It has been a while since Karen Kingsbury has written a stand alone book such as this one. However, this book was alluded to in Take Four from the Above the Line series. So this is more of a spin-off than a stand alone.
The story line is sweet and the characters relate able. There is both joy and sadness within the story. Life-changing fiction gives readers a chance to escape their lives and connect with these characters. It makes us rethink our own issues and life's struggles. This book makes me grateful for the blessing of my family.
I have one issue with the story. I have a hard time with the special need students being separated from the rest of the student body. After No Child Left Behind, special needs students are mainstreamed into all classrooms as much as possible. Inclusion would have prevented a student such as Holden Harris from being segregated into a special building. Since ADA and IDEA, schools are not allowed to have a special wing or building for special needs students. One local school had 2 special needs rooms side-by-side and had to move them apart to prevent the perception that these students were segregated. This story element would not bother me so much if it was not such a big part of the story. A teacher like Mr. Hawkins, the drama teacher in the story, would have no choice but to let a student like Holden into his classroom. He would have been forced to accommodate such a student. It would not have been such a big deal for Holden to be placed into the theater class.
Overall, this was an easy to read book that makes us all grateful for what we have.
To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I must post that Zondervan has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. I also must say that the opinions are all mine.