Book Review: Gus

Gus: Based on True Events, by G.S. Willis

My review: ★★★★★

This is the story of what happened to the author’s father, Gus, when he left home in 1930’s Jim Crow / depression era Mississippi at the age of 12 after a falling-out with his mother. Its portrayal of life at that time, and how Black people in America were treated, is very realistic and engaging. I sat down and read this book straight through in a single sitting. It is well written; it pulled me in and felt like watching over Gus’ shoulder in real life. If I had one complaint, it’s only that the book is short. I would have loved to have more!

Recommended reading for anyone aged 10 and up. This would be a great book to share and discuss with kids. The subject matter is suitable enough. There is one incident of violent beating, but it is not graphic, and adds value in understanding how Black people had to survive in those days.

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