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Is The Silent Boy by Lois Lowry about children with disabilities?

Is The Silent Boy by Lois Lowry about
children with disabilities?

silentboy

The Silent Boy, by Lois Lowry is a sweet tale.  I haven’t quite figured out what Lowry’s themes are about, but according to her website, they are about human connections. I’m not sure I agree.  But anyway, this is a delightful book. Not in a silly kind of way, like some of her others, but because the main character, Katy, has no prejudice and has an open, curious spirit.  While the title would lead you to believe that the story is about the boy, it isn’t really.  The silent boy, Jacob, seems to me to only be a peripheral character. The child does not speak, and because of that is called many awful names that Katy seeks to understand.

I chose this book because I thought it would address children with disabilities.  Jacob is eventually sent to an asylum where they care for mentally ill and possibly disabled people.  Of course, at that day and time they were probably considered to be the same. I was hoping for more insight into Jacob’s disability but I guess that would have been too difficult a topic for a children’s book.  Each chapter contains a vintage photo which helps the reader visualize the characters.  Have times changed for boys like Jacob?

By Pam

My passion is advocating for diversity in children's and YA literature.