Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1511
Dealing with FAS
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
The 9 Lives Trilogy is fictional but directly inspired by the son of the author, Jan Crossen. The real Joshua, like the Joshua in the book, has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and so has to face many challenges in his life as a consequence of this (FAS, by the way, is completely preventableone of the goals of this series is to promote awareness of the issue).

The first book deals with Joshuas birth, his early years, his time in foster care, and how he ultimately was adopted by two loving mothers. He faces many hardships, including abuse at the hands of his early caregivers. While terrible and tragic, the abuse is written about in mostly non-specific terms so that younger readers can still appreciate the story without being subjected to graphic depictions of what happened to little Joshua.

Happily, the story ends well when Joshua finds his forever family, giving hope to a story that could have ended very badly (both in real life and in the fictional one).

This book is appropriate reading for any family dealing with FAS or for use with any child dealing with (and surviving) circumstances beyond their control. I think it would be best read in conjunction with a loving caregiver; it is sure to generate some questions and could lead to some good discussions. The language is simple enough that even young children will be able to relate to Joshuas story.
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