Watching Jimmy


Carolyn couldn't figure out why Uncle Ted was always so mean to Jimmy.

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It was as if he had a secret hate for him. One Thursday evening in the park Uncle Ted challenged Jimmy to a race for a chance to drive the car. It wasn't man against boy running, but a race with man and car against Jimmy. And then it happened. Uncle Ted hit Jimmy with his fancy blue car, unaware that Carolyn saw the whole thing from high up in a tree. The story goes that Jimmy fell out of the swing and bumped his head. It put him in a coma for a while and when he woke up he wasn't the same.

He now wears diapers and drools. Carolyn knew she had to watch over Jimmy and protect him from Uncle Ted. One day, Carolyn finds Jimmy home alone with Uncle Ted who had been giving him alcohol to calm him down from one of his fits. It is now Carolyn's mission to find out why Uncle Ted is so mean and to figure out a way to tell what really happened to Jimmy. Hartry draws readers into Carolyn's world. The unfolding of events is filled with suspense and emotion. Readers will eagerly turn the pages to see what Carolyn does to protect her friend and family.

Although the content is sensitize this is a middle grade friendly read. As a librarian-to-be, I try to sometimes read kids books as well as adult books. I chose this book for 2 reasons: This was a great story. It's set in the s and the main character is a brave little girl who tries to protect best friend from her abusive and creepy Uncle Ted. Jimmy is brain-damaged from "falling off the s As a librarian-to-be, I try to sometimes read kids books as well as adult books. Jimmy is brain-damaged from "falling off the swings". Only, Carolyn knows what really happened and it is up to her to keep Jimmy safe.

The novel highlights the importance of family and friendship and the main character is a strong independent young woman. Sometimes reading kids books as an adult can be a bit of a chore but I loved this one. I am looking forward to seeing what Hartry publishes next! I struggled with rating this book, but like another reviewer mentioned, I had to come back to the uneasy feeling I got by the end of the story that comes from the suggestion that it's ok to hide being abused from those you love.

Besides that, I felt no sympathy for the character you're meant to have sympathy for in the end, even after his backstory was revealed. All that is still no excuse for his behaviour throughout the story.

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Also, I wasn't sure I bought into the claim that the costly surgery I struggled with rating this book, but like another reviewer mentioned, I had to come back to the uneasy feeling I got by the end of the story that comes from the suggestion that it's ok to hide being abused from those you love. Also, I wasn't sure I bought into the claim that the costly surgery would make Jimmy better in the end, and that's where the last ray of hope lies A quick and easy read, but I think it would be pretty dark for a grade audience!

And I'm not sure I can agree with the messages that come out at the end. Oct 12, Ruby rated it it was amazing. Mar 10, Sky Postell rated it it was amazing. This was an exceptional book. Nov 27, Pippin Andrews rated it really liked it Shelves: Watching Jimmy is the touching story of Carolyn, a girl who holds a secret. Her weeks are measured by Ted-days, the day she spends babysitting Jimmy after school, the day Uncle Ted comes for his weekly visit.

The story is told from the perspective of Carolyn, who spends most of her time, when not in school, with Jimmy. Carolyn accepts Jimmy for what he is, knowing that the old Jimmy is in there somewhere, but due to a lack of funds, is not able to receive the treatment he needs that may cure his brain injury. This all comes to a head when Carolyn is asked to give a Remembrance Day speech and ultimately is not able to keep the truth of the hardship and irony, she sees around her, down.

She unknowingly tells the truth to those who are attending the ceremony, sharing the horrors of what she has seen, and what is unfair in the world around her. Oct 13, Lynn Davidson rated it it was amazing Shelves: I received this book from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review. This little book was a surprise. By that I mean, this book may be small but it is jam-packed — in such a nice way. Nancy Hartry grabbed my attention right away with how she began this tale. She set the scene in chapter one, then hit with a gut-wrenching punch in chapter two.

And once there it evokes a satisfied sigh and leaves the reader thinking it all over. Carolyn and Jimmy were best friends. What nobody knows is that Carolyn saw the whole thing, but who can she tell?

Event photos: Nancy Hartry launches Watching Jimmy “ and there’s cake!

And what good would it do? This story is set in , after World War II, during a time of struggle and recovery in Canada, a historical time that will change the nation. Nancy Hartry writes in a way that illuminates that era without the reader realizing there is a history lesson being presented. This book is well worth the read.

It is very believable and captures the reader for a step back in time to learn what life in Canada was like then, and what it means to be courageous, dedicated, and truthful. If you enjoy historical fiction you will certainly appreciate Watching Jimmy by Nancy Hartry. Set in , a young girl witnesses an event that no one else was supposed to see.

