Amy's Review of House Arrest By K. A. Holt
Have you ever seen a troubled teen and wondered "What is that kid's problem?" K. A. Holt takes you into the world of the troubled teen in House Arrest. At the beginning of the book the reader is introduced to Timmy's journal. While reading the journal you discover that Timmy is on house arrest and has to use the journal to reflect on his behavior. At the beginning of the book, I did not like Timmy. I viewed this character as a troubled teen who deserved everything he got. As I got further into the story my views changed as I realized Timmy was struggling. Timmy as a character not only deals with everyday life as a teen but also issues of abandonment, life threatening illness, and poverty. Timmy transforms from a teen who doesn't really care to a person with a passion to help others. As a school librarian who works in a high poverty district this book encouraged me to reflect on my practice as a teacher. Timmy's story made me wonder about the struggles that my students face at home everyday and how I can help them more. Overall, I really enjoyed House Arrest and the format of the story made for easy reading. I was slightly disappointed by the ending because I felt like there could be more to the story. I hope this means that K.A. Holt will be writing a sequel to House Arrest. I recommend this book to anyone who has encountered an annoying teen or works with kids. I also recommend this book to students who are struggling with any of the issues covered in the book. I give House Arrest 5 out of 5 stars.
Like Amy, this book made me reflect on how my students' home lives may impact their education and how we may never know what they are dealing with, even if they appear to be from a two-parent, middle-class home. It is really important to show empathy and compassion, even when a child is being disruptive and difficult. I felt that compassion for Timmy from the start of the book; I understood his anger and his motivation for stealing, even though he made a bad choice. It isn't like he went out an bought himself the latest, greatest video game system with a stolen credit card. I was also frustrated with the ending, and hope it means there will be a sequel, but it could also mean that sometimes, we make decisions and we have to suffer the consequences of those decisions, regardless of how pure our intentions are. While reading this, I discovered just how much I love the format of verse novels. If you do too, I also recommend these 2015 novels:
I've reserved K.A. Holt's 2014 verse novel, Rhyme Schemer from my public library and can't wait to read it. I give House Arrest 5 out of 5 stars.