House Arrest

Posted on Jun 4, 2016 in BR Library

9781452134772By K.A. Holt
Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
Pages: 304
Lexile: 610L
Age Range: 10 – 14 Years

Timothy is a good kid who did a bad thing. Now he’s under house arrest for a whole year. He has to check in weekly with a probation officer and a therapist, keep a journal, and stay out of trouble. But when he must take drastic measures to help his struggling family, staying out of trouble proves more difficult than Timothy ever thought it would be. Touching, funny, and always original, House Arrest is a novel in verse about a good boy’s hard-won path to redemption.


“Twelve-year-old Timothy is spending a year under house arrest after stealing a wallet to pay for medicine for his sick baby brother, Levi. To avoid juvie, he must reflect on what he did in a court-ordered journal, in addition to weekly visits with a probation officer and psychologist. Holt (Rhyme Schemer) establishes Timothy’s voice via episodic free verse poems that showcase her finesse with the form, persuasively expressing his many emotions. For example, he’s angry with his father for abandoning them (“I wish I could drive/ away, away, away./ But even if I could, I wouldn’t./ Because there are people to take care of./ People you left behind”), worried about Levi’s health, hopeful that he can help his mother and brother, and developing feelings for his best friend’s older sister. Touches of humor lighten the mood, and Holt’s firsthand knowledge of the subject (her own son had trachea problems, the acknowledgments reveal) adds depth to this poignant drama without overwhelming it. The focus remains on Timothy’s journey to overcome his troubles, though if the ending is any indication, he has a ways to go.”

Ages 10–up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Publishers Weekly