A 12-year-old boy with cerebral palsy overcomes tremendous odds in White's (Surviving Antarctica) often affecting but overstuffed novel set in 1968. Sam Davis's father has abandoned him and his mother, and she in turn has delegated most of his care, emotional as well as physical, to a nurse, prim Miss Perkins. An émigré raised in London during the blitz, Miss Perkins has nurtured Sam on the books of Winston Churchill, with the result that the boy has a vivid imaginary friendship with "Winnie." When the boy enters a public school for the first time, with Miss Perkins at his side, the other students and even the teacher wonder if he is much more than a vegetableuntil he uses a letter tray to spell out what proves to be a prize-winning essay on Churchill, and until his close observations of the playground yield good tips for the school basketball team. All this would be drama enough, but White also adds the mother's sudden marriage and institutionalization of Sam (winning the essay contest helps free him). It's too bad that White doesn't stick to her imaginative portrayal of Sam; readers might be put off by the excesses and distanced by the historical setting. Ages 912. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Window Boyby Andrea White
Set in 1968, this touching novel tells the story of Sam Davis, a young man with cerebral palsy who peers though his bedroom window every day at the school he longs to attend. With great determination and the help of both his caretaker and his imaginary friend, Winston Churchill, Sam not only succeeds in gaining admittance to the school and the acceptance of his peers,… See more details below
Set in 1968, this touching novel tells the story of Sam Davis, a young man with cerebral palsy who peers though his bedroom window every day at the school he longs to attend. With great determination and the help of both his caretaker and his imaginary friend, Winston Churchill, Sam not only succeeds in gaining admittance to the school and the acceptance of his peers, but also fulfills his dream of becoming the school's basketball coach. The narrative, full of poignant insights into attitudes toward people with disabilities, provides a glimpse into the life of Winston Churchill, who is a key inspiration for young Sam.
Sam Davis, confined to a wheelchair by crippling cerebral palsy, has two passions: basketball and the life of Winston Churchill. His beloved nurse cum companion, Miss Perkins, lived through the war in England and reads him multiple biographies of the prime minister as she shares her own stories of war-torn London. The novel is set in the 1960s, prior to the advent of the law mandating education of all children, and Sam is precluded from attending public school. When Miss Perkins offers to accompany him in the classroom, he finally has a chance to show what he can do. He wins over his reluctant teacher, but is unable to convince the principal that he should stay. In the midst of his struggles at school, his mother leaves the country with a new male friend and places him in an institution for children who are mentally disabled. White has created a 12-year-old with a vast life of the mind, making up for his physical disabilities. In spite of his many hardships, Sam perseveres and does not merely survive, he thrives. Strong character development is combined with an accurate representation of the lack of educational opportunities for those who were physically and mentally disabled pre-IDEA. The interweaving of Churchill's voice and strength of personality adds to the depth of the plot and allows Sam to have an intellectual companion, given the absence of any friends his own age.-Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
Meet the Author
Andrea White has published several short stories and is the author of Surviving Antarctica, which won the Golden Spur Children's Literature Award.
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This is a phenomenal book...I highly recommend it