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Jo could never have guessed that the friendship she so desperately craves would come in the shape of a severely disabled boy. He can’t even speak. Maybe it is because he can’t speak that she finds herself telling him how difficult it is living with her eccentric, mentally fragile mother. Behind Chris’ lopsided grin and gigantic blue wheelchair is a real person — with a sens Jo could never have guessed that the friendship she so desperately craves would come in the shape of a severely disabled boy. He can’t even speak. Maybe it is because he can’t speak that she finds herself telling him how difficult it is living with her eccentric, mentally fragile mother. Behind Chris’ lopsided grin and gigantic blue wheelchair is a real person — with a sense of humour, a tremendous stubborn streak and a secret he has kept from everyone. For a while it seems life may actually get better. But as Jo finds out just how terrible life is for Chris, and as her own life spirals out of control, she becomes desperate to change things for both of them. In a dramatic turn of events, Jo makes a decision that could end in tragedy. This is the story of how an unusual friendship unlocks the words that neither knew they had.


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Jo could never have guessed that the friendship she so desperately craves would come in the shape of a severely disabled boy. He can’t even speak. Maybe it is because he can’t speak that she finds herself telling him how difficult it is living with her eccentric, mentally fragile mother. Behind Chris’ lopsided grin and gigantic blue wheelchair is a real person — with a sens Jo could never have guessed that the friendship she so desperately craves would come in the shape of a severely disabled boy. He can’t even speak. Maybe it is because he can’t speak that she finds herself telling him how difficult it is living with her eccentric, mentally fragile mother. Behind Chris’ lopsided grin and gigantic blue wheelchair is a real person — with a sense of humour, a tremendous stubborn streak and a secret he has kept from everyone. For a while it seems life may actually get better. But as Jo finds out just how terrible life is for Chris, and as her own life spirals out of control, she becomes desperate to change things for both of them. In a dramatic turn of events, Jo makes a decision that could end in tragedy. This is the story of how an unusual friendship unlocks the words that neither knew they had.

30 review for Finding A Voice: Friendship is a Two-Way Street

  1. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Read more reviews at What Danielle Did Next It’s not often these days that I am so enamoured with a book that I read it in one sitting and little did I know when I sat in the garden, one sunny Tuesday afternoon, and got up three hours later with a pretty numb backside and a sunburnt nose, that FINDING A VOICE would be that book. Beautifully written, heart-wrenching prose, honest and fragile characters and a touching story makes for one very special read. Jo is a thirteen year old girl with a lot Read more reviews at What Danielle Did Next It’s not often these days that I am so enamoured with a book that I read it in one sitting and little did I know when I sat in the garden, one sunny Tuesday afternoon, and got up three hours later with a pretty numb backside and a sunburnt nose, that FINDING A VOICE would be that book. Beautifully written, heart-wrenching prose, honest and fragile characters and a touching story makes for one very special read. Jo is a thirteen year old girl with a lot on her plate. Dealing with a mother who suffers from severe depression whilst living under the self-imposed guilt that reaching out for help will do more harm than good, it is not surprising that she wants to escape. While other girls have friends to confide in, the stigma of mental illness has ensured Jo is left alone every recess. It’s utterly heartbreaking to be inside Jo’s head as she scrambles to keep her and her mother’s lives on track. When Jo is asked to tea by the new girl in school, she thinks finally this year will be different. When it triggers a particularly violent and frightening episode for her mother, the whispers and stares at school are the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Accepting an invitation from the school counsellor to volunteer in the special education block as a means of “escape” brings her into contact with Chris, a teen with cerebral palsy, thought to have severe learning and cognitive abilities. Through their art lessons and lunch hours, Jo and Chris find a peace and friendship and a life neither thought was possible. Jo’s situation is sadly not unique and this book provides a valuable insight into the life of so many children thrust into the role of carer. It’s a lonely existence and I really felt for Jo, living each day under the threat of the darkest of storms, never knowing if this will be the day she won’t be able to cope, and the bitter-sweet moments when her mother’s lucidity allows Jo to fall back into the welcome position of child instead of parent. It was heartbreaking to watch not only Jo but her mother, trapped by her own mind, living with the guilt that she couldn’t be the parent she desperately wanted to be for her daughter. Even now the emotion conveyed and the love between the two brings tears to my eyes as I write this review. When Jo meets Chris, the friendship that builds between them reminds us of just how special and unique human beings are at finding connections and ways to communicate despite adversity. I loved how despite Jo’s belief that she was helping Chris how over time his special ability to give unspoken support to her provided a comfort she lacked from others. The breakthrough as they learn to communicate and find each other’s voice is a lesson to us all – a lesson to “Look Up”; to make eye contact and truly listen to each other. This was such a special book and resonated with me on so many levels. Kim Hood’s easy style of writing allows the emotion to shine through and enables the reader to really connect with the characters. The pacing flowed well and kept me engaged with the story which was so sweet and honest, it made my heart ache for Jo and Chris. A story about friendship and unwavering hope, FINDING A VOICE is a book that will stay with you long after you’ve finished- touching and tender, it will make you laugh and cry and believe in the beauty of the bonds of humanity. Perfect for fans of Gayle Forman and John Green – Highly recommend.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Pike

