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Book Review, July 2000

And Yet He Lived?

A Very Shocking Story of a Former Gang Member Becomes a School Administrator!

Book Review  by Rita Vidal

And Yet He Lived? A Very Shocking Story of a Former Gang Member Becomes a School Administrator!    by Claudette J. Searchwell & Cornelius L. Barker

    The book chronicles the life of David Alexander from lack of parental love, social outcast from his peers, to the desire to join the gang and getting out of such lifestyle. He experiences more than enough of physical and mental abuse at the hands of the same people who are supposed to be nurturing and protecting him. The   horrific treatment by the adults in his life is enough to turn  any child into a cold blooded and cold-hearted menace. Feeling unwanted and unloved by his father and unwelcomed  by his siblings, he becomes easily captivated by the "Conti-Boys" a neighborhood street gang.

When David is about to be inducted into the gang, many adults which included teachers, counselors and his father misunderstood him - - - often punishing him unfairly. David tries repeatedly to prove to his family and school how intelligent he is and how naturally talented he is but meets with disapproval and discouragement. For the most part, David is in search for acceptance and recognition.

Claudette J. Searchwell  and Cornelius L. Barker vividly wrote a compelling story that can be used  as an instructional device to aid students in building a mastery of reading comprehension and vocabulary enhancement. The story line is one that will definitely grab young readers interest. Searchwell and Barker understand very well that to get students to read , you need to provide them with something of interest that he can identify with. The book provides young readers with a character that is lifelike and believable. "And Yet He Lived?" colorfully tells the story that any school-aged child can relate to regarding feeling accepted and recognized regardless of an urban or suburban atmosphere.

The end of section  activity sheets help reinforce reading comprehension and retention.  The activity  sheets  ask questions  that promote critical thinking skills and improve comprehension. 

The story explores David Alexander's childhood that was filled with poverty, abuse and misuse and his surviving these hardships and more. "And  Yet   He Lived?" demonstrates how the presence of  one or two caring adults in a child's life can have a profound and lasting effect of helping that child  turn his life around.

With the patient encouragement of a new found friend, David realizes that being successful in life does not mean having a lot of material things. He realizes that a good education is more valuable and will be his forever. It is something no person will ever take from him.

"And Yet He Lived?"  is an inspiring story of a child who so many thought and told him he will make it in life proves them wrong.  David shows the world when the going gets tough the tough gets going and you can learn from your mistakes and go forward. (Author Cornelius Barker, (201)-659-8872, E-mail: 

Cornelius Barker's Web Page

Outcry Magazine July Main Page Processes of healing