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The Literary Corner by Lisa Ard

| May 8, 2013 | 0 Comments

Lisa Ard leads a charmed life with her husband and two children just north of Beaverton. She is the author of the Dream Seeker series.

Getting to know Zaccary Rodriguez

One doesn’t meet many 12-year old authors — particularly ones that have written a memoir. Last month I met Zaccary Rodriguez, who, with his book Escaped, documents his family’s flight from an abusive father. That escape included a move from his native Hawaii to Beaverton earlier this year. As the cover copy attests, this was not a “pleasant experience” nor the “interesting adventure” Zaccary’s mom tried to make it, as the family shifted from one domestic violence shelter to another. It is an honest portrayal of a young boy’s conflicted feelings between his father, whom he still loves, and his mother, whom he wants to protect. There are many complications to the story, including serious health issues for Zaccary’s brother, baffling government agency exchanges, and the limitations of family and community.

I found the story to be true to a typical pre-teen voice and writing skills. With its journal structure, stories emerge, repeat, and play out as Zaccary understood them. The book offers a glimpse of a struggle many will never experience, yet builds compassion for this child’s history.

I asked Zaccary what motivated him to share his story. “To thank my mom,” he answered. Zaccary also hopes that by journaling his experience he can take care of his family through the sale of the book. In addition to writing aspirations, Zaccary is an accomplished artist and displays several of his works in the back of his book.

Sales of Zaccary’s artwork also aim to help the family financially. “I’ve sold three pictures at an art showing at Art on Broadway,” says Rodriguez. “I want to have a house to share and live together.” That’s a dream I hope to see fulfilled in Zaccary’s future memoir.

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Category: Beaverton Voice, Literary Corner

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