    I would rate this book  5 stars Jo spends most of her time as a carer to her mother,  who is mentally ill and getting better on and off.   A councilling session is soon made with the school psychologist and she finds a new opportunity,   to be a helper during her lunch break to a special ed student called Christopher. Jo is a strong character for what she has to deal with all the time with looking after her mother who can sometimes be really hard to help,  to having to deal with schoolwork and mai I would rate this book  5 stars Jo spends most of her time as a carer to her mother,  who is mentally ill and getting better on and off.   A councilling session is soon made with the school psychologist and she finds a new opportunity,   to be a helper during her lunch break to a special ed student called Christopher. Jo is a strong character for what she has to deal with all the time with looking after her mother who can sometimes be really hard to help,  to having to deal with schoolwork and maintaining friendships. Christopher has a major form of cerebral palsy and listens to Jo when she talks about her problems and worries. Throughout the book their friendship grows and they grow to understand each other more

  3. 4 out of 5

    Josie

    I prefer books about Issues to be handled with a bit more subtlety. There was so much infodump about Chris's wheelchair, how he had to be fed and looked after, etc, that it felt more like I was reading an information leaflet on Young People With Cerebal Palsy than an actual story. Jo's obsession with Chris was slightly weird... I get that ~finding him a voice~ was a way of blocking out her own problems with her mother, but the lengths she went to were ridiculous and unrealistic. (view spoiler)[S I prefer books about Issues to be handled with a bit more subtlety. There was so much infodump about Chris's wheelchair, how he had to be fed and looked after, etc, that it felt more like I was reading an information leaflet on Young People With Cerebal Palsy than an actual story. Jo's obsession with Chris was slightly weird... I get that ~finding him a voice~ was a way of blocking out her own problems with her mother, but the lengths she went to were ridiculous and unrealistic. (view spoiler)[She gets all embarrassed at the fact that he has to be helped to go to the toilet, but then she KIDNAPS HIM and takes him to a cabin in the woods, without actually thinking about the fact that she might need to take care of his needs?! I was cringing the whole way through that scene. (hide spoiler)] Also, there is no way a responsible adult working in a care home would EVER ask a 13-year-old girl if she'd like to help give a 15-year-old boy a bath. I mean, it's not just the age/gender thing, but the fact that Jo wasn't qualified or insured or DBS-checked or anything, and is essentially a stranger. THERE ARE RULES ABOUT THESE THINGS.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    Wow! This is such a brave and very powerful story! Main characters Jo & Chris are so inspiring! We truly need more YA books as real as this! Review to come...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mark Kielty

