Pinballs by Betsy Byars

I just finished a really great book for young people. The Pinballs by Betsy Byars is a book about 3 youngsters who have been brought together in a foster care situation. Each child has a very different personality and a very different reason for being in foster care. Ms. Byars does a great job of bringing these children to life and keeping it real. (She has quite a few other books for young people as well.)

Carly a wise, but rough, young girl is in foster care because she can’t get along with her stepfather. She is bitter and nasty at the beginning of the book, but grows into your heart as you read.

Harvey, 13, is in a wheelchair because his father ran over him with the car. He is sad and quiet. Your heart will break as you read his story.

Thomas J is an 8 year old with a much more mature personality than his age belies. He was found as a toddler and then raised, by two deaf elderly ladies that he calls “Aunt”. These ladies have been hospitalized with broken hips, so he finds himself in foster care also.

As Carlie says, “Me and Harvey and Thomas J., we’re like pinballs. Somebody came along with a dime, put it in, pushed a button, and out we came, ready or not. You don’t see pinballs helping each other, because they can’t. They’re just things.”

But they do help each other, and with the help of Mr. and Mrs. Mason, their foster parents, they learn that life isn’t so bad after all.

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