Thursday, July 2, 2015

Free Spirit : Growing Up on the Road and off the Grid by Joshua Safran

This is my review from Goodreads.

Free Spirit : growing up on the road and off the grid

This is an amazing story, reads like a fast paced novel, yet no one could ever make up Josh's story. How one young boy lived through adversity and became an award winning author.

The Stanwood (Washington) Library was a place of "shelter" for Josh when his family finally moved to Stanwood. I have been a staff member at the Stanwood library for 37 years, and do remember Josh as a very polite, articulate boy, always pleasant. At the recent author Stanwood Library/community event (standing room only), I commented to Josh that I had never known his "back"story, he has become a remarkable human being. It was wonderful to see him again after all the years that have passed.

Josh and his mother, Claudia, were "wanderers" in the true sense of the word, they lived in conditions that can only be described as "third world living conditions" in many different areas along the West Coast of the US. Throughout his young life, Josh would "wish" for a place with running water, electricity and indoor plumbing. Claudia, somehow, always managed to keep them together in good times and bad. When asked at the author event, about whether he should have been placed in foster care, he gave a most interesting answer, No, although they wandered around and never had a real home, Claudia did love him immensely - this comes through his book Loud and Clear.

Josh received a full scholarship to Oberlin, with triple majors, and eventually became a lawyer.

Due to his background, Josh has become an advocate for victims of abuse and those falsely imprisoned. He also has embraced his Jewish heritage - even though Claudia, for years, did not address their background.

He has found peace with himself, his mother, and has a loving wife, Leah, and three beautiful young daughters.

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