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The Packing House

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  27 reviews
The Packing House is about a teen who must choose between protecting his dignity and exposing the person responsible for his debilitating nightmares.

When sixteen-year-old Joel Scrivener has a raging nightmare in study hall and someone records it on their phone, he awakens to a living nightmare where everyone knows the secret he's avoided for ten years. Reeling from a serie
Paperback, 286 pages
Published January 18th 2016 by Booktrope Editions (first published January 2016)
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G. MA THE PACKING HOUSE was first published by Booktrope (a hybrid publisher) on 1/18/16. The publisher, Booktrope, closed on 5/31/16. THE PACKING HOUSE…moreTHE PACKING HOUSE was first published by Booktrope (a hybrid publisher) on 1/18/16. The publisher, Booktrope, closed on 5/31/16. THE PACKING HOUSE went out of print after that. However, the author is working on finding a new home for THE PACKING HOUSE to be available again, and preferrably in more formats and locations. In the meanwhile, you can read THE PACKING HOUSE for free on Inkitt:

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4.45  · 
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 ·  42 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Great read, and not just because I wrote it.
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
G. Donald Cribbs has achieved something in this his debut novel that many have attempted and failed. He has found a genuine teenage voice to drive this compelling narrative. I was not but five pages in when I found myself strolling down amnesia lane recalling and reflecting on my own awkward high school years. His vivid description of the ins and outs of dysfunction are haunting and authentic. In this wonderful book the author starts us in a realm of nightmare and confusion, moves us to a place ...more
Papatia Feauxzar
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! The Packing House is so poetic, so sad, and so moving all at the same time. G. Donald Cribbs's debut novel is about Joel Scrivener, a 16 year old boy who has been a victim of CSA (Child Sexual Abuse). A thing he has repressed for years without even knowing but will have to get to the bottom of before he can be whole again or at least attempt to move passed it.

Cribbs' writing is so smooth, lyrical, and so elegant. I can't 'un-picture' what Joel went through even though the narrative wasn't g
Heather Renee
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every 11 minutes, a child is sexually abused in the world. And 90% of the victims know their abuser. Joel’s story in A Packing House is an account of such abuse. The pain, confusion, and anger he experiences as he tries to piece together his hidden past is palpable, and my support and love for this brave boy is unwavering. Not only does this book resonate deeply with me for personal reasons but I also find myself completely enthralled by the characters, plot, and beautiful writing in this novel. ...more
Sahar Abdulaziz
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The world of teenagers is naturally filled with individual levels of angst and uncertainty. These are the years in which children should be permitted safe places to grow, explore and self-actualize without fear, bullying or ridicule. However, when children are subjected to neglect and assaulted by sexual abuse, childhood then quickly unravels, leaving in its wake a trail of victims, and producing a lifetime of unfathomable nightmares. The Packing House, by author G. Donald Cribbs, strips away th ...more
Rescuing Little
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is an important piece of work.

G. Donald Cribbs takes us on a very personal and spiritual journey through his life of abuse. From the beginning, I was transported back to the painful and confusing times of adolescence accentuated by abuse and neglect. I felt his story in my bones, I felt his shame and confusion as he maneuvered as best he could the maze of craziness he was subjected to.

Writing about abuse is a difficult mission. G. Donald Cribbs accomplishes this task beautifully and w
Kevin Craig
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a game changer! Beautifully written and exacting with its topic. It braves a topic that's taboo and shouldn't be. It speaks up where others do not. Such an important book. I have so much love for it.


This story is an exceptional internal dialogue with self. And yet, it does not waiver in the least from also letting the reader in on the external world of the protagonist, Joel Scrivener. What the reader can see here, more than anywhere else in literature that I know of, is t
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“The Packing House” by G. Donald Cribbs is an incredible, powerful book. It is an absolute must-read for anyone with a son or for any boy/man who has survived child sexual abuse.

“The Packing House tells the story of Joel Scrivener from his point of view. download (3)Joel is a sophomore in high school who frequently moves on short notice at the behest of his mother. This adds to his difficulties in dealing with many typical issues of a social outcast. He has trouble connecting with girls, particu
Layla Abdullah-Poulos
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
For many of us, monsters are all too real, forcing us to fight against them as well as the effects that encountering them have on our lives. In THE PACKING HOUSE, G. Donald Cribbs, monsters plague Joel Scrivner’s life and subconscious, and he must vanquish them or lose his sanity.

Predators infuse Joel’s life via his self-absorbed mother with a penchant for the dysfunctional. The teenager faces beatings at home from his mother’s current boyfriend as well as bullying from schoolmates with whom he
Tim April
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: high school teachers, youth group leaders, and parents of teenagers
I’m not an avid reader, but I could not put this book down!
The Packing House is an extremely important story to share. It is educational for adults to know that abuse really happens too often and that too many kids experience it every day. It is empowering for teenagers who need encouragement to go to someone they trust and to get the help they need.
As a parent of a boy who is the same age now as Joel was then, what sticks in my mind is the innocence of how young Joel was. He didn't have any way
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An Emotionally Accurate Portrait

(I have received an eARC in exchange for an honest review.)

Though this book deals with a difficult subject the author does an excellent job of making the book enjoyable to read.

He is a master at relating the emotional upheaval and turmoil that results from the abuse portrayed within these pages. The roller coaster ride the readers experience will leave an indelible impression of what it is really like to experience such horrific exploitation.

