Book review: I’m Only Human After All
by Alex Rogers
This is an autobiography of author Alex Rogers’ years in middle school and early high school. When presented to me for review, it was billed as a book about bullying, with a Christian flavor. I was intrigued, as combating bullying is a hot topic in many churches today.
I didn’t really find it very intense. The bullying, while certainly worse than anything I experienced in my school years, was not enough to send anyone all Columbine … and Alex didn’t face it totally by himself, nor was he totally cowed. So, to set the proper flavor, let me quote from the forward: Alex writes, “[this is] the story of my early adolescent life and the issues that all of us can relate to at that stage in our lives. At some time we have all been in an awkward stage until, one day, we surface as something more.”
So what is the Christian bent? Minor spoiler alert: curiously, Alex is rescued from the bullying by an act of God. I’ll give you a hint: it occurred in 2005, in New Orleans. A short interlude in the book tells about Alex attending church as the hurricane neared, hearing from the pulpit about a “cleansing” that God was sending. Alex and his family evacuated, and when they returned, the high school circumstances had changed. It’s all presented as a sort of odd coincidence, just one of the ways the bumps in life get mysteriously ironed out, so I’m uncertain if we’re really supposed to read much into the fiery “cleansing” sermon.
The writing is simple, easy for young readers to follow (it would make a great young adult book), and it holds your attention. I enjoyed sharing Alex’s young life and getting to know him. Beyond that, given my own stage in life (I’m 52), it didn’t make a deep impression … my bullies have all grown up and my kids are out of high school.