The Unbreakable Child
by Kim Michele Richardson


Kunati, 2009. ISBN 978-1-601-64163-2.
Reviewed by Linda Hoye
Posted on 06/21/2009

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: History/Current Events; Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration

"Maybe if I work harder my life will be shorter" an eight-year old Kim Richardson thinks, upon being told that cats have shorter lives because they work hard for their keep. What could possibly cause such a thought to enter the mind of a child? Kim Richardson tells us in The Unbreakable Child in a way that will draw you in and break your heart on the very first page.

This is a story about unimaginable abuse that happened over a period of nine years to Kimmi, as she was known, when she was in the "care" of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth at the St. Thomas/St. Vincent Orphanage. Kimmi's mother had been declared an unfit mother by the state of Kentucky when Kimmi was just an infant, and she and her three older sisters were removed from their home and subsequently placed in the orphanage.

Kim writes about the horrific physical and mental abuse that the girls endured at the hands of the Sisters and, as if that was not bad enough, further abuse at the hands of a potential "forever family" where Kim spends one summer.

Intertwined with story of her experience in the orphanage, Kim shares the brave journey she took with attorney William McMurray in seeking justice for herself and the other children who were abused by the Sisters. Richardson emerged from an appalling childhood miraculously strong. With the help of Mr. McMurray she sought to seek restitution and justice not only for herself, but for the rest of the children who suffered at the hands of those who should have cared for them. Richardson and McMurray triumph in the end, and the victims that they fought so hard for received a monetary settlement for the years of abuse they endured.

Kim Michele Richardson could have taken the path of a victim, but instead she has risen up as a hero sustained by her faith and strength of character.

This is her story.


Kim Michele Richardson is an active volunteer worker with Habitat for Humanity and a local homeless shelter. She also helps young students with reading and writing. She maintains a blog and an author website. The Unbreakable Child is her first book.

(See another review of this book, here)

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