I just finished reading a book for my on-line english class. The book was called The Silent Boy by Lois Lowry.
I chose this book because many reviews said that it had a mature theme and that made me feel that it would probably be a bit emotional.
I like books that stir up emotions in me.
Boy, did I ever chose a mature book alright! This book was about a young, kind girl, Katy, who makes friends with a boy who is really different. Everyone describes this silent boy Jacob, as “touched in the head”, meaning not too smart.
Katy is Jacob’s absolute only friend. She is the only person who makes an effort to know and understand him.
Well the story goes from being light and playful to heavy and intense.
Jacob’s sister has a baby before she is married and back in the time this story was from (the early 1900’s), that was a big no, no. The baby is unwanted and this boy who is “touched in the head” is not as dumb as people think, because he knows the baby is unwanted and he tries to save it.
Jacob takes the baby to Katy’s house on a cold, rainy night in a sack, because Katy’s mom has a little baby, and Jacob figures that Katy’s mom will be able to take care of the unwanted baby and feed it with her milk. Pretty smart for a boy that everyone thinks is “touched in the head.”
Tragedy results when the journey to Katy’s house ends up killing the premature baby who is too small and too weak to survive. The sack that the baby is in, is wet from the rain and everyone thinks that Jacob drowned the baby.
Katy is the only one who knows that Jacob didn’t kill the baby on purpose. She knows that Jacob was trying to help the baby, not harm it.
The problem is that she is just a kid and no one believes her when she says that Jacob was trying to SAVE the baby.
The courts send Jacob to an Asylum (a jail for the mentally ill) for the rest of his life and Katy never sees him again!!!!
Super sad story, don’t you think.
There is a very valuable lesson in this story though.
Be kind to everyone.
Treat everyone as YOU would want to be treated.
It is easy to be friends with the cool kids, or the popular kids or the kids most like you.
What about others though? What about the kids who are “different.”
They need friends too.
Everyone needs a friend. Have you ever felt lonely? or unloved? We all have at times.
If only more people loved Jacob and got to know him the way Katy did, perhaps the courts would have realized that the dead baby was not his fault.
If only others had made the effort to be Jacob’s friend, they would have known his heart and he wouldn’t have been misunderstood and sent to the Asylum.
Lesson time here – Make a decision to be kind to EVERYONE!
You never know exactly what difference you will make in that person’s life.
With the spirit of Christmas just around the corner, remember that the best gift you can give someone is YOURSELF, and your friendship!!!
Be great! By being great to others!
Your friend and coach,
“If you are not making someone else’s life better, then you are wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other people’s lives better”