Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Miles From Ordinary - Carol Lynch Williams

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages:  208
Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: Early Reviewers copy from LibraryThing

Growing up is tough.  Your teen years are years of change.  Most teens welcome change.  Thirteen-year-old Lacy doesn’t want any more change, she wants normalcy.  Lacey’s problem is her mother’s mental illness.  She helps her mother with everything.  Her Aunt Linda used to live with them and help.  Now money is running out so Lacey helped her mother get a job at the local Winn Dixie and she is volunteering at the local library.  The plan is simple.  She and her mother will ride the bus to town.  Her mother will get off at the Winn Dixie and work four hours.  Lacey will meet her mother on the bus after work.  Lacey needs her mother to do this.  She needs her bit of freedom.  She needs the opportunity to make friends.  On the bus she sees Aaron, a boy who lives on her street.  He doesn’t treat her like the other kids.  He is there for her when she realizes her mother is not at the bus stop.  She slowly confides in him about her mother’s illness as he tries to help her find her mother.

The author has given us a look at what life might be like for the children of a mentally ill parent.  This book is very realistic.  Unfortunately as a teacher, I have come across one or two kids who have had a parent with a mental illness.  Without assistance their lives could have taken the route that Lacey’s did.  The problem is Lacey loved her mother enough to take abuse from kids at school to protect her mother.  I enjoy reading books by this author and look forward to recommending this one.

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