I am a loyal reader of Casey Watson. She has worked as a specialist foster career and as a teacher for vulnerable children. My favorite book of hers so far is Girl without a Voice.
Imogen has selective mutism. At school she is quiet, seemingly unable to talk. Yet at home she yells, screams and has outbursts. Her parents present her to Casey Watson unit for difficult children.
Despite her parents presenting as warm and loving, Casey reads the girl’s body language and looks for the bigger picture. The second hand uniforms, no family pictures of Imogen in the house. Looking for what could cause a child to suddenly be unable to speak in public.
Throughout the book she steps the reader through Imogen’s struggles and the facades presented.
The specialist unit within the school is brightly colored and small. Six students at a time with unusual course work. Realizing most vulnerable children will never get any positive attention in the standard school system, no matter how hard they try. So they disrupt the class and take on different roles, class clown, bully, burnout.
In Casey’s classes the focus is on building the children up. The children write stories, make jelly bean castles and go on adventures. Teaching them skills such as team work and how to handle difficult situations.
Imogen starts to slowly reveal what’s going on. Leaving clues and responding to questions. I really enjoyed getting to know the class room dynamics and how she interacted with the other students.
The story has a happy ending, with Imogen being removed from the traumatic situation. And another boy in the class confesses to having a crush on her.
For more updates and information on new releases join Hannah’s Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/b2UZtb