Author: K.A. Holt
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Reviewer: Yolanda Ridge
This middle grade novel in verse is about a seventh grader who’s been put under house arrest after stealing a wallet to help pay for his brother’s care. This is just the beginning of how Timothy shows his love for his 9-month-old brother, Levi, who was born with serious health issues that require expensive medication, a trach tube to help him breathe, and full-time nursing care.
To avoid juvie, Timothy must check in with his probation officer and meet with a therapist who both read the journal he’s been assigned to write by the judge. Through Timothy’s entries, which are divided by seasons, we see the family’s financial challenges, the worsening of Levi’s condition, and how Timothy’s Dad leaving has affected them all.
It might sound heavy but the author provides moments of humour and supporting characters that give hope and support. Timothy’s unwavering love for his brother, and fierce need to protect him, lead him to make some though choices – some good and some bad – and leave the reader to decide whether the means justify the ends (in this case breaking the law to save a life).
I’m a bit late in reviewing House Arrest, which was published in 2015. But I’m hoping for a follow up book told from the perspective of Levi when he reaches 12-years-old. It’s not that Timothy and Levi’s story is incomplete. It’s just that I loved this novel so much that I want more. K.A. Holt if you’re reading – pretty, pretty please!?!