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The Silent Boy by Lois Lowry
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The Silent Boy

by Lois Lowry

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5731817,309 (3.73)27
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Katy is a curious little girl who loves to learn. Her dad is the small town doctor. Katy loves to watch her dad work and often helps him. She becomes very interested in a local boy who has a disability that keeps him from speaking. Lowry, the author, used a collection of pictures she found to write this book. Readers will become very connected to the heart touching story. This book probably would not be read in an elementary class. It would be a good book to focus on when talking about learning disabilities. ( )
  marabie | Oct 12, 2014 |
A great read that will leave you in tears. Although this novel may suit the tweens and older in context but it is a special book that deserves a visit. The story is told from Katy Thatcher as she recalls her childhood years. I assume that this moment in her life has had a profound effect on her considering that she is only focusing on four years of her life with the majority of the story happening at the age of 9 yrs old. During this year, her sister Mary is born. Also, a girl named Nell comes to live on the farm as a helper. Nell's brother, Jacob, is described as being "touched". In the story, Katy does not indicate what type of disability that Jacob suffers from. People throughout the story eludes from discussing his condition. For the most part, Jacob is nonverbal. He only communicates to humans using animal sounds. Katy is very fond of Jacob and views him as a good friend. Towards the end, Jacob disappears along with his sister's unwanted baby. After he is found by Katy and her father, Katy tries to vouch for him but her father and the cops were not convinced of her story. He gives Katy a kitten in which he tries to communicate his actions (sad moment). Sadly, Jacob is arrested and sent to an asylum. After several years, some of the patients were released from the institution, but Jacob was never heard of since the incident. It was as though they erased his existence.
The silent boy reveals, in a way, how society handled/viewed people with mental issues in the 20th century. It was as if they were shunned from society. This fact is disturbing to us because we have progressed in our understanding of people with disabilities, but back in later periods people were not considered human and therefore institutionalized. Very Disturbing. ( )
  hlmusiclover | Sep 15, 2014 |
Within The Silent Boy, Lois Lowry illustrates a terrible tragedy through the eyes of an 8 year old, which provides an interesting dimension to this already complex story. The book is set in the early 1900's from the point of view of a wealthy young girl. She befriends a gentle natured boy who appears to have an intellectual disability. Most of the town people see him as an imbecile, and unfortunately this boy is not provided with an education or very much guidance. After the boy accidentally commits a crime when trying to help his family the town will have to make a difficult ethical decision. This book does a wonderful job at exploring race, ability, gender, and class. This book addresses issues such as teen sex and unplanned pregnancy, which may make this book more suitable for tweens rather than middle-grade readers. ( )
  natalienichols | Mar 15, 2014 |
This topped four stars and may be rounded up to five in the near future. How does Lois Lowry write in such a calm easy manner, maintain such a relaxing hypnotic flow to the story and yet draw you in and make the characters come to life so well and elicit such strong and lingering emotions. The Giver series and Number The Stars made me feel the same way. I love this writing. Based on comments from a couple people I pay attention to I think The Willoughbys is next, and very soon. ( )
  Yona | May 2, 2013 |
Story told through the eyes of Katy Thatcher who is the daughter of a town doctor in 1909. An intelligent child, she befriends a neighbor boy, Jacob, who is "touched" as people of this time frame label special needs people but Katy wants to communicate with him and has an understanding that surpasses all adults around her.
Read by Karen Allen, (Raiders of the Lost Ark) the story is narrated in a calm dream-like voice from the past which lends to an atmosphere of deep insight rather than dramatic impressions of the characters. Loved this book.
(Most of 4 hours ) ( )
  gaillamontagne | Apr 5, 2013 |
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Book description
Katy is a young girl exploring life through common, everyday events. Her zest is acknowledged through her dad's continued guidance and encouragement.

Katy, the precocious ten-year-old daughter of the town doctor, befriends a mentally impaired boy.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440419808, Mass Market Paperback)

Precocious Katy Thatcher comes to realize what a gentle, silent boy did for his family. He meant to help, not harm. It didn’t turn out that way.

“The author balances humor and generosity with the obstacles and injustice of Katy’s world to depict a complete picture of the turn of the 20th century.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:42 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Katy, the precocious ten-year-old daughter of the town doctor, befriends a retarded boy. A two-time recipient of the prestigious Newbery Medal, acclaimed author Lois Lowry presents a sensitive and moving story of a wide-eyed young girl growing up at the beginning of the twentieth century and the influence of the farm community around her. Through Katy's eyes, readers can see the human face so often hidden under modern psychological terminology and experience for themselves the haunting impact of her friendship with the silent boy.… (more)

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