The Prodigy

A Gifted Boy, His Family and Religion

Fiction - New Adult
24 Pages
Reviewed on 10/11/2018
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Author Biography

Indie author Joseph Riden writes fiction, nonfiction and creative nonfiction in US English. He has published two nonfiction books and produced more than a dozen short stories. He edited two published novels. His own first novel is forthcoming.
Joseph majored in Literature and Psychology, graduating with honors from SUNY at Buffalo's well-regarded English Department. He rubbed shoulders there with contemporary literary figures; authors who lived and wrote their art. After military service and university, Joseph followed a career in mechanical design, creating a trail of inventions. He also completed the Institute for Writers’ course, “Breaking into Print.” These days, he writes books, articles, and stories full-time.
In this world of increasing complexity," he has said, "we can anchor in practical wisdom to find new solutions for modern life's compelling issues. Storytelling is a powerful force, a way to learn vicariously and to speculate about the dynamics that drive human cultures and set the course of one life, a whole country, or even world history. In fiction, an author is free to explore and discover at the boundaries of human experience, to expand our collective awareness, and to push that edge with imagination and compassion.
Diversity of experience shaped Joseph's viewpoint, outlook and belief in humanity’s ability to survive, prosper and evolve consciously: "Our world is ripe with opportunity to speculate, to learn from our collective experience, to reinvent a more functional society without wars, and to unburden our planet — all to build a brighter future.”

    Book Review

Reviewed by Amy Raines for Readers' Favorite

The Prodigy: A Gifted Boy, His Family and Religion by Joseph Riden portrays a young boy in the second grade who is wise beyond his years, intellectually gifted. Jordy firmly believes in kindness and attempts to adhere to it but is the victim of some injustices throughout the course of a few days, from being attacked by a rooster, to physical abuse via corporal punishment from a teacher and the inevitable bullying and shameful behavior from his peers and classmates. Although Jordy is a child prodigy, he is still a child and responds as such by making a mess of the classroom belonging to the horrid teacher. He also steals a bicycle and some money but gets caught and is dragged home to face his mother. She punishes him in a kinder and more sensible way by asking him to write about his actions. Jordy quickly complies, explaining the unfairness of the cruelties he was forced to endure. After a visit with a psychologist, Jordy’s uncle offers to home-school the young boy so he may learn at the pace his brain seems to need. Will this help Jordy find his rightful place in the world?

The Prodigy by Joseph Riden is a very well planned and thought out story, written in an exceptional manner that is easy to enjoy and relate to. The Prodigy has a nicely constructed pace, moving forward without dragging, which is very difficult to do given the chosen subject matter. The plot of the story develops and unfolds in a manner that will keep the reader interested as well as entertained. Joseph Riden’s writing skills are profoundly intuitive and give new meaning to a very controversial topic, shedding a positive light. The reader does not need to share the ideals Joseph Riden outlines in The Prodigy; the story is truly inspiring, one that young minds would enjoy regardless of their belief structure. The Prodigy is a book I would share and recommend (regardless of religious or philosophical beliefs) with anyone of an age of understanding, and where tolerance and bullying are not deterred effectively. Joseph Riden’s writing capabilities are definitely noteworthy; an inspiring and hopeful story that I happily give five stars.