A Winding Road
By Paulette R. Johnson
Brian Duncan, a twelve- year- old boy, dreams of coming to America. On his arrival in New York, his expectations are dashed by his experiences and that of his family. He becomes despondent, depressed, and homesick and dreads going to school. Brian, in this vulnerable state, is befriended by a kid who introduces him to street-wise activities which could have serious consequences. During one of these ‘errands’, an unsuspecting Brian becomes part of a police investigation, resulting in his parents threatening to send him back to his home country. He is scared to lose his freedom on the one hand, and his family on the other. He chooses to stay in school, and work hard at improving his grades if he is to achieve the American Dream. He makes new friends, studies hard, and throws his energy into playing basketball. However, when his family falls on hard times, Brian thinks that he can be of some financial assistance by returning temporarily to that way of life that got him in trouble in the first place. The consequences of that decision are devastating. He is finally convinced after his traumatic experience that to go down that winding road can not only be dangerous but also deadly.
Brian is 12 years old. Living on a Caribbean island, he dreams of going to America, and becoming rich like all Americans are. When his family in fact does suddenly move there, he is overjoyed thinking his dream has come true. But when he gets there, nothing is as he pictured.
Even though this book seems to be geared toward pre-teens, I enjoyed it. Brian almost immediately gets into trouble, which is understandable since he isn't streetwise. His innocence reminded me of when I was that young and naïve. It was fun seeing America through his eyes, giving me a perspective from an outsiders view.
I’m glad the author gave mention of 9-11 a couple of times since air travel and New York were in the setting. I think I would have liked reading more into Brian’s daily life, not just basic home to school then home. It just seemed to be missing things, like what the buildings and people looked like. I couldn't see it in my mind without these types of descriptions.
**The above opinions are 100% my own, whether I purchased the book or it was given to me.
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About the Author
Paulette R. Johnson holds an LLB degree in law. She also holds a Master's degree in Accounting and a Master's in Urban Ministry with emphasis on the urban family. She is involved in programs that foster reading in children and young adults. She has contributed to Boys' Life Magazine, which is a publication of The Boys Scouts of America. Paulette was born and raised in Guyana, South America. She and her husband once lived in London, England. Paulette, her husband and three adult children currently live in New York. This is her first novel.