Have You Seen These Children?

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A book review of Have You Seen These Children: a memoir by Veronica Slaughter

A book review of Have You Seen These Children: a memoir by Veronica Slaughter

Stars: *****

She Writes Press (2020)
296 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Summary: Four young children caught between love and hate―hostages to the cruelty of revenge. A deceitful American father and a naïve decision by a Filipino mother transformed their lives forever.

Valorie, Veronica, Vance, and Vincent’s perfect world turned into a nightmare one hot afternoon in 1959 in Cebu, Philippines. What was to be a quick lunch with their father turned into a flight to America, where four dreadfully long years of running from state to state, hiding, and vanishing into the night followed. Kidnapped from the only world they knew, confusion quickly set in. At nine, Valorie, the eldest, liked seeing their father after his absence for over a year. Vance, a timid six-year-old, went along with whatever Valorie did. Vincent, the baby at three, cried for his mother while clinging to Veronica for comfort. Veronica, eight, was the only one who was truly panicked by what was happening around them―and she recognized instantly that she and her siblings would have to stick together in order to survive. In that moment, her childhood ended and the warrior within her emerged.

Moving from state to state and school to school, avoiding the law, looking over their shoulders at every turn, the four Slaughter children found themselves fighting not only the heartbreak of separation from their loving mother but also poverty, discrimination, and abuse. Their only weapons were their deep love for one another and an unwavering determination to survive the trials they faced―and find their way back to their mother.

Have You Seen These Children?

I sat down to read this book, and didn’t stop until I was finished 5 hours later. That’s how captivating the story was. I read it in one sitting.

Why was it so captivating? The memoir was very well written. Also the story itself was so shocking, so different from my experiences, so sad and so happy.

It’s written from the point of view of her 8 year old self which makes it unique amongst memoirs. Most memoirs are an adult telling a story of when they were a kid. This reads as a kid writing a story of something that just recently happened.

I couldn’t wait to turn the next page and find out what happened. Reading the parts about life in the Philippines was interesting too because I don’t know anything about that. Be prepared to feel all the feels when you read this memoir.

I feel like Veronica needed to tell the story to properly deal with what she went through. I’m sure it was like therapy for her.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.