Don't Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde ~AUDIO SAMPLE~

               

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Sometimes a child knows better...

GRACE

Ten-year-old Grace knows that her mum loves her, but her mum loves drugs too. And there's only so long Grace can fend off the 'woman from the county' who is threatening to put her into care. Her only hope is...

BILLY

Grown-man Billy Shine hasn't been out of his apartment for years. People scare him, and the outside world scares him even more. Day in, day out, he lives a perfectly orchestrated silent life within his four walls. Until now. . .

THE PLAN

Grace bursts into Billy's life with a loud voice and a brave plan to get her mum clean. And it won't be easy, because they will have to confiscate the one thing her mum holds most dear . . . they will have to kidnap Grace.  
           
                    

4 stars****

 This story was written by the same author that wrote Pay it Forward... I loved that story so I couldn't wait to see what else this author had in store for me.  I love books that touch on the possibilities of humanity and that's exactly what this book does. It ponders the question of "What if???".

What if we decided to take action to help ourselves instead of just waiting for something to happen?  What if I took the time to reach past my boundaries of safety and take a chance?
What if I took charge of my own destiny? 

This is a story of a little girl named Grace who decides to take action.  She is all alone and living with a dead beat mother.  She sits on the front stoop of her apartment complex every day.  By doing so, she draws the attention of her neighbors who grow curious and are concerned for her safety.  She particularly draws the attention of Billy, a recluse who never leaves his apartment.  As the story progresses she becomes his reason for taking steps to break down his walls of safety.  Grace also makes a positive impact on other neighbors in the building as they all decide to come together to help this little girl.  None of them want to see her go into the foster care system.  Grace comes up with an ingenious plan..  she wants them to kidnap her!  She thinks that this will help wake up her mom.  I'll let you read the book for yourself to see how this plan works out...  :) 
What stood out mostly from this story for me was that children know when their parents are bad parents... but they still love them anyway. They live with the hope that they will change, that one day they will wake up to a mom or dad who is normal. Even when it seems there is no hope they still hold on to a small flicker of it just in case. 
This story is also a small reminder that all of our actions, whether they are large or small, produce chain reactions.  Sometimes they lead to good things happening and sometimes they don't.  That is the risk we take when we step outside our comfort zones.  But, we still have to move forward and take those chances anyway, no matter the outcome.  Otherwise, we just remain stagnant... 
This was a powerful story with a powerful message...  and one that reminds us that sometimes children are smarter than the grown-ups!  Lessons are always more humbly learned when they come from the mouths of babes... 

Lovely story and one I highly recommend! 

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