Amazon.com link for Runt: Memories of a Dyslexic Bastard.
Runt knows there are things within him that makes him different; just what they are is not clear. His dad calls him a 'runt bastard', his teacher calls him a 'defiant brat', and his mother doesn't call him at all. His brother skips grades, while he has to repeat them. The only good thing in his life is Bee, his slightly older niece.
Runt is a view of life from the eyes of a child of a backwoods mountain family. It is a wonderfully vivid tale of the family in times of financial hardships, war, and losses. Runt knew he was different and could not learn in the way his brothers did, but he was unique in his own way and learned to work around the abuse and neglect he received at the hands of his family. His one constant pillar is Bee.
An excerpt from the book:
Both his eyes glared at me. I said nothing; he didn’t expect an answer. I hoped. It was difficult at times to tell what he wanted. Sometimes he backhanded me for not answering and sometimes for answering. Most of the time, I kept quiet.
I was hesitant to read this book as it is difficult for me to read about children being abused, but this book was so compelling and the character of Runt was so resilient, that the book was a joy to read. The author’s humor also comes through in the story. Here is the author's home page Ray Shoop.