For my little brother
|For my little brother|
Cover image for For my little brother
|Set in||Manila, Philippines|
|Completion date||March 12, 2017|
|Publication date||April 16, 2016|
|Last updated||March 14, 2017|
|Pages||169 (Google Docs version)|
|Read this novel now!|
For my little brother is a Christian novel written by Enoch Leung and published on Wattpad. It is a first-person novel written in the eyes of a ten year old boy named Garrett, a garbage scavenger in Manila, who joins a street gang in an attempt to find enough money to allow his younger brother to go to school.
For my little brother was released chapter by chapter on Wattpad. The first chapter was published on April 16, 2016, with the other chapters of the story being published gradually over time. The final chapter of the story was published on March 12, 2017.
The novel was entered into the Wattys 2017 on June 22, 2017, but won no awards.
Garrett, a ten year old scavenger boy who lives near Smokey Mountain in Manila, works long hours for meager sums of money in order to help feed his family. His father, having parted from the family since Garrett was eight, has vanished without a trace; Julio, Garrett's older brother, has joined a street gang and comes home only occasionally to a listless presence. Garrett's mother and younger brother, Evan, are the only ones left who remain close to him.
Evan expresses his desire to return to school, an option not feasible given the family's current financial situation. Believing that he is helping his brother, Garrett runs away from home the next day, though he is guideless and otherwise unprepared. While attempting to scavenge a dumpster for food, he falls in, but is rescued by Dodger, who uses him to pick a few pockets and to rob a store. After Garrett rescues Dodger from three men, Dodger invites Garrett to join the Diablo Wingz, a street gang notorious for their former prominence in the region.
Inside the Wingz's hideout, Garrett meets Marco and Lewis, two boys who also joined the gang looking for money. Reyes, the leader of the gang, assigns the boys together as a group, with Dodger as the leader. After a small period of training, Reyes, having confidence in Garrett's abilities, sends Garrett and his group on their first mission: to break into a jewellery store owned by the Red Cults, a rival gang that possessed a priceless ruby. During the attempted heist, however, the three are spotted, leading the police to their trail. Marcos and Lewis are able to escape, but Garrett is assaulted, arrested, and jailed, and is driven to an overcrowded prison filled with inmates of all ages, especially and including children.
Two nights after his arrest, Garrett hallucinates and sees a vision from God, who instructs him to have faith and to return to his family. The following morning, Garrett meets Ricky, an 11-year-old whose father had driven his mother and two siblings out of their home. After his mother's death, he and his sister fought to care for their youngest brother; in a desperate attempt to feed him, Ricky attempted to rob a grocery store the night before, resulting in his arrest. The two develop a close bond, which Garrett uses to introduce Ricky to Christianity.
Garrett and Ricky are confronted by a group of older boys in the cell—the leader of whom Garrett nicknames "Goliath"—who use their influence in the cell's pecking order to control the younger inmates. Ricky attempts to fight back after they torment the two, but is badly assaulted and bruised. Garrett chastises him for his foolish decision. Later that night, Ricky accepts Christ and recites the Sinner's Prayer.
Several months pass. Ricky asks Garrett to take care of his siblings—his older sister Analyn and his younger brother Joel—should he be freed early. Not long after that, a woman named Gloria—a former BBC journalist—offers to pay the prison warden ₱40,000 for his release. Garrett, speaking to Ricky one last time before his release, agrees to the promise, and the two bid each other Godspeed. Gloria drives him back to Smokey Mountain, where he is reunited with his younger brother. A tearful Garrett promises Evan not to leave him again, regardless of circumstances.
The idea for For my little brother first came when Enoch first learned about Smokey Mountain, a large landfill in Manila that is inhabited by garbage scavengers, who scrounge through piles of trash looking for parts to resell and recycle. The first draft of For my little brother was published on K6ka's Test Wiki on February 8, 2016.
The novel went through a period of development hell during the later parts of 2016; several parts of the novel were either scrapped or rewritten, and little progress was made. New chapters were released very slowly, often on an irregular basis. The novel was largely complete by February 2017 and went through a series of extensive copyediting and revision before its release on March 12, 2017.
The final chapter of the novel was completed first, and was the last chapter to be released on Wattpad.