Book Review: Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius

ghost boy

Reviewed by: Aimee
Genre: Nonfiction
Format: Paperback
Page count: 276 Pages
Rating: 4/5 stars
In stock: Yes


The story of Martin Pistorius is one of heartbreak and hope, loneliness and love.

At the age of twelve Martin suddenly fell ill, leaving him unexplainably mute and bound to his wheel-chair. With no hope of recovery, his parents took care of him the best they could with the help of a care home while he was expected to die. After four years, Martin slowly began to regain consciousness while continuing to be trapped inside his broken body, unable to communicate that he was awake and fully aware.

This is a book by Martin himself about what it was like being known as the “ghost boy” while being confined to his own body; the hopelessness he felt, his parents’ perseverance, and the struggles he overcame to find his own voice.

Martin teaches us many things, one being that even the smallest act of kindness can mean the world to someone. When he was at his lowest, it was the small act of a caregiver gently massaging his curled-in feet that gave him hope that life was maybe still worth living. His story will challenge you to treat everyone with dignity and respect; and to love those whom we might not understand.

Martin’s story is both touching and traumatic. Warning: there are parts where Martin describes ways in which he was physically and sexually abused. But in the end, despite all the odds stacked against him, Martin is able to fulfill his dream; a chance that seemingly no one, including himself, thought was possible.

“Dreams can be any size you want them to be. But the important thing is that you have one that is yours.”

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