Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Silent Boy - Lois Lowry



I really like Lois Lowry’s books.  She has a knack of letting you read for enjoyment, but somewhere in there she throws in some education.  Her books are written for older children and young adults – but take a chance, they are worth reading at any age.  Here, at the beginning of the 20th century, somewhere in mid-America, we will meet Katy Thatcher, daughter of the local doctor.  The book describes only a couple of years of her life, but they are important years.  During this time she meets the silent boy, Jacob.  Referred to in the neighbourhood as “touched” (the kindest name people refer to him as), but if you are an adult reading this, as I was, it soon becomes clear that he is severely autistic.  He cannot talk, will look no-one in the eye, but is a caring child.  He knows how to quiet horses, has a dog that loves him, and he often roams over the four miles between he and Katy’s  house just to sing to the horses.  It is because he lives on a farm and is used to the care of animals that the event occurs  that will change his life and Katy’s too.  

There is not going to be a happy ending, but nevertheless this is a story worth reading.  Quietly, quietly, the clues are laid down and the book moves onwards towards its heartbreaking end.