BOARDING SCHOOL BASTARD: A Memoir. The remarkable story of life in an orphanage for Fatherless Boys

Book cover of Boarding School Bastard, a memoir about childhood in an orphanage for fatherless boys.

Boarding School Bastard is a memoir about overcoming abuse, sexual assault, anti-Semitism and fear in an orphanage for fatherless boys

Alan Sharavsky, author of Boarding School Bastard, a memoir about childhood in an orphanage for fatherless boys

Alan Sharavsky, author of Boarding School Bastard, a memoir about childhood in an orphanage for fatherless boys

The true story of childhood in an orphanage for Fatherless Boys. Overcoming abuse, anti-Semitism, bullying and fear through friendship, creativity and laughter

To preserve my history of institutional abuse, I decided to tell my story. I wrote a memoir in the style of a novel, because my childhood was so different from my adult life.”

— Alan Sharavsky

LAFAYETTE HILL, PA, UNITED STATES, June 17, 2020 / — As marketing director of the 76ers, Alan Sharavsky worked with NBA legends Charles Barkley and Dr. J. During his career, he developed award-winning ad campaigns and content for iconic brands like McDonald’s, Johnson and Johnson and JG Wentworth. He also co-authored and edited books for Fortune 1000 executives.

But life for Sharavsky wasn’t always the picture of success and prosperity.

When he was eight-years-old, his deaf and widowed mother sent him to live at Girard College, an historic boarding school and orphanage for fatherless boys in Philadelphia. She hoped Girard would be his Camelot, providing the room, board, and guidance that she couldn’t while working in a sweatshop. Instead, he would experience anti-Semitism, child abuse, sexual assault, and bullying, fearing the guardians who supposed to his caregivers. “When people met me, they saw this successful, happy ad guy with a model life and family. But when they learned how I grew up, they were horrified and fascinated. They wanted to know more.” Sharavsky said.

“To preserve my experience of institutional abuse, I decided to tell my story. So, I wrote a memoir in the style of a novel, because my childhood was so different from my adult life. The characters, scenes and episodes were unusual and suspenseful. It felt like fiction, but it was real. It all happened to many children, including me.” said Sharavsky. “I kept thinking about the Gold Meir quote: ‘One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.’ Girard today is a far different school, and for the better. This was my experience.”

Leavening tragedy with humor and humanity, Boarding School Bastard reveals a world we’d prefer to avoid but is too riveting to ignore. To witness how hope and friendship triumph over grief, abuse and fear, this stunning debut is essential reading.


"Sharavsky has dug deep for this gripping and emotional memoir, exposing a childhood sure to leave as big a mark on the reader as it did on the writer. Unforgettable."

— Jon Clinch, Author of Finn, Marley and Kings of the Earth


"Alan Sharavsky’s Boarding School Bastard is a ‘Me Too’ manifesto from a male perspective. Writing in crisp prose, laced with humor, Sharavsky immerses a reader in the travails of childhood and adolescence. But his is not an ordinary coming of age story.

— Annette Libeskind Berkovits, Author of In the Unlikeliest of Places" and “Confessions of an Accidental Zoo Curator.”


“While aspects are reminiscent of Oliver Twist, especially the deliberate cruelties inflicted by many of the adults on those in their care, Sharavsky's story is also a testament to the resilience of children who travel through painful events. Touching, and at times, humorous, this memoir will linger long in the reader's mind.”

— Nancy Christie, Author of Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories and The Gifts of Change


"Sharavsky's experiences, as depicted in this moving book, provide an important lens into the loneliness and fear felt by children who feel vulnerable and unprotected. Boarding School Bastard eloquently portrays the trauma experienced by victims and witnesses to child abuse."

— Debra Schilling Wolfe, MEd, Executive Director, University of Pennsylvania Center for Children's Policy

“I was rooting for the pint-sized protagonist from the first page, gripped and fearing for him by the 10th. This modern-day Oliver struggles to find his way in a well-intentioned but troubled institution, founded at a time when 'orphan' equaled 'fatherless,' .”

— Valerie, M. Jones, CEO, Speaker and Author of Non-Profit Hero,


“This memoir is a brilliant exploration of our humanity through the eyes of a powerless boy and his lonely life, illustrating how he coped with brutal, institutional guardians. His inspiring story of resilience demonstrates how creative adaptation and sheer will can overcome emotional deprivation. A tour de force.”

— Bruce J. Levin, MD, Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst


“Sharavsky pulls off the remarkable feat of drawing us into a page-turner while sharing the true story of his abused yet fascinating childhood. This powerful book provides necessary insights for people who have not experienced child abuse, abandonment, and anti-Semitism, while bearing witness for those who have.”

—Liz Dow, CEO, Leadership Philadelphia


Alan Sharavsky is a writer, editor, ad executive and musician. He’s written, ghostwritten and edited hundreds of books, articles, and white papers. Alan has also written and produced TV shows and content for Nickelodeon, the Discovery Channel, HGTV, The Philadelphia Inquirer, WHYY, and AdWeek. His advertising career includes ground-breaking concepts for The 76ers, McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, and J.G. Wentworth. Alan sings and plays harmonica for The Bassboards, an R ‘n B band performing at concerts, private affairs and juke joints from Philadelphia to New York.

Alan Sharavsky
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Source: EIN Presswire