book in new condition! Inquires welcomed and we want your complete satisfaction! Eligible for ... FREE Super Saving Shipping! Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed! Tracking number provided in your Amazon account with every order. Item is Brand New! Read more Show Less

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Overview

A 14-year-old boy's powerful, eloquent, and heartening memoir: how he survived abusive parents, made school and the New York streets his refuge, and finally found a genuine family—only to be confronted with the ultimate challenge of AIDS. Like The Diary of Anne Frank, this is a young person's personal account of rising above the worst terrors of a troubled time. Line drawings.

Written with maturity and wisdom, this book gives voice to the most eloquent and tragic young writer since Ann Frank. Johnson's story of AIDS, abuse, and hope received extensive media coverage. Foreword by Paul Monette; Afterword by Fred Rogers, with a new Afterword by the author.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Extraordinary autobiography of child abuse, nomadic street life, and, finally, AIDS—written with uncommon sophistication by a 14-year-old. The son of outwardly normal Manhattan parents, Johnson endures unspeakable depravity at home ("While other kids were being tossed into the air, hugged and caressed, and lulled to sleep by their mothers, I was being flung into corners and slapped across rooms"). He's denied food, even a bed to sleep on, while suffering savage beatings by his parents, as well as sexual abuse at the hands of one of his mother's friends. The streets become his escape as he searches for food and rides subway trains all night with other abused children. Eventually, the boy, now 11 and on the verge of killing himself, calls a hot line for help. Two social workers from separate agencies respond. They meet at Johnson's hospital bed, fall in love with him, fall in love with each other, marry, and adopt the youth. The fairy tale potential evaporates, though, with the boy's subsequent AIDS diagnosis. Surrounded for the first time by a loving family, Johnson fights on with courage and dignity: "I am not an object of shame, but a portrait of pride. I hold my head high and say my name aloud." With grace and honesty far beyond his years, the boy never lapses into self-pity. He roams beyond the shell of illness, touching on the joys of baseball and hot pretzels, delivering vivid and interesting portraits of family members, doctors, and friends. With an introduction by Paul Monette and an afterword by Fred (Mister) Rogers: A virtuous, unflinching, and unsentimental account of one boy's courage amid some of the world's worst cruelties.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517595015
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/17/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 213

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2007

    The best hoax I ever read and will read again

    sure some may or may not have heard the story on 20/20 about it being a hoax. Even if its so, and the book is in fact a hoax doesn't mean that the story behind it is. There still is child abuse going on and this story just paints you a picture of what some may imange it being like, even to the worst possibilitys. And so if you really enjoy a good book with lots of creativity you may want to read this book and set aside the fact that there may not be a boy named tony.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2005

    Who cares if the story was made up!! Its still a wonderful book!!!!!!

    This book is by far the best book I have EVER read!!!!! WONDERFUL!!!!! I think that everyone should read this book. It really makes a person sit back and think about life and appricate the things we have. I dont see why it should matter if the story was made up. It was still a good book and I wouldnt mind reading it over and over again.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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