[Kelly first reviewed this book on September 3, 2014. This post is an update in honor of today’s special, 1-day 800-theater release of the movie adaptation of A CHANCE IN THE WORLD and simulcast of Steve Pemberton discussing the book with a panel.]
A Chance in the World by Steve Pemberton is an incredibly powerful and true story documenting the life of Steve Klakowicz, a child placed in the foster care system and left to his own devices to survive. This inspiring true story highlights the power of the human spirit and what we are capable of experiencing and, more importantly, surviving. The book is at times difficult to read as it details the negligible conditions of child services and the cruel abusive acts that Steve experienced in his foster homes. However, Steve’s spirit, his drive to succeed, and his escape into books and education, provide him with hope that his life will not be defined by the terrible situations in which he has been placed.
Throughout his life, Steve searches for his identity, never knowing any information about his birth parents or reasons why he was placed into foster care. As Steve grows older he eventually learns his birth parents’ identity and is reunited with birth family members and friends. This reunion brings up a whole new set of challenges for Steve including disappointment, rejection, and sadness. As Steve learns the painful secrets and truths behind his story he is able to begin to accept his identity, eventually changing his last name and forming his own family. This allows him to create what he has always wanted and imagined but never felt – a home.
Steve’s determination to survive is a profound theme throughout the book. His persistence to make his dreams a reality is truly inspirational. It is a story of hope and an important reminder that we all have the ability to create a new beginning no matter what we have been through in our lives.
To purchase the book click here.
By Kelly DiBenedetto
Boston Post Adoption Resources