Unlocked - Reviewed

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Book Description: Before You Take a Stand ... You Got to Take a Chance. Holden Harris is an eighteen-year-old locked in a prison of autism. Despite his quiet ways and quirky behaviors, Holden is very happy and socially normal---on the inside, in a private world all his own. In reality, he is bullied at school by kids who only see that he is very different. Ella Reynolds is part of the 'in' crowd. A cheerleader and star of the high school drama production, her life seems perfect. When she catches Holden listening to her rehearse for the school play, she is drawn to him ... the way he is drawn to the music. Then, Ella makes a dramatic discovery---she and Holden were best friends as children. Frustrated by the way Holden is bullied, and horrified at the indifference of her peers, Ella decides to take a stand against the most privileged and popular kids at school. Including her boyfriend, Jake. Ella believes miracles can happen in the unlikeliest places, and that just maybe an entire community might celebrate from the sidelines. But will Holden's praying mother and the efforts of Ella and a cast of theater kids be enough to unlock the prison that contains Holden? This time, friendship, faith, and the power of a song must be strong enough to open the doors to the miracle Holden needs.

My Thoughts: Sadly this book portrays what happens in high school today. I just have to talk to my youngest daughter, Kristian, who is a Senior and works with the special needs students to know how they are picked on. She hates it! Having two family members with Autism, and a friend whose son has it I have a very tender heart for those dealing with this. I found myself riding a roller coaster of emotions reading this book. Karen has a way of making you feel right a long with the characters. I was very pleased that Karen included a letter to the reader stating that there were different types of Autism and no reason for why a child would get the disorder. I really appreciated that, as all the hub-bub over immunizations really has had me upset as my daughter just gave birth and was told not to get her daughter immunized because of the "mercury" in the vaccines. I just looked that up and it's not the mercury it is Thimerosal and while it is a mercury containing preservative it has been in vaccines since the 1930's. So, if it was the cause of Autism, we'd all have it. It was removed largely from infant vaccines by the summer of 2001, some vaccines continue to contain non-trace amounts of thiomersal, mainly in multi-dose vaccines targeted against influenza and tetanus.
I highly recommend this book, and if you know someone who is dealing with a child with Autism I would give them this book for encouragement! This book is one of my tops for 2010.


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