Friday, June 5, 2020

Rodent by Lisa J. Lawrence

Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

This story could have been pulled from the lives of many of the students I teach.  Like Isabelle, I have many students who have had to deal with an alcoholic parent. In Isabelle’s case, it is her mother.  I have many students who have had to take care, raise their younger siblings. Isabelle has a younger brother and sister to take care of.  On top of all of this, she has a part-time job and is going to school.  She is in a vicious cycle. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders and she is afraid to try to remove that weight because of the consequences to the lives of her siblings. As I read this and saw her pain I wanted so much to take that pain from her.  It hit too close to home. I had a student, a young man who lived this life with his younger brother. His mom was a drug addict. He’d had enough teachers show support that he finally took a leap of faith, left his mom in another state and moved back to Florida with his younger brother. He arrived a few days before turning 18,  with the help of one of his high school teachers he was able to go to court to get custody of his brother.
Unlike my former student, Isabelle doesn’t want anyone knowing what is going on in her life and therefore, getting help for her and helping her deal with things is made more difficult. This is definitely a book I will recommend and it is a book I will put on my shelves at school. I see this as a book that may just help that one child who is like Isabelle and needs some encouragement to get help.  Well worth the read.

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