Margin Notes

House Arrest by K.A. Holt


In this wonderful novel, we meet Timothy, a young man who is currently on one year house arrest for stealing a credit card.  Part of his probation requirements is that he has to write in a journal (which is the book) to show his remorse to the courts.   Timothy begrudgingly writes and starts to open up and tell his story causing the reader to quickly realize there is more to him than being a young offender.  As his story unfolds, we discover he stole the card to pay for his baby brother’s medication.  House Arrest takes the reader on an emotional journey as we experience what it is like for the working poor to try to survive and we are reminded how important it is to care and trust one another.

Timothy experiences what many of our students live out daily-having adult responsibilities and worries while they are still a child.  As teachers, it is important for us to remember that there are kids like Timothy sitting right in front of us.  Students will find his story fascinating and heart breaking-there is definitely empathy building in this one…and we hope those students in our classes who are living a similar story will feel less alone.

House Arrest is written in verse and moves at a fast pace.  The emotional punches are softened with humour and the supporting characters provide different perspectives and relief to a tough story.  This would be a great addition to any middle or high school book shelf but as always, you know your students best and what book they need at the right time.

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