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And Clear Skies Above: A Touching Coming of Age Novel

2 May 2018

Can you imagine the utter desolation of an abused child who loses his only friend?

The protagonist has no name; others call him “Idiot.” The book describes the travails of a special needs child growing up on a kibbutz in the 1950s and the abuse he experiences from children, teachers, and other adults throughout his life. When in grade school, he finds a stray dog, Bobby, who helps him develop some self-esteem. At some point, the other children begin to use Bobby for killing cats, and one of the kibbutz members decides to shoot the dog, thus shattering the boy’s last hope.

The boy’s real need is for love and warmth from his parents, but the culture of the kibbutz, and perhaps their own limitations, interferes with this. His exile to a boarding high school, followed by being rejected from serving in the Israeli army, leads to a series of suicide attempts. Will he ever find comfort and compassion in the heartless environment in which he seems doomed to live?

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