Sammie's Reviews > When I Was Five I Killed Myself

When I Was Five I Killed Myself by Howard Buten
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's review
May 18, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: age-over-10

This is a fantastic book! Written convincingly from the perspective of linguistically-intelligent eight year old (Burt), this is a very disturbing account. There are elements of this book (Burt's character, in particular) which are left open to the reader's interpretation. This means that there is a lot to think about once you have finished reading.

This book is not suitable for everyone as it is implicitly alarming towards the end. However, I found the elements relating to the children's "Home" even more unsettling that the 'incident' itself (eg. the almost spiteful priorities of Burt's case worker; the overall lack of understanding of Burt's situation; and the lack of willingness to help Burt appropriately.)

I have read some reviews which complain of the book's abrupt ending. It is very short, but if I had the power to make it longer I would like to have read more of Burt's flashbacks to his time at school rather than to have extra chapters at the end. I think the author chose an ideal place to finish.
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