WATCHING JIMMY by Nancy Hartry


Age Range: 10 & up
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Almost-12-year-old Carolyn holds a terrible secret. Last summer her best friend Jimmy didn’t sustain a serious brain injury from falling off a swing, as his Uncle Ted has told everyone. Instead, Carolyn secretly witnessed Ted’s brutal abuse of the boy. Now he is finding ways to treat Jimmy and his mother, Aunt Jean, even more badly as her health falters and bills begin to mount up, since the family can’t afford health insurance. Striving to protect her severely brain-damaged friend, Carolyn is aided by a local minister and a caring man from her church. Telling her tale in a pithy first-person, present-tense narration, Hartry, previously known for her picture books (Jocelyn and the Ballerina, 2003, etc.), has perfectly captured this determined child’s voice and vividly recreates the setting of Toronto in 1958. It’s not hard to connect the dots from the medical-bill crisis Jean faces to the current situation in the United States, which brings the story home to modern readers. As Carolyn encounters one nearly overwhelming challenge after another, they will find her ultimately optimistic tale impossible to put down. (Historical fiction. 10 & up)

Pub Date: April 14th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-88776-871-2
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Tundra
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2009


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