I came across, Let the Balloon Go by Ivan Southall, the other day in the library. I read it as a teenager but found it slow and tedious. I thought I would read it again from the perspective of an adult since Southall has won many awards as a children’s author and the book is only 100 pages long.
I can understand why I thought it tedious. The main character, John Sumner, takes ten pages just to get out of bed! As an adult, I can understand that the author was creating the context for his story but the book is written for a teenage audience.
As the story develops it becomes apparent that John suffers from cerebral palsy and his parents are overprotective, not allowing him to do many of the things that normal teenage boys would do. When his mother is forced to leave him home alone, he seizes the opportunity to climb a tree and experience some long-desired freedom.
While the book is well written and is an insightful look at children with disabilities, teenagers who don’t have this experience would find the book slow and tedious, as I did.