Karen Kingsbury is a well-loved author of many books. My only beef with her is the amount that I cry when reading her books (and my husband's teasing).
I was eager to read Unlocked, her newest novel, especially because the main character has autism.
Holden Harris is a teenager who is autistic. Every case of autism is different, but for Holden he does not communicate with any language, has no eye contact, and does not touch others or allow himself to be touched.
When he meets Ella, she goes out of her way to care (as a friend) about him and to get school officials to allow him to observe the theater class. As they prepare for the musical "Beauty and the Beast," helps Holden to interact with others. At first it is just him acknowledging others through a slight head shake. Later he is able to do so much more.
As I was reading Unlocked, I wondered how realistic it was, because it truly read like a miracle! I absolutely loved at the end of the book where Karen Kingsbury shared about how she watched a theater group help another child with autism in the same ways that Holden was helped. This book was inspired by a true story!
Unlocked was a great book. Karen Kingsbury dealt with not only autism but also suicide and bullying in this book. Tough topics, but an excellent read. The first few chapters definitely made me uncomfortable with all of the bullying and such, but it made the book real. I liked how Karen Kingsbury showed the reality of how having a special needs child can make a parent lose hope when all efforts see now results. More importantly, she gave the reader hope. I especially liked how the marriage of Holden's parents was portrayed...the hurt, and the healing.
I certainly liked this book and highly recommend it. Keep the tissues handy if you are at all like me though!
Thank you, Zondervan, for providing this book for review.
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