Her friend Jimmy is injured and afterwards isn't quite the same as a result of brain damage. She's left to watch out for him as Uncle Ted, the man responsible for Jimmy's state, works his plans. All the while, Carolyn fends for herself as her mother works all hours at the plant. Finding her voice, in more ways than one, Carolyn stands up for what she feels is right. I was completely drawn in by the story. The main Set in , a young girl witnesses an event that no one else was supposed to see.

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The main character of Carolyn is left in such difficult circumstances that watching her succeed where others might have faltered was uplifting. I personally feel it straddles the two categories, but does lean more toward the beginnings of teen. There are some deep concepts here. While important to discuss, these concepts may either be too complex or be uninteresting for children. Regardless, I found the story to be highly engaging and emotionally charged. This was a heartbreaking story that was ultimately hopeful.

I ended up reading a lot of books about the mentally ill, and this was another one. The difference with Watching Jimmy is that Jimmy is ill because of abuse, and Carolyn witnessed the incident during which Jimmy was injured.

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After that, Carolyn takes on Jimmy as her responsibility, almost as a penance for witnessing his abuse at the hands of his uncle. I liked the family dynamics, although there may have been too many complex family tie This was a heartbreaking story that was ultimately hopeful. I liked the family dynamics, although there may have been too many complex family ties for such a short novel. But the characters were good, and Carolyn is the kind of girl that I would have wanted to be a young age.

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Mar 13, Ann rated it liked it. Consider the OP's skill level when answering a question. This wonderful book combines history set in Carolyn, 11, lives next door to her best friend, Jimmy. All the while, Carolyn fends for herself as her mother works all hours at the plant. Become a Redditor and subscribe to one of thousands of communities. All that is still no excuse for his behaviour throughout the story.

The history is mostly background, and while it affects the story is not overwhelming. This reads more like contemporary realistic fiction, and I think that many readers will be able to identify with Carolyn. There are some tough topics in this book, so younger or more sensitive readers may need some guidance on the way through.

Carolyn and Jimmy are the same age and pretty much related, but not really. They live side-by-side in a duplex and Jimmy's mom babysits Carolyn while her mom works. Uncle Ted, Jimmy's uncle, comes to visit every Thursday but it's not a day that Carolyn looks forward to. Uncle Ted isn't what he appears to be. Uncle Ted says that Jimmy's head got hurt when he fell off a swing, but Caroly saw it all. That' Carolyn and Jimmy are the same age and pretty much related, but not really. That's what caused the pressure on Jimmy's brain so that he's not who he was before. Now Jimmy has to wear a diaper and is mentally handicapped and Aunt Jean, Jimmy's mom, can't afford to have the surgery it would take to fix Jimmy's head.

This was a very short book, just pages, and not one I particuarly enjoyed reading, although I can't really pinpoint a specific reason as to why. It will also go to the junior high library because of content that will be too hard to understand for my readers at the middle school level. Jan 17, Sarah rated it liked it Shelves: I threw my name in for a shot and ended up winning a copy.

Unfortunately, it took me a lot longer to actually get to reading the book than it should have. The book tells the story of what happened to Jimmy while he was under the care of his uncle. The story is told by his neighbor and best friend. I liked that this is just a small portrait of a life, or a set of lives. Nothing big and out there happens, I'd never heard of this book before I spotted it on LibraryThing's Early Reviewers giveaways.

Nothing big and out there happens, except I suppose Carolyn's speech is a bit far-fetched.

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Overall, though, I thought this was a thoughtful and moving read. It's little dark at the end, so maybe not suited for elementary readers, but would work for middle schoolers. I received this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. As the spunky Carolyn prepares for her Veteran's Day speech at school, she helps the woman next door she calls Aunt Jean with her disabled son Jimmy.

It's up to Carolyn to protect Jimmy, but does she have the courage to stand up to Uncle Ted? This book is nominated for the Young Readers Choice Award. It shou As the spunky Carolyn prepares for her Veteran's Day speech at school, she helps the woman next door she calls Aunt Jean with her disabled son Jimmy. It should be previewed before a read aloud, as it contains an attempt rape, physical abuse, and some tough language like "bastard.

Feb 19, Heidi rated it it was amazing Shelves: Carolyn, 11, lives next door to her best friend, Jimmy. In the past, they did everything together but not anymore. Jimmy doesn't do anything the two children liked to do because he now wears diapers after sustaining brain damage. Carolyn watches Jimmy's family and tries to be visiting Jimmy when Uncle Ted comes for his weekly visits. Because Carolyn knows the truth: This wonderful book combines history set in Carolyn, 11, lives next door to her best friend, Jimmy.

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