Of Foster Homes and Flies has been on my reading docket for over 6 months now. I wish I hadn't waited so long. This is a heartbreaking tale about young Denny and the loss of his parents. But it's about so much more than that, really.
When a 12 year old boy has lost his father, and then loses his mother shortly thereafter, (to a constant state of drunkenness), there isn't much to look forward to in his young life. His family is poor, he hasn't even ridden in a car in years, (never mind his family owning one), and Ingrid, the family dog, has been exposed to so much cigarette smoke she's no longer white.
Over the past year, Denny has been regretting having not entered his school's spelling bee last year. This time around, Denny is going to enter that spelling bee-and come hell or high water, he's going to win it. Will he really win? You'll have to read this novella to find out!
I'm not sure why I identified so much with this kid, but I did. Everything about him and his poor family rang true to me. I loved the depictions of his few friends and neighbors-which only goes to show you that in the end, in spite of being surrounded by people, you can still be alone. I just wanted to reach out and hug Denny. I wish he were right now so I could.
I've read one of Chad Lutzke's stories before in the anthology "Bumps in the Road", which he edited. I loved that story too, but not quite as much as this one. Highly recommended for fans of coming-of-age tales like Robert McCammon's Boy's Life, James Newman's Midnight Rain, or John Boden's Jedi Summer: with The Magnetic Kid.
You should grab a copy and you can right here. Of Foster Homes and Flies
If you do, give Denny a hug from me.
*I received a complimentary copy of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*