A Clown in Cobwebs is Walt Nelson’s memoir about a boy with various physical differences born to a family who thought those differences were a sign God was displeased with them. Frank the father turned this belief into shame and became violent towards his son while Walt was still a baby. Despite his father’s anger and shame, Walt was determined to live a life enriched with love and possibilities.
Reviews from Amazon. Com Readers:
Travel through the narrative of Walt’s life, beginning with the shocking treatment that he received as a child to victories of overcoming battles in the schoolyard and beyond. Wonder at the cruelty inflicted on young Walt, at the hands of his father. Then celebrate as Walt finds support from his grandparents, counselors, friends, and then, true love. This gripping narrative is overflowing with the classic elements of man versus man, man versus nature, and man versus himself. An account of heartbreak, loss, and then triumph and joy, this one is not to be missed.
This book is a story of an overcomer. It is a great example of not letting physical or personal barriers keep someone from being all he can be.
In the interest of transparency, I was a student of “Walt Nelson” in high school. He was one of my favorite teachers who over time became one of my favorite people. He most certainly was one of those teachers who left an impression on my soul, which is at the heart of his memoir. I will also admit that I put off reading this book for a while because I had him on a pedestal and was afraid of what I would learn about his upbringing. Yes, it was harrowing, yes there are parts of this book that will make you angry and sad. But the takeaway is that “Walt” had a mother who was his champion when it mattered most; he had a couple of amazing mentors, and more than a few teachers who invested in his future. He also had a wicked sense of humor – something that he brought into the classroom and made his students adore him.