In 2006 Straley experienced a disturbing episode while shopping in which his fists were clenched and he was
murmuring to himself in terror. A stranger reached out to him and broke the trance. He was remembering abuse. In
1963, at age 13, he had been sentenced to the Florida School for Boys, where he suffered physical and sexual
abuse. Straley decided he was going to expose the school, and he contacted the one man he thought might help,
journalist and filmmaker O'McCarthy, whose work had brought to light the 1923 Rosewood racial massacre in
Florida. What Robert didn't know was that O'McCarthy had also been an inmate at the Florida School for Boys.
Pulitzer Prize finalist Fisher (Star-Ledger), with these two men, writes of their efforts to organize other survivors and
supporters and to work through their own feelings, which resulted in a 2008 state investigation of the school.
VERDICT This deeply moving story is highly recommended to readers of heart-wrenching memoirs (albeit this is in
the third person), 20th-century American studies, or true crime.—Lisa A. Ennis, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham