“A Snowball’s Chance” book review
Powerful, traumatic stories of teenage drugs, pregnancies, juvenile prison time, poverty — by eight young people in Southern AZ are edited by Susan Lulic Enholm of Tucson. The eight (Carlos, Christina, DeAnne, Jarid, Marquis, Megan, Melissa, Nicole) are all now adults, and in their own words honestly related how they grew up with mostly unwed or divorced parents, in poverty, in dysfunctional families where some of their parents used drugs. And these eight separately got involved with inappropriate peer groups/gangs, drugs, sex at early ages. And several had babies as teenagers.
The stories are heartbreaking (especially ones about sexual abuse) but realistic. And all of these young people eventually drop out of high school due to failing grades & performance, inability to study or control their impulses. None of these eight young people had good role models to follow, and several of them witnessed domestic violence or suffered from child abuse.
In Melissa’s own words:
“Probation was a turning point, obviously. Hang in there. Don’t drop out. Life is too important to leave your education behind. You can’t get anywhere without an education. You’ll probably regret it. I know I did. I regretted it a long time.I think if you have a drug problem, talk to someone about it. I think you’ll know if you have a problem because you just feel it. You have this aching where you have to get higher and higher. Get help right away.” (page 89)
These stories are in sharp contrast to young people who grow up in a privileged world of middle or upper class wealth – with intact, loving parents, no drugs, no teen sex, college bound expectations, but later may become people who also face adversity through bad marriage or career choices, infertility, and depression.
The book is a worthy attempt to reach out to teens who are going through similar circumstances, and who may need to hear how other young people “turned their lives around”. Some of them specifically related what their lowest point in life was and what caused them to change, and escape the chaotic world they were in.
Although the editor is not in contact with these authors anymore, one hopes that they have found better lives, and may be able to change the lives of their own children and break the cycles of poverty, crime, child abuse.
This book portrays horror but inspires hope.
Contact the editor Susan Enholm at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to purchase her book, which sells at $12.95, published by City Girl Press, www.citygirlpress.com. It’s in e-Book and softcover.