Monday, April 4, 2016


House ArrestStealing the credit card was a spur of the moment impulse for twelve year old Timothy.  Now he is on probation, and to avoid a stint in juvie, he is under house arrest for one year.

Timothy didn't steal the credit card for himself.  He stole it so he could use it to pay for his brother's medications.  That card made it easy to get a month's worth of life-saving meds for Levi.  Timothy was only hoping to make things easier for his mother and better for his little brother.

Baby Levi was born with subglottic stenosis which causes a constricted airway requiring a trach tube so he can breathe.  Taking care of Levi is expensive and requires full-time assistance.  Since their mother has to work, much of Levi's care falls to Timothy.  Even with lots of overtime, it is hard for her to scrape together enough money to pay for in home care, medications, and the frequent hospital stays involved with Levi's condition.

After the credit card incident, Timothy spends time with James, his court-ordered probation officer, and Mrs. B, a court-ordered therapist.  The judge orders Timothy to write in a journal and share it weekly.  James wants him to write about how he promises not to steal anything ever again, and Mrs. B. wants him to write about his feelings.  Timothy reluctantly begins, but over time, he finds the writing provides a great way to vent. 

Author K.A. Holt tells Timothy's story through his journal entries over the course of one year.  In straight forward free verse, Holt is able to capture Timothy's frustrations, humor, and tremendous love for the little brother who has changed everyone's life.  Holt's own experience with a critically ill child gives HOUSE ARREST an authenticity that will grab readers and keep them thinking about Timothy and Levi long after the last page is turned.

Previously posted at Reading Junky's Reading Roost.

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