When he is wrongly accused of gravely injuring his baby half-sister, thirteen-year-old Branwell loses his power of speech and only his friend Connor is able to reach him and uncover the truth about what really happened.
E.L. Konigsburg, brilliant Newbery Medal-winning author of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and The View from Saturday, has honed her skills to a fine point. Her keen understanding of young people is matched by her ability to create suspenseful, page-turning masterpieces. This beautifully written story is darker than some of her others, with a remarkably true glimpse into a young man's inner world. (Ages 10 to 14) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Nikki lies in a coma while they send Branwell him to the Juvenile Behavioral Center where everyday his best friend Connor comes and see him. Branwell stayed in the Behavioral Center for 20 days. 10 days went by and on the 11th he was making progress, like, he was touching the letters of the alphabet and spelling out words so that Connor could talk to these people.
On the 19th and 20th day he was talking and didn't want anyone to know that, only Connor and Margaret (Connor's big sister). He finally came out of the Behavioral Center and stayed at Margaret's house.
On New Year's Eve, Branwell's dad came to pick up Branwell. He came along with Tina (Branwell's new mom) and Nikki. For the first time that Nikki was ever born Tina gave Branwell Nikki to hold.
What I mean is, fine writers putting out silly, under edited cliches.
The bad guy was obvious by page three.
Konigsburg can write well without silly cliched sex subplots. (That niche is filled by Judy Blume.)
And, as another reviewer pointed out, gaping, unexplained holes in the main storyline. (Maybe if she hadn't had to put in the ham-handed subplot, she would have had time to make sense of the main one.)
We see no consequences come to Vivian except that she loses her job and any possibilities of working in childcare. And how could one Nanny agency provide that restriction. That's a police matter!
I thought it was so gross that Branwell did not tell his parents that Vivian was not taking good care of HIS sister.
We hear nothing of what should have been ULTRA guilt and ULTRA rage from the parents. How would a real mother feel if she handed over her responsibility to care for her child into the hands of someone who DID NOT care for her, didn't even change her diapers enough and who almost KILLED her. Personally I woudl almost feel like killing myself. WHY HAVE CHILDREN if you are going to pawn them off without a second look back?? Having children is not something you put on your "To Do" list and when they are born you go on to the next item.
Niki opening her eyes and smiling at her mother who said "Mother's here" is funny. Niki would hardly know who she was! They must have had extreme minimal time with her, coming home at 6:00 pm every eve. She would have thought Vivian was her mother and Branwell her dad.
Personally THEY neglected and abused their baby daughter for not caring enough to have quality care for her (which ideally is one of the parents)
I think that makes this story so weak and shallow and dangerous.
We see none of the remorse or reparations. In fact at the end they are getting another babysitter!!!! Makes me sick!
I liked the relationship between Margaret and Connor but that's about it.
McGillin does an a mostly good job of giving each of the characters a distinct voice, and especially, and surprisingly so, with the female characters. His narration makes for easy listening and adds definite value to the already very good book.
This book was only OK. Read more