    I decided to read this book to take a break from my usual fantasy and sci-fi readings and I’m glad I did. I found the premise of the story very interesting. A thirteen-year-old girl named Jo, who acts as a carer for her mentally unwell mother, finds refuge in volunteering in the special education wing of her school. There she meets Chris, a boy with cerebral palsy, and finds a friendship she’d never thought she’d have. This book gave a great insight into disabilities by way of the character Chri I decided to read this book to take a break from my usual fantasy and sci-fi readings and I’m glad I did. I found the premise of the story very interesting. A thirteen-year-old girl named Jo, who acts as a carer for her mentally unwell mother, finds refuge in volunteering in the special education wing of her school. There she meets Chris, a boy with cerebral palsy, and finds a friendship she’d never thought she’d have. This book gave a great insight into disabilities by way of the character Chris and mental health by way of Jo’s mother. However, the characters were more than their disabilities. Jo’s mother is something of a hippy and Chris can be stubborn at times, choosing selectively who he talks to. The characters are written in such a way that they came across interesting. Kim Hood makes you care for Jo. You really hope that things get better for her, even though everything in her life is an uphill battle. But her caring nature towards the people in her life makes her instantly likable so I was on her side very early on. I highly recommend this book - give it a read - you won’t be disappointed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emma Vardy

    I liked this book. It deals with mental health, friendship, disability and growing up. Shows the true meaning of a friendship being there for each other, understanding and helping each other. Also shows don't assume that children/people with disabilities can't do things like Chris in the story. A beautiful story. I liked this book. It deals with mental health, friendship, disability and growing up. Shows the true meaning of a friendship being there for each other, understanding and helping each other. Also shows don't assume that children/people with disabilities can't do things like Chris in the story. A beautiful story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    This book was ok - I felt like the story could have been a little bit longer. Throughout there was 2 stories being told and it would’ve been better if it was just the one.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hidayah

    Like it very much. It gives insight of people with disability (in this case, non-verbal kid) and people who struggle with mental health problems. A good reading for kid/young adult.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Miss Jith

    Really sweet, not quite what I was expecting but in a good way!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase. I decided earlier on in the year, when The Bookseller first announced that it was creating its own YA Book Prize for UK and Irish YA, that I would try to read all the 2015 shortlisted books once they were announced. Finding a Voice by Kim Hood is one of the titles nominated, and I was lucky enough to get hold of a reading copy through work. It's such a beautiful story! Thirteen-year-old Jo has a tough life. Her mother has a mental illness, and Jo's her ma Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase. I decided earlier on in the year, when The Bookseller first announced that it was creating its own YA Book Prize for UK and Irish YA, that I would try to read all the 2015 shortlisted books once they were announced. Finding a Voice by Kim Hood is one of the titles nominated, and I was lucky enough to get hold of a reading copy through work. It's such a beautiful story! Thirteen-year-old Jo has a tough life. Her mother has a mental illness, and Jo's her main carer. Sometimes there are good days, where her mum just seems eccentric and strange, and sometimes there are bad days, when it's all Jo can do to keep her mum from going right over the edge. Sometimes she can't. School is the only place Jo can escape the stress at home, but she doesn't have any friends because of her "crazy" mum. Then she meets Chris, a boy with Cerebral Palsy in the Special Education Unit after volunteering to help him out at lunch. Chris can't speak and has very little control over his limbs. It seems to Jo that most people fail to see the boy inside the disabled body, but Jo is sure Chris is more aware of what's happening than everyone else seems to think. She's determined to help Chris have a better life, but Chris isn't the only one who could do with some help. I have to say, if it wasn't for the YA Book Prize, I'm pretty sure Finding a Voice wouldn't have crossed my path. It's been out since August, but I hadn't heard of it once. Which is such a shame, because it's such a beautiful debut novel, and really quite thought-provoking. In a way, Finding a Voice reminds me of Amy & Matthew by Cammie McGovern. Both stories involve mental illness, and both have a teenager volunteering to help out a fellow disabled student. But that's where the similarities end. This is not a romance, this is very much a book about friendship, and it really is beautiful to witness how important Jo and Chris become to each other. Because of Chris' disability, Jo notices that the people who work with him - his carers, his aides and teachers at the school - either talk to him like he's a baby, or talk about him as if he's not there. At first, Jo isn't sure how much Chris is aware, and that's why she finds it so easy to talk to him. While visiting the Special Education Unit at lunch times to feed Chris, she finds it very easy to open up about how she feels looking after her mum, and very quickly, through his behaviour, she becomes aware that Chris seems to be listening to her intently. The fact that she is actually being listened to encourages Jo to talk more, but also to talk to him as if he's an actual, normal teenager. Jo has found someone to talk to, and Chris now has someone who's treating him like a person. It's only when during one lunch time that Jo realises that Chris is flailing his legs to kick her on purpose rather than through lack of control this time, that Chris is trying to tell her something - he doesn't like the food. From that point on, Jo focuses a lot of her attention on trying to help Chris communicate. She knows Chris has things to say, he just needs a way to say them. Jo puts in so much work in trying to find ways to help him speak, thinking of ideas, in an attempt to make his life better. No-one else asks what Chris thinks, or wants, or likes, because he can't tell them. All decisions are taken away from him. Jo can't sit back and let this continue when she knows Chris wants to be able to tell people what he wants. It's really just incredible to see her try so hard to make things better for her friend. It's so heart-warming. And it's even more incredible when you put this into context with her own life. Her mum suffers from a non specific psychiatric illness. At first I thought she had bi-polar; she would have very strange, eccentric days most of the time, or she would have terrible, awful days no child should have to witness. But it seems the doctors haven't been able to nail down a specific mental illness to her mum. Jo has to walk on tiptoes most of the time, trying to keep her mum calm and happy, keep the routine, keep things normal. The slightest thing wrong, and they're both in for days of heartache. Jo's mum's episodes are horrific to read about, and to imagine that Jo has had to deal with this her whole young life is so heartbreaking. And she's so scared to tell anyone how bad it can get some days, because she feels she'll be letting her mum down. Finding a Voice is such an emotional story, and a really powerful one. It's an incredible debut novel, with such a wonderful ending. I implore you all to give Finding a Voice a read; I guarantee you'll find yourself moved. Thank you to O'Brien Press via Foyles for the reading copy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shaye Coxon

