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The Pinballs by Betsy Byars

The Pinballs (1977)

by Betsy Byars

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8881615,507 (3.7)7
Three lonely foster children learn to care about themselves and each other.



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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Even though this was written with children in mind, I found myself getting emotional reading this story about three children in foster care. One child had been raised by elderly twins and doesn't even know his real birth date or age. The second child had both of his legs broken when his dad in a drunken rage "accidentally" ran over them. The third child, the one with the most personality, was abandoned by her parents and comes across as very jaded about the whole system. She is the one who came up with the nickname "pinballs" because they were bounced around the system exactly like pinballs, with no control over their destinies. It takes some time and some hard lessons learned before each child realizes they are not pinballs. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Nov 26, 2018 |
  SteppLibrary | Mar 6, 2017 |
Kids in foster care. Nice, happy ending. ( )
  nx74defiant | Dec 23, 2016 |
Three children--two boys and a girl--end up in foster care at the Masons home. The girl is the most outspoken of the three. She describes them as pinballs--being directed by forces outside their control. Over time, she comes to realize how much she cares for these people who have now become her family and decides that pinballs is not an apt description for them.

I do wonder if the fact that three kids have such bad things happen to them that they have to go live with someone else might not be too disturbing for the young readers for whom this is written. I had picked it up thinking that I might pass it on to my nephew, but decided not too because of the subject matter. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Jul 22, 2016 |
I think I could use this book in a classroom if I was in an alternative school, where maybe some of my students were going through a similar situation. I think it would be good for middle schoolers. During this time, students start to become aware of backgrounds of other students.

If I used this book, I could use it for a lesson on theme or characterization. ( )
  SalemSmith | Mar 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Betsy Byarsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Benson, LindaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, RitaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slagt, MachteldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for David Atchley
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One summer two boys and a girl went to a foster home to live together. Their names were Carlie, Harvey, and Thomas J.
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