Life Is Not A Game

April 16, 2017    Kevin Trang

The novel I decided to use for my culminating task is the Lullabies for Little Criminals written by Heather O’Neill. The plot revolves around Baby, a twelve year old girl, and her heroin addict Dad Jules who worsens throughout the book and has no clue on how to raise a child being a single father he is. This is a situation that I have witnessed in my life time, within my own family and friends. Jules drug addiction forces them to move to multiple apartments because he cause a lot of trouble with his friends, jobs, and drug dealers. Jules leaves and enters rehab quite often which leaves Baby to watch over herself. Baby finds it very entertaining when Jules gets stoned but it creates several problems because she has no parent figure to look up to and has to learn about things herself. On Baby’s birthday she decided to go to the ice rink and she saw her neighbour and her neighbour told her she should lose her virginity but it was clear that it was very inappropriate to lose her virginity at this age. This is an example of her liking Jules when she is stoned, “When he was stoned, he was honest. I loved when he told me his secrets.” (O’Neill 18)


The cover of “Lullabies for Little Criminals” by Heather O’Neill     

The one thing I enjoyed the most about how Heather O’Neill wrote this novel is that she is very expressive with her work. Another being that the emotion the author puts into the story is very important through the characters. The words she chooses allows the readers to picture what is going on in the charters heads in that very moment. I strongly believe that this allows us, as readers, to connect with the characters in a more spiritual way.

Example of this, I put the conch up to my ear, as I often did. Sometimes I didn’t hear the sound of the beach at all. Sometimes I was sure I could hear the sound of my mother laughing.” (O’Niell 59)    


Baby getting teased by the kids at her school

The problems that have occurred so far in the novel makes me believe that there is a lot of things will happen deeper into the book. Lauren telling everybody Baby’s dad is psychotic. “Kids would ask me questions that weren’t really meant to be questions, but were meant to be insults.” (O’Neill 101) Baby says. This helps Baby come to realization that her whole entire family is not an ordinary one. I sadly believe that Baby will grow up without a father because of his heroin addiction but usually when advice comes from a loved one it makes the person in desperate need of help rethink their life but most likely not in this case. She will then leave the foster home and end up on the streets with the wrong types of


Baby living on the streets



Work Cited   


O’Niell Heather, Lullabies for Little Criminals: a Novel. Harper Collins, 2006, New York. Print.             


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