The Pinballs (Betsy Byars)

Carlie, Thomas J, and Harvey are in foster care. Carlie likens them to pinballs, bouncing around from one place to another without having any care or control over who or what they slam into. Each of the kids has their own heart-breaking story, and they are as united by their tragedies as they are by the love of their foster parents. When Harvey hits rock bottom, it is up to Carlie and Thomas J to bring him back to the land of the living.

I really loved this story, and the insight into the minds of children who have been damaged. It is good to remember that these kids rarely feel the way that we think they should, or sometimes even the way we want them to. Both the characters in this story, and real life children in foster care must be granted the dignity of maintaining control over their own thoughts and feelings, as well as their story.

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