Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Delicious Foods by James Hannaham...

How I Heard About It:  I'm a member of the BBC (Boy's Book Club).  This is a book club that consists of a group of men that teach together at my school.  We have been reading since 2000.  This was the most recent selection made by a book club member.  I didn't know anything about it and that can always be exciting.  I read this adult novel over my Christmas vacation.  

What It Is About:  Darlene and her son are trying to cope with the death of her husband and his father.  Eddie is only about eleven years old when he loses his dad, but he tries to make the best of it with his mother.  It isn't so easy for Darlene.  She doesn't know how to go on without her husband.  Darlene turns to drugs and a life out on the street.  This leaves Eddie alone to take care of himself.  Usually his mother disappears for a day and/or night.  But one day she doesn't come home at all and Eddie isn't sure what to do.  He relies on a neighbor lady, but finds that she can't replace his mom.  Eddie starts a search for Darlene out on the streets of Houston each and every night.  This isn't a safe place for him, but he is determined to find her.  After many days of searching, he stumbles across someone that says he knows where she is.  He ends up at "Delicious Foods" which is some sort of business/farm that "recruits" their workers from the streets.  Eddie does everything he can to convince his mother to leave this place, but that isn't as easy as they want.    

What I Thought Of It:  I just finished the book this afternoon and I'm not quite sure what I think of the story yet.  There were times when I absolutely loved the story and there were times when I found myself skimming pages.  After some skimming something would grab my attention and I would start reading more closely.  Overall, this was a great read with a fascinating story line.  It was an exposure to a life that I know nothing about.  I was frustrated with Darlene's choices in life, but that can be a sign of great writing when a "character" can make you feel that way.  I rooted for Eddie the entire time and just wanted the best for him.  He had to survive a lot and was quite a survivor.  I still think the title for the story was a strange one, but there certainly were many stressful events that took place at the "business" of Delicious Foods.

Who Should Read It:  Readers of this novel should be avid readers of literary fiction.  The story isn't always easy to read and/or understand, but the writing is excellent with a very unique story line.  Parts of the story are told from the viewpoint of "Scotty" which is actually the crack cocaine that Darlene uses.  These sections can be a bit difficult to follow as this isn't a typical technique.  Adult readers who enjoy well-written fiction stories should definitely give this book a try.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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