After reading this book, the first word that came to mind was "Wow", second was "Damn". Except the second word I said in ghetto vernacular, so it came out as dizzamn!
This is a book about parents who don't really want to have any responsibility and drag their kids from city to city keeping them in squalor and poverty the whole time. What's worse is that these people don't have to be poor. Not only are both parents exceptionally bright, but the mom is sitting on land worth millions of dollars that she doesn't do anything with because she can't bear to part with it.
It's a sad little tale where the parents look like the worst parents of all time. But, it appears throughout the whole book that the kidlets have an undying devotion to their parents and will continue to support and help them even though they have done terrible things to them throughout their lives. Which maybe is how it should be, but I don't know if I'd be that strong of a person.
The author has stated that she loved the way she grew up and it made her the person she is today (i.e. rich and motivated to succeed). However, I feel like my parents did the same for me by being strict, placing boundaries on my freedom as a child and giving me good morals. They did all of this while still providing me with food on a daily basis. The parents in this story couldn't even manage to do that even though at many points there was definitely enough money for bread and a jar of peanut butter. Which is basically all I needed from the age of 5 to 20.
What annoyed me about this book is in the end 3 out of the 4 kids succeed and have wonderful, healthy lives. Which isn't realistic. There are thousands of kids in the U.S. that grow up just like the Walls' who don't succeed or don't even make it out of childhood and I don't think that is reflected in this book.
So, 3/5 or 7/10 stars.