I have just finished the autobiography "A Rock and a Hard Place", by Anthony Godby Johnson, a then fourteen year old boy. This is one of the best school - related books I have read yet. It is a tale of a boy's life from being beaten and sexually abused to finding a new loving family to take care of him, to his discovery of having AIDS, but he does this all in a upbeat, non-self pity tone. While not one of the best written stories I have read because of its frequent jumps forward and backward in his life, this book will change your view of both AIDS and child abuse almost immediately upon opening the book.
It is obvious not too far into the book that Anthony is not the best of writers, but this is expected, he wrote this when he was only fourteen, and had to write it now because he didn't/doesn't have that long to live.
It is not well written, but the amount of raw emotion pumped into every page in this book is amazing. Any normal person would have easily broken under such a tremendous mental burden. You feel as if you ARE Anthony as he watches all of the people closest to him die, lose hope, or just be crushed from unfortunate circumstances into homelessness. When I read this book I wasn't looking at printed words on pages, I was hearing the subway as I rode it in the night with my best friend to fall asleep, I was reading my best friend's suicide letter to me because he couldn't live in a world without me when I told him I have AIDS.
Because of the compelling force in this story, many people think that this is...