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Timothy wouldn’t be writing in a journal if the court hadn’t ordered it.  He’s supposed to show that he’s sorry.  Only he’s not sorry he stole the wallet to buy his baby brother’s medicine–just sorry he got caught.  And that they took the medicine away.  Now he’s on house arrest, which is better than juvie.  In fact, it’s not that different from his life before–staying home, helping change the bandages on Levi’s trach, wishing his mother didn’t have to work overtime, that they could afford a nurse more than two days a week, that his father hadn’t left.  But he had better get things right this year, or else he’ll end up in juvie after all.  

Through poetry, Holt reveals Timothy’s evolving relationships with family, friends, and authority figures, and his own transformation.  His love and care for his brother is beautiful, and his resentments toward his father and probation officer believable and complex.  The ending left me waffling back and forth between depression and hope.  I highly recommend this nuanced novel to teen and adult readers who enjoy realistic fiction!  

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