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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.