House Arrest (paperback)
by K.A. Holt
House Arrest, written in verse, is a healthy mix of sad and hopeful. Timothy is a 13 year old boy with a gravely ill baby brother. Levi has a tubes to help him breath, because his trachea is too small, and he is at risk for suffocating and getting sick from bacteria. Timothy is under house arrest, because he stole a man’s credit card to help pay for a month of medical supplies for Levi. He was caught, arrested, and put on probation, requiring him to write in a court-mandated journal and see a psychiatrist and juvenile probation officer. To top it off, he is angry at his father who abandoned the family, his mom cannot afford their bills, and he is suffering from a crush on his best friend’s sister. Timothy is an intelligent, well-meaning boy who is determined to do what is right, no matter how it looks to the courts.
What I liked about this story is that it gives us hope in the darkest, most hopeless situation. Timothy, despite everything, still believes he can make a bad situation better. Many of my students come from situations that are similar. They might not have a sick brother, but they live in poverty, many have had a parent or family member abandon them, and some live in fear. It can always get better, though. I love that there is a message of hope, and that there is support when you ask for it.
What I didn’t like about this story was the end… I feel kind of stupid, like there is a deeper meaning behind the last page, and I cannot figure it out. I should know its significance, and it’s not coming to me. Maybe someday.
Book 64 of 2018