Book Review – Karen Kingsbury’s UNLOCKED
October 16, 2011 · Print This Article
This novel about a high school boy with autism was that kind of book that really kept me reading. Having a disabled son, I easily related to the boy’s mother’s feelings and frustrations; and the author’s approach was so optimistic that some reviewers who have autistic children see it as entirely too simplistic. But others with autistic family members were encouraged and inspired as the boy, Holden, was slowly “unlocking.” Kingsbury took the opportunity to show how everything looked from this young man’s viewpoint. We always wonder what is going on inside a mind of someone who does not communicate normally. Kingsbury’s interpretation was very revealing – and even though we don’t know if her ideas are correct, there must at least a little space for that possibility.
The author deals with other issues of youth, such as bullying, parents’ divorce, suicide, and peer pressure. Even though this book is in the adult fiction category, it would be great for all teens to read. Some would certainly think about befriending the friendless at school.
I know that many experts don’t want parents to have false hopes about their disabled children; and even though we must be realistic, we need to have space for hope, for the miraculous. Hope for some improvement, some breakthrough, while walking everyday in reality, content with who our children are, yet hopeful for their future.