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The Mosquito Farm by Kevin Cooper

The Mosquito Farm

by Kevin Cooper

254 pages
The trials of a 12-year old during the summer of 1968.

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Category: Autobiography
About the Book

The Mosquito Farm is the story of a precocious twelve-year-old boy, soon to be a man, named James Leonard and his summer of 1968.

The story starts out with James explaining why he has to keep a journal during his summer vacation. His teacher Miss Milner wants all her students to keep a record of any special events that occur during their holidays and have a presentation ready for the new school year.

The story is in the form of a diary. James isn't comfortable with "Dear Diary" because he feels it is just too formal and chooses "Hey Buddy" instead, not knowing that over the course of the summer, Buddy would become his closest friend.

James starts out slowly but soon becomes deeply involved with his new found friend. Not only does he discuss the absurdity of his daily life, but also delves into his past, recounting the horrors of a physically abusive, religiously fanatic father and a completely helpless mother.

James pours his heart out to Buddy, telling him about his family's abject poverty and his life in a farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere. He talks about his lack of friends, his lack of connection with other family members and his feelings of being a geek and an outsider.

He also voices serious questions about his parents' fanatical Christian beliefs, especially since his father physically and mentally abuses him.

James does try to put some humour into his journal, telling Buddy about his father's faux pas during the annual outhouse cleaning and the glorious holy-rolling, Bible-thumping, tent crusade.

Although he can see humour amidst the misery of his life, he is intelligent enough to see its hopelessness and wonders constantly how he will survive. With the hope of gaining enough physical and mental strength to break his bonds of slavery, he decides to take action by starting a serious exercise routine and searches for inspirational heroes.

James' life takes a dramatic turn when he throws all caution to the wind and rides his old girl\'s bike ten miles to find Beth, a girl he became attached to at school. From Beth, he learns how wonderful it is to find someone who truly cares and allows his novice attempts at lovemaking. Beth changes James' life so dramatically that he actually believes he can accomplish anything he puts his mind to, including his lifelong ambition of becoming a writer.

Happiness is short lived however, when another loving Christian brother takes advantage of him sexually. This disgusting act of cruelty pushes James over the edge, loosing all faith, hope and desire to live. All his feelings of loneliness, abandonment and inferiority come crashing back. His only confidant is his larger than life friend Buddy, with whom he hopes he can find the ability to survive.

 

 

About the Author
Kevin Cooper is 46 years old and currently lives with his wife, Denise in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. The Mosquito Farm is his first book. He is currently working on his second book due out next year.

 

 

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