We read this story in alternating chapters, both from Robbie's perspective. We learn about Robbie's current situation in real-time, while he also catches us up on the story that has lead to his arrival at the Great Oaks School.
At Great Oaks, Robbie has his own room, but other than a desk, chair, paper, and pencil, he has nothing else. A bed is brought in when it is bedtime, and taken out when it is time to wake. His shoes and socks have been taken. His door remains locked from the outside. His only speaking company is Mr. Lester who has him make lists, but won't explain the rules. Great Oaks School is the End of the Line for Robbie . . . until he starts to unravel the mess of his life. But how does one begin to apologize for killing his only friend?
Recommended to most middle grade and older readers. This a poignant story from a first-time author, and it will make you sad, angry and frustrated . . . but ultimately, it will also remind you of the humanity that exists - and lapses - in all of us.
Reviewed by kate the librarian.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
2 weeks ago