This heartfelt memoir captures the life-changing power of unconditional love and perseverance. Even though this Big Brother/Little Brother match has little in common, they learn how to grapple with life's struggles together. A narrative that by its nature risks sentimentality or maudlin hyperbole never falls over that edge, r even skates near it. That's a rough task, handled with a sure and compact force that allows the reader to discover the remarkable delicacy that runs through the journey taken by this boy and man. In this sometimes painful narrative, Douglas finds beauty in unexpected places and relates it in forthright, sometimes blunt terms. His gift for unadorned, wry metaphors lead readers to insights that might be lost under the weight of more customary embellishment, as in the description of his childhood backyard: -filled with plywood cut-outs of Disney characters, painted and nailed like little sacrifices to the redwood-stained fence.- Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the book is the way in which the boy and man reshape each other; from Rico, Douglas draws insight into his own life. In a very complicated fashion, they both end up gaining from each other.
Aaron Kirk Douglas is an award-winning social activist in Portland, Oregon, and mentor in the Big Brother/Big Sister program. He has twice been nominated for national mentoring awards and is the recipient of one of Oregon's highest honors for his volunteer work with low-income children and families.