House Arrest is a realistic fiction book appropriate for middle grade readers and YA readers about a 12-year-old boy who will do anything to help his brother. Timothy's baby brother (Levi) was born with Subglottic Stenosis that makes him unable to breathe normally. He had to have a tracheotomy done to insert a tube in his neck that goes directly into his windpipe. Unfortunately, germs and all kinds of viruses have the easiest access in the world into Levi's lungs. The medicine and medical bills are very expensive and puts huge financial pressure on their family.
His dad left one day and now the only one supporting the family is Timothy's mom. His mother is exhausted and there is barely enough money for food. Timothy's life was falling apart, and he only wanted to help. One day he saw a wallet lying around. He took it and used a credit card to buy a couple months worth of Levi's medicine. Now he has a year of house arrest and a court-ordered journal to write in where he has to prove that he is sorry for what he did. Throughout the book Timothy must come to realize that there are other ways to help his brother and the difference between right and wrong.
House Arrest was great! The book was written in poetry that made it even better. He even mentioned that one time. It is inspirational with the theme of family and sacrifice. Timothy was willing to do anything to help his brother. His mom wanted to take care of the family at all costs and constantly worked. Timothy wrote at one time that his life was pretty much house arrest anyways. He always stays at home and has to help and take care of Levi. Timothy pretty much gave up his life to help Levi. He also just gave up on school. He claimed that taking care of his brother is more important than doing his homework. The amount of emotion from Timothy was huge. In the beginning he steered away from emotion, but then he gave in and really started writing. The anger at his dad was tremendous.
The internal conflict was huge in the book. On one hand, he knows stealing is wrong. On the other hand, he knows that it would have helped. He was very determined to find help for his brother. There were sweet moments in the book, too. He has a crush on his best friend's sister, Isa. Their relationship was sweet and a little relief from the rest of his problems. House Arrest is a book that readers of all ages can enjoy. I would say that the reading level is middle grade, but the themes and the content can also be for YA readers.
The only thing I did not like was the ending. I need there to be a second book. There has to be! If there is not going to be a second book in the future, then the ending is really bad and shows no character development. It also has the biggest cliffhanger in the world. Now I have to make up my own second book story. That was easy, though. If I wanted to, I could write the whole second book right now.
I recommend that you read this book!
Title: House Arrest
Author: K.A. Holt
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pages: 304 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars