It Takes Courage
by Sam Lora
Author Reputation Press

"If I could help somebody, anybody, realize their potential, I'd consider my life a success."

While growing up on a farm in the Dominican Republic, Lora was brutally abused by his mother and father starting at age two. He believes the spark of cruelty ignited when his mother caught his father with another woman, with Lora as a witness. While his four younger siblings were loved and cared for, Lora was the family whipping boy, worked from dawn to dusk. Hungry, tired, and uneducated, he never knew what a toy was. His grandparents' house was his only refuge, but this comfort came infrequently.

Even though he helped his mother obtain a visa to enter the United States, the mistreatment did not stop. She and her husband left for America, temporarily leaving the five children with their stern uncle, who treated Lora badly. Lora ran away at age thirteen and lived in a community of outcasts along the river. He loved the sense of belonging and freedom, feelings his grandparents also gave him. These provided him the will to live.

Lora narrates a moving tale of his travels, trials, and tribulations while searching for community, good people to believe in him, and reconnection with his family. Homeless in the Marble Hill section of the Bronx, he resists selling or using drugs, preferring to peddle empty bottles from a grocery cart. His faith in God, America, and, remarkably, in himself carries him through a journey most unusual and inspiring. Written in simple, matter-of-fact prose by a man who never went to school, this poignant story warms the heart and fills one with gratitude and admiration for a boy who struggled so hard to become a man. His life inspires and did indeed take great courage.

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