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Monday, December 17, 2012

So B. It (A novel by Sarah Weeks)

     When Heidi was a baby, her mother appeared at Bernadette's door, wet from the rain and clearly cognitively different enough that she was unable to raise a baby alone.  As Heidi grew, she was rasied by Bernadette and helped to care for her mother (who cannot tie her own shoes without assistance).  Now Heidi is twelve and starting to wonder about her mother and where she came from.  She has a few clues -- mainly a roll of film from a camera that was with the stuff her mom brought with her.  Heidi has decided that she wants to run down one of those clues -- a sign in one of the pictures says "Hilltop Home --Liberty, New York."  Unfortunatley, Heidi, Bernadette, and Heidi's Mom live in Reno, Nevada.  Add to that Bernadette's extreme agoraphobia that makes it impossible for her to leave the house, and you have an interesting problem for Heidi to try to solve.
     Heidi ends up crossing the country by bus and avoids detection by the authorities by attaching herself to different adults as she travels.  She learns a lot about honesty and dishonesty, and how the line between childhood and adulthood is not as clear as some might think.  And when she finally makes it to Liberty, New York, what she has learned about telling truth from lies gets its most severe test yet. 

      Sarah Weeks's novel So B. It (2004) has some interesting things to say about special education and some of the moral responsibiliites involved.  It has some interesting things to say about how some children must accept responsibilities far earlier than we think -- and how some adults spend much of thier lives running from those same responsibilities.  It has a couple of nice twists in the ending and has a strong and heartwarming ending.  Not the best book I have read this year, but far from the worst.  It would be a good book for middle school and high school teachers to have on hand to pass to students who need a solid and reasonably intelligent book to read. 

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