Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Pinballs by Betsy Byars

This is one of my all time favourites. The unwanted kids. It is a much easier read than the Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson, but has very similar themes and focuses on children in foster care. I have probably read it to at least ten classes over the years and the feedback has been very positive. The author, Betsy Byars, generally writes in third person point of view as she sees into the minds of the characters in her stories. Her main teller is usually one child. In this novel it is Carlie, but there are occasional insights into the minds of Thomas J and Harvey the two other foster children in this story. Carlie knows she's got no say in what happens to her. Stuck in a foster home with two other kids, Harvey and Thomas J, she feels that she’s just a pinball being bounced from bumper to bumper. “As soon as you get settled, somebody puts another coin in the machine and off you go again.” But against her will and her better judgment, Carlie and the boys become friends and the three of them begin to understand that they can take control of their own Iives.

Click on this link to hear what the author Betsy Byars has to say about the process of writing and her books:

1 comment:

  1. We read this book as a class novel last year. Everyone enjoyed this book because it has great character discriptions. Carlie was one of the main characters and she doesn't get along with her foster brothers, Harvey and Thomas J. All of the foster children had previously suffered problems. Harvey had two broken legs because his father ran over them with his car, Thomas J's previous carrers are in hospital with broken hips and Carlie had suffered abuse by her father. The children altogether became the pinballs.