The book Freddie Gray, My Childhood Friend by Kitria Stewart is billed as “an illustrated storybook of memories that were shared with Freddie Gray growing up in Baltimore City.”
The reviews of the book on Amazon.com have hovered around the 1-2 star range with a number of snarky, non-serious reviews mocking Freddie Gray and the premise of the book. Amazon has been cleaning them up since last night, with the reviews down from 118 to 82 to 58 at last inspection. The vitriolic reviews have been making the rounds via email and on social media over the past few days.
I’m including some of the reviews below for informational purposes. I don’t endorse any of them, good or bad since I haven’t read the book. I’m generally against using Amazon and Yelp reviews for political purposes. If you find any of the reviews distasteful, you can let Amazon know on the “Report Abuse” link under each review.
One serious reviewer recently said, “This book is Awesome it shows the real Freddie.. The side the media wouldn’t speak about! Great Job Kitria” while another wrote, “Wow! #MustRead This is such an amazing book that reflects upon Kitria’s childhood memories with Freddie!!!”
Those types of reviews are few and far between however.
One reviewer even used the nom de plume of “Marilyn Mosby” to leave a review while another left a 5-star review entitled, “Follow up Novel coming soon ‘2 page of Priors'” with a listing of all of Gray’s criminal charges from the online Maryland Judiciary Case Search. One amateur poet even left a review parodying “Green Eggs and Ham” with the title “Seen Drugs and Scram,”
A sampling of some of the reviews:
- “This book was given to me by a friend, and I honestly read it objectively. However, there was no way I could stomach the tissue of lies that attempted to make a troubled youth and a concordant criminal out to be a Sunday morning choir boy. What a waste of time. Biased, politically motivated and obviously slanted to support an agenda that due to recent events has proven flawed and skewed. Lousy book. Don’t waste time or money.”
- “It should have been called, Freddie Gray, My Friend the Criminal Drug Dealer.”
- “Nothing like glorifying the criminal. Great example for inner city kids to read but then again liberal democrats have to fan the flames of hate to keep the inner city poor voting for their candidates.”
- “Good to see the entrepreneurial spirit exist even in the depravity of West Baltimore. When life gives you lemons, make up a bunch of crap and put it in a book, or was that supposed to be lemonade?”
- “Spoiler alert: he dies at the end”
- “Ah yes Freddie gray my childhood friend with a rap sheet a mile long and constant priors. Great for kindling.”
- “This is the sequel to the book, ‘Charlie Manson, my childhood buddy..’ Apparently someone trying to make a fast buck!!! Shame on you, Amazon for selling this trash!!”
- “Depolorable that Amazon would allow the sale of this book, and even more so that it was even written. Propaganda at it’s finest.”
- “Great for starting a fire pit. Or Charcoal grill.”
- “Read this in the back of a van on a short trip. Really had me shaken up.”
- “If I wanted to read a fairytale, I would just pick up a Disney book. What a joke. The book should be free too since the family was paid 6 million to go away.”
More on Freddie Gray, My Childhood Friend
The author of the book, Kitria Stewart attended Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School in Baltimore City and then went on to attend college at the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP), where she ran track.
The Amazon “About the Author” blurb notes that, “Kitria Stewart is a native of Baltimore, Maryland who holds a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her love for writing grew after being a freelance writer for online publications through Borderzine.com. As a former track athlete, she enjoys getting involved in the community to engage the youth through sports and reading.”
Her Borderzine author page only shows four pieces with her byline.
You can follow her on Twitter here:
You can purchase a copy of Freddie Gray, My Childhood Friend here:
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.