YA‘Despite impoverishing his family because of his alcoholism, McCourt's father passed on to his son a gift for superb storytelling. He told him about the great Irish heroes, the old days in Ireland, the people in their Limerick neighborhood, and the world beyond their shores. McCourt writes in the voice of the child‘with no self-pity or review of events‘and just retells the tales. He recounts his desperately poor early years, living on public assistance and losing three siblings, but manages to make the book funny and uplifting. Stories of trying on his parents' false teeth and his adventures as a post-office delivery boy will have readers laughing out loud. Young people will recognize the truth in these compelling tales; the emotions expressed; the descriptions of teachers, relatives, neighbors; and the casual cruelty adults show toward children. Readers will enjoy the humor and the music in the language. A vivid, wonderfully readable memoir.‘Patricia Noonan, Prince William Public Library, VA
This volume deserves nomination for the best recorded book of the year. Author McCourt reads and sings the story of his childhood in Limerick. The book is on best sellers lists in the United States and Ireland, has won the Pulitzer Prize, and has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner award. McCourt faithfully renders an almost nightmarish youth on the dole in Depression-era Ireland, infusing the tale with exceptional humor and grace. His ability to rise above squalor, cruelty, and neglect and achieve the American dream is an inspiration for all‘not just those with an alcoholic parent and more siblings than the family can handle. For McCourt, today a teacher and actor in New York, his debut as a narrator is truly a phenomenon. This amazing story of triumph over adversity belongs in every collection.‘James Dudley, Copiague, N.Y.