Written by K.A. Holt
Timothy is on probation. It’s a strange word–something that happens to other kids, to delinquents, not to kids like him. And yet, he is under house arrest for the next year. He must check in weekly with a probation officer and a therapist, and keep a journal for an entire year. And mostly, he has to stay out of trouble. But when he must take drastic measures to help his struggling family, staying out of trouble proves more difficult than Timothy ever thought it would be. By turns touching and funny, and always original, House Arrest is a middle-grade novel in verse about one boy’s path to redemption as he navigates life with a sick brother, a grieving mother, and one tough probation officer.
Primary Source Pairing:
In House Arrest, we experience the struggles Timothy and his family face as they take care of little Levi who has a breathing condition. After a desperate, bad decision, Timothy is under house arrest. As Timothy communicates through his court-mandated journal, Levi learns to communicate through baby sign language. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study a baby sign language chart and consider how Levi’s communication development helped Timothy with his own communication skills. Additionally, check out author K.A. Holt’s website for a book study guide.
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you see.
- What do you notice first?
- What people and objects are shown?
- How are they arranged?
- What other details can you see?
- What can you learn from examining this image?
- Why do you think these words were chosen for this type of communication development?
- What words would you add, edit, or exclude?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Baby Signing Time Chart: SigningTime.com