When Veronica was only 8 years old, her father kidnapped her and her four siblings taking them from the Philippines to the United States. Moving from state to state to avoid getting caught, they lived a life of fear and abuse with their father. Her memoir of this horrible experience is a moving, emotional story that is hard to put down.
This book is so filled with emotion, as a reader, I was pulled into the story, but as a human being, a mom, a sister, a daughter…I was INVESTED in the story. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering of a mother finding that all of her children have been kidnapped in one fell swoop. For children to have to go through an experience like this is awful. I couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know what was going to happen!
I felt every loss, every sadness that the children felt. I felt the mother’s utter elation when they were reunited. The author did a wonderful job of bringing the reader into her story and telling it so well. I flew through this book. It’s a short page count, at only 296 pages, however, it was her writing that made the book go by so quickly. It’s written very well and pieced together to tell the story fluidly.
Overall, I thought this was a wonderful memoir that was able to bring hope and joy into a harrowing story. The balance of emotions within the storytelling was perfect, and it made the book easy and enjoyable to read.
Kidnapping, abuse, child endangerment.
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend Have You Seen These Children? to readers that enjoy emotional memoirs!
Where to Find This Book:
Have You Seen These Children? by Veronica Slaughter is available at these sites.
Four young children caught between love and hate—hostages to the cruelty of revenge. A deceitful American father and a naïve decision by a Filipino mother transformed their lives forever.
Valorie, Veronica, Vance, and Vincent’s perfect world turned into a nightmare one hot afternoon in 1959 in Cebu, Philippines. What was to be a quick lunch with their father turned into a flight to America, where four dreadfully long years of running from state to state, hiding, and vanishing into the night followed. Kidnapped from the only world they knew, confusion quickly set in. At nine, Valorie, the eldest, liked seeing their father after his absence for over a year. Vance, a timid six-year-old, went along with whatever Valorie did. Vincent, the baby at three, cried for his mother while clinging to Veronica for comfort. Veronica, eight, was the only one who was truly panicked by what was happening around them—and she recognized instantly that she and her siblings would have to stick together in order to survive. In that moment, her childhood ended and the warrior within her emerged.
Moving from state to state and school to school, avoiding the law, looking over their shoulders at every turn, the four Slaughter children found themselves fighting not only the heartbreak of separation from their loving mother but also poverty, discrimination, and abuse. Their only weapons were their deep love for one another and an unwavering determination to survive the trials they faced—and find their way back to their mother.
Just the Facts:
Have You Seen These Children? by Veronica Slaughter
Page Count: 296 pages
Publisher: She Writes Press
Pub Date: Aug 18, 2020
I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.