Saturday, May 7, 2016

House Arrest

House Arrest

YA fiction
"Adjudicated delinquent.
I had to look up how to spell that.
Three times.
I don't feel like a delinquent
and I don't know what adjudicated means
(even after looking it up).
Sounds like a Kung Fu move.
I adjudicated you in the face.
Nine months (that feel like nine years) ago Timothy, protagonist
of K. A. Holt's House Arrest, went out with his dad for pepperoni
pizza and root beers to celebrate the birth of his brother. The
waitress gave them free ice cream. That night he was woken up to go
to the hospital in case his very sick brother died so he could say
Levi did not die then or the many times he was on the verge of
doing so. But he came home extemely frail and in need of constant
supervision. He breathes through a trach (plastic tube) that makes
him susceptible to infection. He chokes frequently.
It wasn't long before the boys' father took off for parts
unknown, leaving Timothy, his mom, and a part time day nurse to care
for an infant who could go into medical crisis and time day or night.
They never can get enough sleep. And medical expenses trump other
stuff like food.
One day after a sleep deprived night Timothy saw a man,
distracted by a car crash outside the store they were in, take his
eyes off his wallet. He took the wallet and used a credit card in it
to pay for--are you ready for this?--a months worth of medicine for
his baby brother.
[I now interrupt this review to bring you a political message.
ONLY IN AMERICA!!! In the civilized world Timothy would not have been
in this dilemma because Levi's medicine would have been covered. When
will we ever learn?]
Back to the review. For a year Levi is on house arrest, meeting
regularly with a counselor and a probation officer. He is mandated to
keep a journal to show that he is learning his lesson. Written in
free form verse, it gives an up close personal look at a young man who
has to deal with a lot more than anyone his age should. It's a
thought provoking read for kids and adults.
If this book seems super authentic, maybe it's because the
author knows whereof she speaks. Her son needed five years of
operations for a medical problem similar to Levi's.
On a personal note, being the healthy sibling of a fragile child/teen
can be a heavy and sometimes overwhelming challenge. When Harriet
suffered severe brain damage due to spinal meningitis and my dad
checked out in a lot of ways though staying physically present I had
more responsibility than I could handle.
A great big shout out goes out to the author of this fine book for
drawing on very personal experiences to speak the truth to life.
jules hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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