After reading the first section of Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill, I was a little surprised because I was expecting something a little different. I was expecting the book to be about this group of kids who constantly get themselves in trouble. Instead the book revolves around this girl named Baby. Baby is motherless and living with her dad Jules who is addicted to heroin. Jules was put into rehab to help solve his addiction, but doing this forced Baby to go into a foster home. There Baby meets lots of interesting people. Being a reader of this novel I find it a little hard to connect to the book because when I am reading a book I want to connect to the book on a personal level. Unfortunately I can’t do that this with this book because I haven’t experienced anything even relatively close to what is happening to Baby and her family. But there are families out there they do experience these struggles and it is really eye opening for me.
Throughout the next section of the book I am thinking that something life changing will happen in Baby’s life. I think it will come through the likes of her father Jules. The way the book is going at this point it seems like this is the type of book to have something big and tragic happen in it. I think that Jules’ will eventually pass away due to his drug addiction. The reason I think Baby’s father will pass away from his drug addiction to heroin because he was placed in rehab which means that he isn’t getting any better. As Baby grows up she starts to learn about her father’s addiction to “chocolate milk” (O’Niell 18) which is the street name for heroin. I start to wonder at this point in Jules’ addiction to heroin maybe that the only way to save him so Baby won’t end up motherless and fatherless. I think that Baby needs to take to her dad about his addiction and maybe with his daughter telling him that he needs to fix his life or it will be over. Usually when advice like this comes from a person’s immediate family, it makes the person in need of help (in this case Jules) stop and rethink what they are doing with their life. Now that Baby is starting to learn about her father’s addiction she will realize that she needs to play a role in his life to help him.
Some of the mental images of the characters are easy to create in my head because just based on the setting and plot of the story. Most of these people we are meeting at the foster home are kids brought up from tough homes and have had family issues. Most of them you can picture, all are very scared and clinging on to something that would remind them of the good times in their life. “Every new kid who showed up at the foster home had a few personal things that they were clinging on to.” (O’Niell 27). I find it personally easy to picture these types of characters because through my time of watching movies, television and reading books this is how they are portrayed in all those fields. Now I might not if this is entirely true because I have never been to a foster home or really ever met someone that lives in one. So all the assumptions I am making are purely based on my knowledge that I have gained from watching television, movies and from reading books like these.
Just reading through the first section of this book I am starting to get a bit of an idea of what kind of person Heather O’Niell is. The way she is writing this book is almost like this was her as a child. The reason I am thinking like this is because the way the book is going it just seems way to detailed to me. If I am right about how Baby actually represents Heather then I feel really about about how her childhood. Well anyone really who has to go through a childhood like that. I couldn’t imagine having to go grow up without a mom and having a dad that is addicted to drugs. I do realize that there are families who are facing these challenges and I wish there was something I could do to help. But hopefully someone reading this book who might be in the same situation or approaching the same situation as Baby can realize what will happen to there family if they continue down the same path. So hopefully reading this book will help them.
O’Neill, Heather. Lullabies for Little Criminals: A Novel. New York: Harper Perennial, 2016. Print.