Thursday, May 22, 2014

Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen Book Review

Okay, with this book, I have to warn you that there are some very disturbing scenes but I decided to share this book with all of you because I am sure this goes on more than we would like to admit that it does. Cases like this come out all the time all over the country and it needs to be getting some attention. I am a STAUNCH believer that anyone who does anything to hurt ANY child should have the same punishment inflicted upon them. They are not able to defend themselves and I believe people who do these things to children are in reality COWARDS who are afraid of people their own size.
This book is called Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen written by Lauren Leigh, who is a writer for the Daily Gazette.
Baby is every adoptive parent’s nightmare—blind, paralyzed from the waist down, unable to speak, and diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities. For the first 10 years of her life she is raised outside in a dog pen by a cruel adoptive father, a Mississippi deputy sheriff who values his bird dogs more than his daughter.  
Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen is the story of Baby’s abusive childhood and her placement in a Mississippi mental institution for individuals with severe intellectual disabilities after the brutal murder of her father and the arrest of her mother, and her desperate attempt to escape the institution.  
Once the mother is convicted of murder and sentenced to death, the story takes a bizarre twist as mental health professionals discover that Baby is capable of communication, despite being trapped inside a body that holds her prisoner.  
Demonstrating the type of rancid hate speech that individuals with intellectual disabilities are subjected to each day in the community, some individuals expressing comments about the book have used hateful language to denounce the use of the word "retarded" in the title. The publisher stands by that usage because it is representative of how the media and the public in general have bastardized the former diagnostic term of "mental retardation" and continue to apply it to individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities." The book clearly reflects that change and individuals who use the old term are corrected throughout the book. 
If course the question for this story is, how much does Baby know about her father's death? And can she prove her mother’s innocence?  
As the mother sits on death row, the clock ticking, a brilliant psychologist has the shock of her life when she discovers that Baby is not who she seems. The question is will the psychologist be able to solve the mystery in time to save the mother’s life?  
Similar to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in the manner in which it reveals the inner workings of a mental institution, it is, in the end, about the triumph of intellect and passion over indifference and cruelty. This brilliant book is written in the tradition of The Sound and the Fury and To Kill a Mockingbird, two novels that address the complex issue of intellectual disabilities. 
My Thoughts:

You really need to read this book if you can because it may be disturbing, but in the process, the girl that they named Baby because she had no name, is not retarded as they thought. She is actually very smart and has learned quite a few things and understands full well what is going on around her.
You will be amazed at her capacity to withstand the abuse but you will be more amazed at her strength and determination to not let one man rule her for the rest of her life. One day things will come to a head and because her father is a cop, they think his wife killed him and Baby is the only witness to the crime but getting anything out of her is going to take a miracle.
You will be shocked at the ending and also crying because in some ways it's a freeing moment and a loving moment that you would not think a child that was put in a dog pen for 10 years would still have the heart to feel something. I encourage you to open your hearts and eyes and read this thought provoking and heartfelt book that will leave you awestruck at what humans are capable of doing.
Happy Reading! 
About the Author:
Lauren Leigh is a mental health professional who has devoted her life to working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. This is her first novel.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.


Beanybopp said...

Not that I know of but I am sure that there are more than are reported and/or in the news. Around here a lot of things are hush hush since no one wants anyone to know that somewhere good can have such bad things happen in it.

Neshii S Smith said...

Not that I kno of. We've had parents arrested because their children were malnourished.

Paula Ball said...

a father was arrested for raping, & allowing his cousin to rape, his 6 year old daughter. they both got life if I remember right.

Myrna said...

Seems I'm reading about child abuse way too often.

Jennifer Hiles said...

I'm sure mine has, probably plenty but none that I'm aware of. I imagine this is a very hard book to read but an important one. Jennifer Hiles,