In the style of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, an unforgettable story of an orphaned boy, a search for a mother, and the uncovering of a national scandal in 1930s' Ireland.
'Truth telling and truth recovery have seldom been as heart-breaking or necessary as in this powerful story of human vulnerability and failure - and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.' - Joe Duffy
A true-life account of a lost child, a search for his mother, and a scandal that rocked a nation.
At only five months old, John Cameron was abandoned in a Dublin orphanage, and fostered out as a child labourer by age three. When he turned eight, he was incarcerated in Artane Industrial School, where he became number 11963.
Now in his mid-eighties, for the first time John Cameron tells his shocking but inspirational story. As a child, reduced to a number, he survived savage assaults, sexual abuse and the tragic deaths of children around him. Along with other forgotten children, daily he battled for his life against the heartless adversity of the church and the emerging Irish state.
As a young man - devoted to his growing family and a much-loved schoolteacher - John was haunted by his unknown past, and he embarked on a lifelong quest to unravel the truth about his origins. Buried in a labyrinth of lies, he finally uncovered his unique story: one of a forbidden love and passion that scandalised rural Ireland and made national headlines in the 1930s.
Boy 11963 is a unique story of survival against all odds that will stay with readers long after they have turned the last page.