What is your book all about?
An eleven-year-old boy’s struggle to survive the shocking death of his father. After three long years of misery and torment, the grieving boy senses happiness within his grasp and passionately reaches for it. But his mentally-deranged mother has other plans. She wants her son to wallow in misery with her and unleashes her worst mental and verbal attacks she can conjure up to keep him down. But the boy is too smart for her. He knows his mother is a nutcase and easily overcomes her devious plot. But his mother is relentless and switches tactics and begins to harshly degrade his dead father, invoking more grief on the boy. The boy is almost emotionally crippled in grief but still overcomes it, enraging his mother. After she realizes she has failed to subdue her son, she begins to devise ways to get rid of him. As the boy dresses for school one morning, his mother packs his lunchbox full of more food than he can eat. At lunch he notices his mother stuffed his lunchbox full of chocolate truffles. He is excited and immediately begins to nibble on one, but his classmates’ burping, spitting and talking with their mouths full, gets him sick to his stomach and he puts it down despite his stomach grumbling in hunger. His friends see the candy and they start asking for the truffles. He passes all twenty-six truffles out and his classmates greedily eats them. Shortly after, they begin to complain and cry of stomach pains. To the boy’s shock, one friend after another collapses to the floor and dies right before his horrified eyes. The students and staff go into a rage and decide to take the law into their own hands, and begin constructing a rope out of their school shirts to hang the boy. He is paralyzed in shock and barely resists as they put the rope around his neck. As if out of a movie, the police arrive and save him and rush him to the police station. They release him in his mother’s custody. To the boy’s horror he sees on TV that all the students had died. The boy knows he is dead and goes on the run, hiding not only from the police but his mother too. His mother blames the murders on him and helps the police track him down. As the boy’s bad dreams turn into his worst nightmare, the implacable struggle for survival begins…
What inspired you to write the book?
The inordinate urge to create a story based on facts that would catch the emotions of the readers.
What is your target audience for the book?
The novel was written in the simplest form so all readers regardless of age could read it and understand it. A first-grade student to a college graduate to an elderly person would have no trouble reading and understanding it. Rarely there is as word in the novel where a reader would have to look it up in the dictionary to see what it means.
What do you hope readers could get out from your book?
The realization that our family structure has collapsed years ago and the understanding of dysfunctional families and the tragic impact it has on society.
What are your future goals/plans for the book?
To have it placed in libraries since the book has a message to society. Although the novel is fiction it contains a lot of facts about dysfunctional families and has a direct meaning to society.
And something more about yourself.
James Haddad is a native of Miami and is a former journalist for the St. Croix Avis Newspaper. He has done extensive research on child abuse and neglect and worked as a volunteer for the Department of Children and Families, and is a qualified expert in his field. He is a former candidate for the Florida State Senate. He attended Florida International University for his Master’s Degree. This is his seventh classical novel. He is the author of ten novels and one nonfiction book, titled, The Middle East Lebanese Diet and Lifestyle. He is the author of the Wall Street Journal best-selling novel, Eyes of a Child.