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childhood. “…any successful policy program would recognize what my old high school teachers see every day: that the real problem for so many of these kids is what happens (or doesn’t happen) at home” (245). Family and culture is one of the main influences in a child’s lifelong
socialization process. Since children are the future, the cycle of poverty, pessimism, and self-fulfilling prophecies continues, including blaming society rather than the victim, as seen with Vance’s mother. As a result of reading this book, the reader not only learns about the subculture of hillbillies, how they think, and view the world; they also learn valuable life lessons as well. For example, one can learn to appreciate the life that he/she has by looking at how little J.D. Vance had when he was growing up. One can also learn to appreciate the resources that one may have at their disposal. Vance tells this story in a narrative way, a way one can follow and develop feelings for. This includes both the narrator and the nonfiction characters as well. Overall, it succeeds in delivering a great inspirational story of a boy becoming a man and surviving throughhis hillbilly upbringing while simultaneously helping the reader to understand the Appalachia, working-class of America.