The Giggling Boy
- ASIN: B011HIMQIC
- File Size: 615 KB
- Print Length: 348 pages
- Publication Date: July 12, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
The children have been stolen from their parents.
Taken far away and forced to live at the mission school,
They are subject to cruel torture,
They live in fear,
They are waiting for someone to hear their cries.
Eleven-year-old Smiley was taken.
He lived at the mission school, where he was reconditioned.
Smiley will tell you his story, how he lived and how he died.
Francis Malachi Pratt, the mission school superintendent,
had a deviant hunger.
He did unthinkable things to the vulnerable children
under his care.
He believed he wasn’t accountable for his actions.
But now he is dying.
He is going to hell.
The Giggling Boy is a historical novel which focuses on the appalling treatment of Native Americans in residential schools. The author, Ra Lynn LoneWalker has written the book from two perspective’s, that of Weshaw (Smiley), a young boy stolen from his parents and placed in a residential school, and Francis Malachi Pratt, the director of the school where Weshaw was placed.
LoneWalker has included a brief note at the beginning of the book warning readers of the book’s graphic nature, and he isn’t kidding. The Giggling Boy will leave the reader feeling horrified, disgusted, and emptied. The author is incredibly graphic, minutely outlining the abuse, physical, mental, and sexual, that occurred at the residential school. While the book sheds light on the atrocities that occurred in residential schools, it is almost too graphic in the sense that it’s challenging for the reader to want to continue reading. The book ends with a hopeful tone, but that hopeful tone takes over 300 pages to find. This book is not for the faint-hearted.
Reviewed on behalf of Readers’ Favorite
The Giggling Boy by Ra Lynn LoneWalker chronicles one of the most horrific times in US history. Native American children were ripped from the bosom of their families to be “educated” in mission schools. What awaited them was not standard knowledge, but the knowledge of harsh and abusive school superintendents and teachers, whose only desire was to strip away their native culture. LoneWalker presents two viewpoints of this horror. One is from the perspective of Weshaw aka Smiley, stolen along with his sister from their reservation to be educated in the Genoa Mission School. He tells of the traumatic abuse he suffered at the hands of the school superintendent, Francis Malachi Pratt. Pratt provides the other perspective, but his is much darker, showing a hellish environment where he is meant to reflect and repent on his horrible actions.
This is certainly one of the more unique historical novels I have read. I know through the introduction that the story of Weshaw is based on fact. I was aware of the mission schools, but not of the atrocities committed there. I admire LoneWalker for the research done prior to writing this narrative. There is a clear warning at the beginning that the content is explicit. Mr. Pratt was a pedophile, and horribly abused Weshaw. However, the narrative involving Pratt was something certainly different. He experienced a sort of hell, being made to experience all the things he did to the boys at the school. In a way, this portion of the book must have been cathartic for LoneWalker to write, in his own way seeking retribution for all the wrongs done on the children. Definitely not gentle reading, The Giggling Boy by Ra Lynn LoneWalker makes the reader truly reflect on what was done to so many people within the borders of the United States after the Civil War
This was one of the saddest books I’ve ever read. The fact that so many children were abused and stripped of their culture, and moreover that even today some people want to pretend it never happened, is shocking and horrible. The Giggling Boy is the fictionalized account of one of these children, a courageous and enduring boy who ends up at a “facility” to be educated based on bigoted beliefs.