Also on my to be read list was Good Kings Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum. Told from multiple viewpoints, the author managed to create several unique voices that were all engaging and entertaining to read. “Bellwether Award winner Susan Nussbaum’s powerful novel invites us into the lives of a group of typical teenagers—alienated, funny, yearning for autonomy—except that they live in an institution for juveniles with disabilities. This unfamiliar, isolated landscape is much the same as the world outside: friendships are forged, trust is built, love affairs are kindled, and rules are broken. But those who call it home have little or no control over their fate. Good Kings Bad Kings challenges our definitions of what it means to be disabled in a story told with remarkable authenticity and in voices that resound with humor and spirit.” The characters range from a wheelchair using teenage girl whose caregiver passed away, a boy who has a supportive father but still resides in the home and loves one of the other residents who he does not realize has been severely abused, the secretary who was hired because she too is in a wheelchair and who is active in the quest for rights for the disabled, and her boyfriend, who may be the only care staff member who actually cares emotionally about the kids. Having worked in the past with disabled kids, it touched me to read about the lack of care that sometimes occurred, as well as the unfair punishment that some of the kids received. Seeing what happens to these kids as a result of the good care and the bad care that they receive is touching, heartbreaking, and moving. Anyone who works with disabled kids as well as anyone who cares about disadvantaged people should read this book.
Have you read any good backs recently?