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GROUP READS > Lullabies For Little Criminals - may contain spoilers

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message 1: by Lynda (new)

Lynda | 32 comments Mod
This book was recommended to me by a co-worker. It is due back at the library shortly, so I decided to read it first. Please feel free to discuss Lullabies for Little Criminals here. If your post contains spoilers, please let us know by placing a *spoiler alert* at the start of your post.

Winner of Canada Reads 2007
Winner of the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction 2007
Shortlisted for the Governor General's Award 2007
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2008
Shortlisted for the Books in Canada First Novel Award 2007
Shortlisted for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award 2007
Shortlisted for the Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal 2007
Shortlisted for the Exclusive Books Boeke Prize South Africa 2008
Longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2008

message 2: by Lynda (new)

Lynda | 32 comments Mod
Summary: 12-year-old girl child, unfortunately named Baby, is (un)raised by her negligent, "chocolate milk" (*heroin*) loving, man-child of a father in Montreal's red-light district. Bad things happen.

O'Neill on Lullabies: "I wanted to capture what I remembered of the drunken babbling of unfortunate twelve-year-olds: their illusions: their ludicrously bad choices, their lack of morality and utter disbelief in cause and effect."

Mission accomplished. I really liked O'Neill's writing style. She never lets The Reader forget that Baby is still very much a child. Baby often uses Outrageous Orange and Tickle Me Pink to color over her grim reality and to idolize the grown-ups (whores, pimps, addicts and dealers) who pay attention to her. Baby is essentially looking for Motherly Love in all the wrong places which leaves The Reader with a "life on the streets" survival story that is as beautiful as it is disturbing.

Out of the Mouth of Baby:

"People gave you a hard time about being a kid at twelve. They didn't want to give you Halloween candy anymore. They said things like, "If this were the Middle Ages, you'd be married and you'd own a farm with about a million chickens on it." They were trying to kick you out of childhood. Once you were gone, there was no going back, so you had to hold on as long as you could" (page 17).

"I don't know why I was upset about not being an adult. It was right around the corner. Becoming a child again is what is impossible. That's what you have legitimate reason to be upset over. Childhood is the most valuable thing that's taken away from you in life, if you think about it" (page 77).

"Every good pimp is a mother" (page 186).

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