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 1. I found this book when I was looking through books for my age group online. I choose to read it because the storyline of the book really appealed to me. I though it would be a change to the books I currently been reading and I also thought it would help me understand what people with disabilities have to live with. I also decided to read it because it might enhance my reading and give me a different view in writing. 2. "You must learn to control your emotions" - Suzanne MacNamara (Main charact 1. I found this book when I was looking through books for my age group online. I choose to read it because the storyline of the book really appealed to me. I though it would be a change to the books I currently been reading and I also thought it would help me understand what people with disabilities have to live with. I also decided to read it because it might enhance my reading and give me a different view in writing. 2. "You must learn to control your emotions" - Suzanne MacNamara (Main character, Jo's Mum) This quote appealed to me because it was really the turning point of the book. Jo had to keep her feelings hidden inside her, not letting them out and keeping herself under control as well as her life and everyone around her. This quote helped her realise that it's okay not to keep everything bottled up and this was the real motivation in making a real significant change in her and someone else's life. This quote stated by Jo's mum Suzanne, was one of the many hidden messages in the story. It helps the audience realise that by admitting your fears and the worries in your life, that it could also influence someone else in a positive or negative way. In this story it was a positive way. By reading Finding a Voice everyone can learn something deep about themselves. 3. I really enjoyed how this book gave you a different view of people in these two characters situation. I like how the author wasn't afraid to dig deep into the characters and how hard there lives were which gave me a deeper connection to each and every character in this book. Finding a Voice was a deep and meaningful story which had a strong storyline which most people in this world don't acknowledge or appreciate. The author, Kim Hood, made me keep thinking about every minor detail that she wrote and how each one affected what character in what way. In my mind Jo was the perfect character for what Hood was going for. On the other hand, I did have a few negatives. In parts of the book, the story seemed to stop and go nowhere and sometimes there was a sudden jump to things. I think in parts of the story Hood was just improvising and didn't really know where the scene was going and what affect it had on anyone. The story was a bit slow to start with and kind of stayed at that pace until it was over. Otherwise I think this book was a success and Hood should be pleased with Finding a Voice 5. Finding a Voice made me think that everyone on this planet, no matter your condition, is here to change someone's life in a positive way. Jo changed Chris's life by giving him a voice that no one know existed. Chris gave Jo a friend a sense of purpose. He also gave Jo her own voice. This book also made me think of what it is like to have a dysfunctional home and a disability. Finding a voice gives you an inside of what these two situations are like and what people involved have to do to keep themselves and others stable. It also gives you a deeper appreciation for what you have and that others in this world are less fortunate then you. I think this book is a perfect example of people striving to make the world a better place for not only one, but a lot of people.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emma Holtrust

