I'm not going to compare this with other books of a similar nature, but just to say that the last book I read that gave me such tremendous and yet conflicting emotions of sadness, joy, and empathy was Angela's Ashes, interestingly enough also set in Ireland.
A story told by an adult, through the eyes of a child is difficult for any author to pull off successfully and the fact that Max Power was able to do this and do it so well and so effortlessly is a true testament to this author's ability.
The Little Big Boy was growing up and experiencing the mysteries of life and relationships at around the same time as I was, albeit half a world away and in different family circumstances and yet that identification with the world around him, definitely hit home with me. I remember smiling wryly to myself as he recounted some of the more bizarre and inexplicable behaviour in the schoolyard. I remember them well too and like Little Big Boy, I remember questioning why things had to be the way they were.
This is a hard-hitting story that pulls very few punches. No little child deserves to go through the trauma that Little Big Boy did and yet we know so many children still do.
This is a story that will pull on your heart-strings and yet in places, it is full of the joys and happiness of being young and being loved, especially by Little Big Boy's "Mam". I loved this book and will be exploring more of Max Power's work in the future to se what else he has to offer us. A fantastic job and no question of five stars from this reviewer.