About the book:
Holden Harris is locked in a prison of autism, bullied by kids who don’t understand his quiet, quirky ways. Ella Reynolds, star of the school drama production takes an interest in Holden after she catches him listening to her rehearse for the school play. Will friendship, faith, and the power of song be enough to unlock the miracle that Holden needs?
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.
My review of Unlocked:
Having someone near and dear to me who was bullied terribly in school made me instantly drawn to this story. Bullying is such a huge problem and it affects the victim’s life for years and years. I really wanted to read an uplifting and inspiring story about a victim of bullying who not only survives it, but thrives despite all the setbacks. When I first started reading Unlocked, I felt the book was too heavy and too depressing. I felt so bad for Holden, and his mother for that matter. Kate, Holden’s cousin who comes to stay with them made a nice bright spot for a beginning that I just struggled with. I know the author had the make the beginning heavy so the reader could be inspired by the inspiring turn the story takes.
And, inspiring is exactly where this story goes. It really was worth the rough start to get to the good stuff! This book gave me such a feeling of hope. It made me think that maybe this world is not such a bad place and that even the most impossible obstacles can be overcome. The message in this book is a timely one. I wish all school-age kids could read it and learn from it. I appreciate Karen Kingsbury for dealing with the topics of bullying, autism and the challenges that come along with them. I highly recommend Unlocked for everyone, especially families.
This book was provided for review by Zondervan.