Before You Take a Stand … You Got to Take a Chance.
Holden Harris is an eighteen-year-old locked in a prison of autism. Despite his quiet ways and quirky behaviors, Holden is very happy and socially normal—on the inside, in a private world all his own. In reality, he is bullied at school by kids who only see that he is very different.
Ella Reynolds is part of the “in” crowd. A cheerleader and star of the high school drama production, her life seems perfect. When she catches Holden listening to her rehearse for the school play, she is drawn to him … the way he is drawn to the music. Then, Ella makes a dramatic discovery—she and Holden were best friends as children.
Frustrated by the way Holden is bullied, and horrified at the indifference of her peers, Ella decides to take a stand against the most privileged and popular kids at school.
Including her boyfriend, Jake.
Ella believes miracles can happen in the unlikeliest places, and that just maybe an entire community might celebrate from the sidelines. But will Holden’s praying mother and the efforts of Ella and a cast of theater kids be enough to unlock the prison that contains Holden?
This time, friendship, faith, and the power of a song must be strong enough to open the doors to the miracle Holden needs.
Though she does not write suspense, my favorite genre' to read, Karen Kingsbury is my favorite author. I thought this book sounded like a winner, as all of hers are, and was it ever. It is a very touching and emotional story, and she pulls out all of the stops on this one. It is obvious she did a lot of research on autism - and I learned a lot about it in the book. She also does an excellent job of portraying the emotions of the boy's parents. The feelings of loss, as if they had truly lost him out of their lives.
She also tackles the subject of bullying in the book. Kids picking on and making fun of kids who are different. I confess I have cried before while reading a Karen Kingsbury book, but this one really brought the waterworks. (I know, I'm a guy - you try reading this one without getting misty-eyed!) The story is not necessarily sad, though parts of it is, but it is an emotional story of hope. This has got to be one of her best books ever. I highly recommend it, and it definitely gets my "read-in-one-sitting" status.
New York Times Bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's favorite inspirational novelist with over fifteen million books in print. Her Life-Changing Fiction has produced multiple bestsellers, including Take One, Between Sundays, Even Now, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, and Ever After, which was named the 2007 Christian Book of the Year. An award-winning author and newly published songwriter, Karen has had several movies optioned for production, and her novel Like Dandelion Dust is in post production as a major motion picture release. Karen is also a nationally known speaker with several women's groups. She lives in Washington State with her husband Don, and their six children, three of whom were adopted from Haiti.
Unlocked is available from Zondervan Publishing.
Thanks to Zondervan for the review copy.
Check out the trailer for the book - very nicely done.