Having experience sim
Melanie McFarlane
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Raw and open, The Packing House doesn't hold back any punches. True to its cover, it will pull you into the mind of a teen suffering from abuse, and desperate to find a way out.

The main character, Joel, has thoughts that are broken, jumping around between memories and the present, and almost is able to remove himself from them like a survivor coming to terms with his traumatic ordeal and trying to keep himself disconnected.

I'll warn you, it's a heartbreaking read. A great debut novel.
Shannon Tierney
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
G.Donald Cribbs takes YA readers on a challenging journey as they follow protagonist Joel through his recollection, mainly by nightmares, of sexual abuse he experienced as a child. The process of consciously remembering the abuse as it breaks through in nightmares and through triggers is realistic, accurate, and well written. Cribbs paces and plots his story well, it is engaging, and he understands how to draw characters that mirror real life. He takes on a formidable task- telling a story that ...more
Dan Rey
I read this a couple years ago during SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month). My sister has written a book "A Work of Art" on the same subject, but this caught my attention because it is written from a male point of view. Well written and important material, it's a book that sticks with me. Read The Packing House for free on Inkitt. Post your review to support this project: via @inkitt
Dixie Keyes
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Once I began the book, I couldn't stop reading. I read it completely in two settings and only stopped to sleep. Any avid reader can see how carefully and adeptly the author handles the content/plot and the characters--it's like he cradled the main character in hope and comfort as the most difficult of life's tragedies hit. This story depicts the raw honesty, confusion, disorientation, and reality of a rape survivor who realizes the trauma a decade after it happened. His family context is like fa ...more
Kayla M
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have to admit, I was thinking about tossing the book aside and not finishing it. I'm glad I stuck it out and finished reading it though. I was very confused for the majority of the book. The general storyline was easy to keep up with, but the details were hard to follow along with. It seemed to jump from one point to another so quickly that I was confused and had to re read that section. It wasn't until the last few chapters that I was enthralled in the book and couldn't put it down. 

As I thin
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This rather remarkable book is categorized "young adult fiction." I am far from a young adult but as a retired teacher of high school kids can really relate to the author's writing style. He truly captures the thoughts and feelings of a teenage boy--particularly one who has experienced such adversity and trauma. Chaotic thoughts--constantly changing and often fearful. Self-doubting and feeling abandoned--over and over. At times I found it heart-breaking and hard to read but never was I unable to ...more
Danielle Rafferty
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a powerful and important story needing to be told, both for survivors and those of us who love a survivor. The main character, Joel, is well developed and relatable. His journey of healing is both inspiring and informative. Joel's story could be so many people's story and the author, Don Cribbs, does a remarkable job of imparting information about abuse while still developing the plot. As a parent and an educator, this story has motivated me to consider the ways I myself might be more e ...more
Jessica Suddreth
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Packing House is a well written and accurate description of what a teenage boy goes through after abuse. How an abused child views what is happening and how the human mind can protect you from the truth until you are ready to face it.

This author created a character that one can relate to, and empathize with. After a couple of chapters I was unable to put this book down until I had finished reading. I wanted to know what was around each corner as Joel remembers and relives his past.

I cannot w
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found myself unable to put the book down. I was captivated, drawn in as I felt my own thoughts and feelings from my childhood being validated as I read. As I cried (sobbed) my way through the final chapters of the book, I was grateful for the transformative truth incorporated in the end.

Powerful story, one I will most definitely read again. A story that will aid in your recovery journey if you allow it.
Jon Burchard
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"The Packing House" brings the reader through the darkness of abuse into the light of resilience. I found myself emotionally engaged with the main character; weeping when he wept, fearful when he was scared, and hopeful as he walked toward wholeness.

As a counselor, I believe male survivors of sexual abuse (teens and adults) can find hope and healing through the expressed vulnerability and life-giving messages embedded within the pages.
Kimberly Sabatini
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-ya
There is so much heart in this book. With bravery, Cribbs brings his own experiences with molestation and recovery to the YA world, giving his readers permission to acknowledge, heal and grow beyond the things in life that feel as if they've taken away choices. Bravo to Cribbs for stepping up and speaking out.
Amber Smith
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
THE PACKING HOUSE is a poignant, heartrending story of both pain and resiliency, of survival in the face of trauma. Cribbs has given a voice to an experience that we do not hear nearly enough: what it means to be a male survivor of sexual abuse. The importance of books like this cannot be overstated. Five stars!
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tough to read, even triggering, because of the subject matter, but well written. The inter-chapter poems bring out the protagonist's inner turmoil over the past, as do the frequent insertions of his thoughts about the present.
Sharon Rentze
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Intense story of a boy with a difficult life. I would recommend this to anyone who understands that it is not a light story. So well written.
Wendy Rinebold
Oct 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Overall, I did not think this book was bad. I thought the story line was slow and a bit aimless but I liked Joel (the main character). When I got to the meat of the story I really liked just took a long time to get there.
Tina Sears
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So refreshing to read a novel about sexual abuse from a male's perspective. Well done. Very poetic and the dialogue is spot on.
Z.A. Coe
rated it it was ok
Apr 08, 2017
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2016
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G. Donald Cribbs has written and published poetry and short stories since high school. Donald is a graduate of Messiah College in English and Education, and holds an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He and his wife and four boys reside in central Pennsylvania where the author is hard at work on his next book, the sequel to his debut novel, THE PACKING HOUSE (2015), by Booktrope. Having liv ...more