Beck

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 May 2017

Member Reviews

While this is a beautifully written story, as are all of Mal Peet's books, it is way too mature for most of my readers. I thought it would be more along the lines of Tamar, but it is way too graphic to be able to use it in a classroom and would require too many trigger warnings. I would highly recommend this for adult readers.
Was this review helpful?
BECK is beautifully written. It is a difficult read because it is based on historical injustices in the early 1900's. I was drawn into the storyline as the author chronicled Beck's misery as an orphan sent to Canada and all the abuse s he endured. It was very dramatic and terribly brutal and raw. Beck's character didn't evolve until the last 10% of the book. The first 60 pages were terribly graphic depicting child and sexual abuse. The couple with whom he experienced familial love abruptly ended, and their situation was not resolved. Most of the book had unresolved scenarios, but I saw this as a picture of an orphaned black boy: wandering, walking because he had no where to call home , physically and emotionally. Then there was Grace. Grace, the woman, and grace, that divine attribute that had eluded Beck his entire life. The literary elements are breathtaking: the burning tree, the burning man, and Beck's resolve never again to be consumed by the fire of hate and bigotry. The denouement is uplifting, thankfully. Beck finally finds grace and salvation.  I am distressed this is considered a children's book, however. It most certainly is not. It is a hauntingly dark, beautifully written saga of a very dark time in history.
Was this review helpful?
Peet’s final novel, finished by Rosoff after his death, follows a bi-racial British born youth in the 1920s, who is shipped off to Canada when he is eleven.  He lives in a Christian orphanage where he is sexually abused and then is sent to a farm where he is overworked and underfed.  He escapes and ends up with a black couple in Detroit who are bootleggers, where he finally experiences kindness. When they run into trouble, he hits the road again and ends with an older woman of mixed Scottish and Siksika decent, where he ultimately finds love.
Was this review helpful?
Beautifully written. Stunning and now i am a wreck.
Was this review helpful?
One thing I respect about Mal Peet is that he doesn't hold back. He doesn't restrain himself within the boundaries of the age group that he is writing for. However, I do think that this book may be pushing that age boundary a wee bit. I would almost consider this book for adults. At the very least, definitely older teens. The first part of this book was very heavy going. It was brutal, intense and dark. If a child were to read this book I would caution parents to be prepared to talk about it and give them guidance.

I have read a lot of the concerns that people have had over calling this book a children's book. I would almost be inclined to agree, as this is quite a disturbing book and I would be wary of kids reading it. Having said that I do think this book is incredible, and knowing the story of this book, I certainly didn't go in expecting it to be a light read. Mal Peet has a fascinating way of writing, and I think his books are always worthwhile to read, and I do like sharing his works.
Was this review helpful?