Journal 7 : By Jami Riegel
The character that means the most to me is Esther because she is willing to do what it takes to help Ishmael and any other child that comes in to the center. She knows how to get through to them at their own pace. One example is when she gave him a Walkman and a cassette tape that had rap music on it. She knew that it was one of the things he loved to do before all this happened to him. She shows compassion for these children.
I think his rehabilitation is going well. He is one of the lucky ones, but he still has flashbacks of when he was a killer and that makes him immediately think of all the terrible things he did. I don't think you could ever forget things like that. I know I couldn't. I think it is possible to change for the better but it takes A LOT of work and normal settings to do that.
With having kids myself I would be VERY weary of the situation at first but as long as I see them getting better and becoming a better person I would be okay with them being around my kids, supervised of course. I would welcome them in my neighborhood and I would even try to help them myself if they let me. I hate seeing children suffer.
I highlighted a lot of fighting scenes and him having his flashbacks because he is great at describing every detail of what he went through. I can visualize myself being there and could hear the gun shots, see the blood and bodies. It's very gruesome but that's what makes it such a good book.
My favorite passage is in chapter 18 when he meets his Uncle for the first time. It starts off saying: He crouched on his heels next to me and began " I am sorry I never came to see you all those years. I wish I had met you before today But we can't go back now. We just have to start from here. I am sorry for your losses. Leslie told me everything." I think that rings true for everyone. You can't change the past but you can start changing your future starting right here right now. That is what I'm doing with going back to school. I'm changing my future and my kids future.