This book tells the story from the perspective of Neil who is a young boy, whose older sister, Geraldine is brought home from a care facility for the mentally disabled. It goes through Neil’s adjustment to having Gerri in his life, and from that we see also what it does to his parents but also what it does to Gerri.
I was a bit dubious about this book, until I started reading it. Though the idea that a child with a mental disability would be sent to a care facility to live full time is not so accurate today, the struggles a family can go through is very real. The frustration, the embarrassment, but then the pride when you see their improvement, the things they learn.
What I think could have been a bit better is if the story was a bit longer to see more about the rest of the family and their full development and acceptance of the life change. In it, we see the Dad leave because he can’t deal with it, we see the Mum struggling, especially with the complaints from her neighbours in the apartment building, and we see Neil taking the first step to accepting his sister and feeling pride about her. But what about Mum and Dad? How do they change? What coping styles do they come up with? Do they come back together as a solid family unit? Do they get kicked out of their home on top of everything else?
This was still a good book, if you have any young kids, say about 10-12 who might be struggling, this may be a good book to read. It’d be something they can relate to and something that can help them adjust and change as situations need them to.