I post a lot of fiction titles on Writing is Tricky, but today's book is a work of nonfiction. It is, in fact, the memoir, of Barbara Allen and of her life growing up with a father who was a hoarder, Nice Children Stolen from Car.
This is one of those books you have to check out. I've heard Barbara read sections of this book aloud, and it really is one of those books that leaves you speechless. Some of the stories make you want to cry, some make you want to cringe, and some just leave you shaking your head. It really brings to light what it is like growing up in a home of a hoarder.
In addition, Barbara has decided to bring awareness of this subject to the public. Children do not have a say in where they are raised, and more children than you realize grow up in these unhealthy conditions.
Of Allen's own childhood:
“I know for us, growing up as children we were very ashamed of our environment. We certainly were going to keep that secret because we didn’t want any of our friends to find out how we lived or what our home looked like. It was bad enough we were going to school with unwashed hair and unclean bodies and having to deal with that social stigma, but to actually have them come home and see our home, that would have been a nightmare.” -Barbara Allen
Allen was a keynote speaker at a Local Hoarding Task Force seminar, which you can read more about here (there is also a stream of Allen's interview on local NPR).
And as a bonus, here is a news clip about Allen's book.
As always, thanks for reading.
-Tricky (AKA Mike)