An ALA Best Book For Young Adults for 1999
Synopses & Reviews
Moving to a new town is no fun for Trevor Ladd, and it only gets worse when he protects a nursing home patient from the neighborhood bullies. Walking home from school, he catches the bullies throwing snowballs at a withered old man named Petey. As he chases them off, he can't imagine that his life is about to change.
Petey has spent his life in institutions. Born with cerebral palsy, he was misdiagnosed as an infant and grew up in mental institutions. As an adult, he is bound by his wheelchair and struggles to communicate with the people around him. But Petey sees something in Trevor and is determined to become his friend and Trevor soon learns that there is more to Petey than meets the eye.
Petey is a touching story of friendship, discovery, and the domination of the human spirit over physical obstacles.
"Petey's courage and spirit are engaging enough to pull any reader through to the book's tearful but satisfying conclusion." Children's Literature
"Adults will enjoy the book because it shows positive interaction between a disabled, disfigured older man and a preteen. Students will find the novel easy to follow because of its episodic nature." VOYA
"Give this book to anyone who has ever shouted 'retard' at another. Give it to any student who 'has' to do community service. Give it to anyone who needs a good book to read." School Library Journal
"There are no accusations here, and despite some overly sentimentalized passages, the message comes through that every being deserves care, respect, and a chance to make a difference." Kirkus Reviews
In 1922 Petey, who has cerebral palsy, is misdiagnosed as an idiot and institutionalized; 60 years later, still in the institution, he befriends a boy and shares with him the joy of life.
About the Author
Ben Mikaelsen has written numerous novels for children. His vivid writing style has won him numerous awards and a following of eager young readers. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.