The Silent Boy

By Lois Lowry; 2003; Ages 10 to 12
silent boy

This book is about a decade old, but it’s classic Lois Lowry … great. My 10-year-old and I read this together and aloud to his 89-year-old grandmother. The story had something for everyone. (Grandmother nodded approvingly at the authenticity as Lowry cited books and magazines that the main character read.)
It’s set in the first decade of the 20th Century and the pace is slow as young Katy, the precocious and curious daughter of a doctor meets Jacob, a 14-year-old boy, who would probably be diagnosed with autism in more enlightened times. The local asylum, which our narrator, an elderly Katy, introduces us to in the opening pages, casts a long shadow on the story. Like a premonition and a relic of how the mentally ill and misfits were “treated” a century earlier.
Katy and Jacob develop an awkward, yet silent, friendship. Incrementally, the story builds to a tragic climax. Sorry, no more details.

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