Date Published: 2015
Book Author: K. A. Holt
Summary reviewed by:
Bachelor of Arts (BA), University Of California, Santa Barbara 2019
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Locked away with secrets and a troubled past - discover the riveting world of Timothy, a twelve-year-old boy under house arrest for stealing a wallet! The story unfolds in Timothy's journal, where he must write his thoughts as part of his probation. It's in these pages that he pours his fears, hopes, and dreams. Timothy's life isn't easy. Responsible for taking care of his sick baby brother, Levi, he grapples with his anger, familial obligations, and societal judgment.
K. A. Holt takes us on a year-long journey through Timothy's struggle as he meets his probation officer, Mrs. Burt, learns from his supportive foster brother, James, and works with his therapy-averse mother. Timothy's voice guides us through raw emotions, personal growth, and an unraveling mystery that keeps the reader captivated until the last page.
Spoilers (click here to reveal spoilers)
The ending is a poignant culmination of Timothy's growth, trust, and understanding of his family's dynamics. It's revealed that he stole the wallet to pay for Levi's medical expenses. Despite his struggles, Timothy grows closer to his probation officer and learns to trust and accept help from others. In the end, the truth emerges, love prevails, and the family weathers the storm together. The conclusion is neither a fairy-tale ending nor a tragedy but a heartfelt testament to resilience, growth, and the power of human connection.
Timothy: A 12-year-old boy under house arrest; brave, resourceful, and caring, he steals a wallet to pay for his baby brother’s medication.
Mrs. Burt: Timothy’s probation officer; stern but understanding, she helps Timothy grow and understand himself.
James: Timothy’s foster brother; wise and compassionate, he provides a positive male role model for Timothy.
Levi: Timothy’s sick baby brother; his illness motivates Timothy’s actions throughout the novel.
Timothy’s Mother: Struggling single mother; her stubbornness and refusal to accept help challenge Timothy’s growth.
Family Bonding: Throughout the book, Timothy’s relationship with his family members evolves and strengthens, such as his growing bond with his probation officer, Mrs. Burt.
Personal Growth and Responsibility: Timothy matures, learning to accept help from others, as seen in his evolving relationship with James.
Illness and Healthcare: The theme of healthcare inequity is evident as Timothy struggles to provide for his baby brother’s medical needs.
Trust and Acceptance: Timothy learns to trust others, as well as himself, developing a profound understanding of human connection and compassion, as shown in his relationship with Mrs. Burt.