Sheila Kelly Welch writes and illustrates for children of all ages. Her story "The Holding-On Night," published in Cricket, won the International Reading Association's Short Story Award. Her most popular books are Little Prince Know-It-All and A Horse for All Seasons. She and her husband live in Illinois, where they raised five sons and two daughters. Four of the children were adopted when they were of school age. Although she has two degrees from Temple University, Sheila has learned more from her children than from any college course.
Waiting to Forgetby Sheila Kelly Welch
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T.J. has always looked out for his little sister, Angela. When Momma used to go out and leave them home alone, he'd lock the door so they'd be safe, keep Angela entertained, and get out the cereal and milk for her. When Momma's boyfriend got angry at them, he'd try to protect Angela. Later, at their foster homes, T.J. was the only one who knew how to coax his little sister out of her bad moods. The only one who understood why she made origami paper cranes and threw them out the window.
But now T.J. is sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, wondering if Angela, unconscious after a fall, will ever wake up. Wondering, too, if he will ever feel at home with his and Angela's new parents—Marlene, who insists on calling him Timothy, and Dan, who seems to want a different son.
Going back and forth between Now and Then, weaving the uncertain present with the painful past, T.J.'s story unfolds, and with the unfolding comes a new understanding of how to move forward.
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- Barnes & Noble
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- 406 KB
- Age Range:
- 9 - 12 Years
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I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way the story transitioned through the different timeframes of the story using the words: Now, Then and Between Now and Then as the transitional headings. The story centers around two kids named T.J. and Angela whose mother can no longer take care of them and they were placed in foster care. In the foster care system, they hang on to each other and hope to one day be reunited with their mother. Time passes and what T.J. and Angela future’s hold only brings the two siblings closer together and their world crumbling apart. Can they hold it together and come out of this shining? Can they see the truth and be willing to accept letting go? The story is told behind the eyes of 12-year old T.J and the innocence and truth of his years pulls at your heart and makes you understand the strength and turmoil he faced at such a small age. The constant love and the intertwine of childhood rivalry was nicely written by the author.
Waiting to Forget, is an amazing eye-opening book. Told from the point of view of 12 year-old T.J, it follows the story of his life, in the form of his memories. It shows just how hard life can be for children and what they may have to go through. This book is suitable for people of all ages, and will affect not only your mind, but your heart as well.
As T.J. sits in the waiting room, waiting to hear if his sister is even alive, he is reflecting back on his and Angela's difficult life. Their mother neglected them often, at times was physically abusive, and often put them in dangerous situations. As I read this, I had to keep reminding myself that this was a work of fiction, and not a memoir. This was difficult as Welch writes in a way that makes it feel very real. It might seem like a depressing story, and I'll admit, it IS a sad story - the life that T.J. and Angela lived. But, it is also an uplifting story - the love between brother and sister, and the promise of a better life when they are adopted by Marlene and Dan. I truly enjoyed Welch's writing style - I was pulled into the story from the beginning, and I was emotional through the whole book - heartbroken when these kids were treated so poorly and triumphant when they found a "forever home." In my opinion, it is a sign of an excellent book when I have such strong feelings for characters. I highly recommend this book.
I loved this book. The situation is heart-wrenching, of a young boy who has had so little stability and love in his life that he's never learned how to let down his guard enough to trust someone. Now his little sister's life is in danger, and his loneliness, fear, and guilt (was he partly responsible?) are finely portrayed. Alternating between past and present (chapters are simply titled Now and Then), the narrative clues us in on TJ and Angela's abandonment by their unstable mother and their upbringing in a series of foster homes, while keeping us in suspense as to what exactly has put Angela in the hospital. The writing is quiet and restrained, which makes it all the more powerful. We keep hoping that TJ will open his heart even just a little to his new adoptive parents. I won't spoil the ending, but I found it moving and emotionally true.
I had a feeling about this book just by looking at that cover. It's simply gorgeous, memorable, powerful, intriguing. I know, the cover isn't always a good way to pick a book, but chances are, when the cover gives you that special vibe, it means the book has something very special to give as well. It's this unwritten universal law of book vibes, don't give me that look! As the blurb tells you, this is a story told from a kid's point of view; segmented in Now, Then, and Between now and then, it's a recall of his and his sister's life up to the point of present events. I'm not generally a fan of this sort of divided story telling, segmented by time frames or reality/dream/memory, but in this particular case, I feel it was a stroke of genius. The kid's point of view is presented fabulously, with all the emotion and understanding a kid of that age would have, a smart, sensible kid. A very young adult, in fact; the way he takes his role as Angela's big brother and his beautiful attempts to keep her safe throughout the book are incredibly touching, I mean I was teary-eyed a lot while reading this beautiful work. True, on an emotional level, it may prove to be slightly overwhelming. I was overwhelmed with the desire to choke Celia, a lot. Anyways... The story is beautiful, and I felt very happy that though it could have gone terribly, terribly wrong, on all kinds of levels, it has a happy ending. Well, as happy as it could be, given the circumstances. I loved T.J. and Angela unbearably much, and I went all maternal instinct on them from the very first pages. The characters in this book are so well built, I feel odd to talk about them as anything else but kids, real kids, kids I know and care about. The writing is incredibly good, and the ability the author has to glide through very strong emotions and tense, horrible situations is superb. The whole book is superb, I cannot speak highly enough about it. This is one of the best books I've read this year, really high up there on that list, and I highly recommend this to anyone that likes solid substance to go with all the rest of the entertainment.
Ms. Welch spins an intriguing story in Waiting to Forget. It is like a train wreck reading about these children and all they went through, but I know that I for one could not look away. TJ and Angela evoke sympathy, and I couldn't help but be invested in their stories. Sometimes the jumps in narrative from one time in the story to another can be jarring and confusing, but it was done very well in Waiting to Forget. The use of TJ's life book-pictures and drawings to help him remember his life before adoption assist in bringing back memories, and then it ties well back into the plot when he comes to the present. TJ and Angela are so strong and resilient, it makes me love them even more. I can see how they grow, how they were hurt, and ultimately how they heal and accept a new and better life, and it blossoms out in the story. Ms. Welch seems to make everything very realistic, from their emotions to the details of how the world around them might see them--from teachers, social workers, momma, the boyfriends, and the world outside. But I didn't feel like I was in the outside world, I felt like I was given a front seat to their life. If you like realistic, contemporary, or tough issues (or even if you don't but the description intrigues you) I recommend you pick up Waiting to Forget and give it a try.