Monday, 20 November 2006

Joseph's Story, Joy Cowley, 2006

JOSEPH'S STORY Joy Cowley, ill. David Hughson, Open Home Foundation, (Box 13-862, Johnsonville, New Zealand), 40 pages, paperback, NZ$16. ISBN 0-473-10885-2

Joy Cowley has written a moving story about young Joseph and his alcoholic mother which will help readers to understand the effect that emotional stress can have on a child. Joseph’s behaviour – stabbing a girl with a pencil, cutting up his toys – may seem disturbing but this story also explains what is going on inside Joseph’s head. He thinks that he is to blame for his mother’s problems. When he is sent to a foster home, Joseph tries to be as good as the other children in the family but the strain becomes too much for him. The story of how Joseph’s foster family help him ease his pain and achieve a secure and positive life makes this book a useful introduction to the demanding role of foster parents. A sad but enlightening story.

Trevor Agnew

First published in The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand, on 24 November 2006.

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