I read almost every genre & I enjoy venturing into unfamiliar territory. As a library volunteer, I'm constantly bringing home novels. Being a substitute teacher, I read lots of YA & children's books.
I really enjoyed this novel. It was a story with characters that you could relate to and a story which stole your heart. Benny is starting fourth grade and he’s was happy because he heard wonderful things about Mr. Norris, his teacher. Mr. Norris was fun and exciting and Benny needed that as he was starting the year off without a best friend. Kenneth had moved away and he needed to find a replacement. Benny situation at home was different than his peers. His brother was autistic and his father had just suffered a brain aneurysm for which Benny was blaming himself for. Benny found comfort at school and he was hoping Mr. Norris would help him forgot his issues at home. The school year started out fine but soon Mr. Norris started to change. He was not the person others projected him to be, nor was he the person the students knew from the beginning of the school year, something was different. Benny and Olga noticed this change immediately and wondered why.
I liked Benny’s relationship with Olga. She was comfortable in her own shoes and she did her own thing. She wasn’t looking for anyone’s approval yet Benny wondered about his relationship with her. I loved Benny relationship with his brother George. George is autistic, a high functioning autistic individual who is happy most of the time. Benny is very patient with George and there is definitely love between these two brothers. Benny knows George is special and he cares for him deeply, you can see that is his mannerism and in the language that he uses with him. There are times when Benny is frustrated with George but most sibling get this way with each other. It’s the stories with his family that touched me the most: the frustration, the love, the commitment, the embarrassment, there were many emotions that were tied to these stories. His father’s recent illness how this affected Benny and his family was moving and powerful and made for a wonderful read.