November 4th, 2016

One of the books I am currently reading is “lullabies for little criminals” By Heather O’Neill, which is about a 12 year old girl living on the streets, and in between houses while her father, Jules, is in rehab. Her mother died a year after Baby was born, so her whole life it was just her and her father. She was placed in a foster home when Jules was admitted to the hospital, and she grew to love the family of foster children, to the point where she was almost reluctant to leave. Then Jules slips up again, this time landing him in rehab, so Baby moves in temporarily with Mary, a neighbor, and her two sons. I am only a third of the way through the book, so my summary of what I’ve read ends here, but I can’t put it down! I have a passion for reading, because I can live vicariously through the characters adventures, and metaphorically travel the world, even though I’ve never left Canada. Baby has lived such an exciting life already because it’s very unpredictable. She has only ever lived with her father, until he was hospitalized, and he was her whole world; it didn’t matter where they lived as long as they had each other. Jules brought so much excitement into her life, although it may not have been the safest, and cultured Baby to the streets, and all of the characters you may encounter. I lived a “normal” life, with my mother and father and a cat and a dog.

The implied author is Baby, and it feels like she is writing this down in her diary which makes the text feel very intimate. While reading this I felt that I was invading her privacy, but also like I was her friend that she was telling this too. Although I don’t completely understand Baby’s life, I can connect with the absence of a loved one due to hospitalization. My Nana was in and out of the hospital during the majority of the summer in 2015, so I understand what she is going through, and how it feels to miss a loved one and being able to do the things you used to do together. Nana was in the hospital because of cancer, and didn’t have to go to rehab, but when I went to visit her once, she had out a Ziploc full of cigarettes from the reserve, similar to Jules when Baby went to visit him in rehab (O’Neill, 66).

I would like to know if Jules will ever come back out of rehab and stay out, or if he will keep admitting himself, as well as why he willingly re-admitted himself in the first place. If he gets out, will he stay clean and try to raise Baby without moving around so frequently, or will he go back to his old ways? Due to the fact that the book is titled “lullabies for little criminals”, I feel like Baby will start to go down the same path as her father, and try more recreational drugs, even though she said she wouldn’t try magic mushrooms again (O’Neill, 85-87), there are many other drugs out there that she could easily come into contact with. I can also she her possibly being involved in petty crimes, and possibly juvy if she is caught.

This book, “lullabies for little criminals” by Heather O’Neill reminds me slightly of “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling, even though there is no magic, other than the magic mushrooms :P, her mother is dead, and with the way Jules health has been declining rapidly it wouldn’t surprise me if she loses both of her parents. When Baby was staying with Mary, she lived in a little closet at the end of the hall “Mary showed me where i was going to sleep, in a room that wasn’t much bigger than a walk-in closet at the end of the hall. She’d taken everything out of it and stuck a little cot in the for me. There wasn’t even a window.” (O’Neill, 59) which immediately reminded me of Harry’s cupboard beneath the stairs. The Dursley’s did this because they were ashamed of having Harry live in there house, because of his wizard parents. They gave him the cupboard under the stairs to lock him in and pretend that he didn’t exist, because out of sight, out of mind. Harry’s room was also similar, due to the fact that it was small, and there was only enough room for a cot. (I know this from reading the books and watching the movies various times).

The Dursley’s may have done this to lower Harry’s self esteem, and if they were indeed trying to do this, I would say that this was accomplished; along with having him act as their servant, and only giving him Dudley’s old clothing to wear. He didn’t have a chance to truly find himself, and see what great things he was really capable of until he received his letter to Hogwarts. When he was able to leave for school he was able to search within himself and find out so much more about his family, and the wizarding world that his is apart of. Baby is still finding herself, and when she was living in the foster home she was able to become independent due to the fact that she didn’t socialize with the other children for a bit while she was settling in. Baby however wasn’t treated like a servant, and had her own clothing, used but still hers, and grew up in a loving home, or many as her and her father moved around frequently, hence why I said that this book is similar to “Harry Potter”.

~

(Personal/literary experience, predictions, and implied author/reader)

Where I found my images:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lullabies_for_Little_Criminals

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/look-inside-real-cupboard-under-8884406

Karissa L.

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