    JO : DRAMA QUEEN I must admit that I find it really difficult to discuss this book. I finished it in one go, which is a good sign since it means I loved it so much. But on the other hand, I also read it so fast because it was just really easy to read. I know that I'm not the young adult age anymore and maybe it has to do with that, but I lacked a bit of depth in the book. Jo is a great girl and narrator and the reader really roots for her. I was, until the end of the story, when she suddenly does JO : DRAMA QUEEN I must admit that I find it really difficult to discuss this book. I finished it in one go, which is a good sign since it means I loved it so much. But on the other hand, I also read it so fast because it was just really easy to read. I know that I'm not the young adult age anymore and maybe it has to do with that, but I lacked a bit of depth in the book. Jo is a great girl and narrator and the reader really roots for her. I was, until the end of the story, when she suddenly does something so stupid and so drastic that it just didn't make sense to me. It seemed out of character and it's my little pet peeve to hate on inconsistent characters. I immediately lost all sympathy for her. She was just a bit too dramatic for me and though I understand her difficult background (she has a mentally unstable mother), I don't see the need for many of her actions. I admire her journey to finding her voice, but it would have been nice if she was less drastic and whiney about it in the process. CHRIS : THE REAL HERO Chris on the other hand was one of my favourite characters ever - even though he can't talk or do much. He has such a kind heart and I really wanted him to find his voice, or at least a way to express what he was thinking. The strength of Chris as a character is that he isn't a narrator and we don't even have dialogue with him, but Kim Hood shows us enough of his life and who he is to make us fall in love with him. It's so important that there is diversity in YA and showing a disabled person as a real person is amazing. I think it will really help teenagers to start treating disabled people like they are just normal people you can be friends with. I applaud Kim Hood for tackling such a challenge subject in such an easy read. However, I wish I would have had more depth about the disability. Because the whole story is narrated by Jo, who has (albeit common) preconceptions about disability, I don't feel we learned enough about Chris. Jo does make a journey into understand Chris better, but the whole ending is so fairy tale that the lessons that are learned are kinda lost. RATING I'll give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars (yes, I'm doing half again). I didn't personally love it, but I think the topic is so so important that these kind of books should be encouraged. I think it's really one of those books that you should pick up yourself and read so you can decide if you love it or not. Even if you don't, like me, you'll still learn from it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Children's Book Chat

    Finding a voice is the story of every teenager; every teenager that, if only once, has felt apart from their peers or different from them. Jo, a 13-year-old girl in an American middle school, details her first few months at her new school. Her mum suffers from an almost uncontrollable depression, as Jo witnesses the horrors of her condition every night after school. The isolation of being a caretaker to somebody with depression causes Jo to feel cautious about forging friendships at school which Finding a voice is the story of every teenager; every teenager that, if only once, has felt apart from their peers or different from them. Jo, a 13-year-old girl in an American middle school, details her first few months at her new school. Her mum suffers from an almost uncontrollable depression, as Jo witnesses the horrors of her condition every night after school. The isolation of being a caretaker to somebody with depression causes Jo to feel cautious about forging friendships at school which drives her more deeply into herself, unable to talk about the difficulties she faces at home. As a solution to her lonely lunchtimes, she starts frequenting the special education department where she meets Chris, who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Believing that his disabilities prevent him from understanding and communicating, she begins to tell him about her home life until, one day, she realises that he might understand more than first believed. Through his silence, she is able to find more than just her own voice. This story is a story of all time. Reminiscent of the book My Left Foot, this teenage novel appeals to everyone; a courageous tale, with the moral to never to give up. It provides insight into the lives of young carers and the difficulties they face every day. It sheds light on conditions that are occasionally difficult to understand, and compels us to confront disability and mental illness in an alternative way. It also teaches us to look past physicalities, look beyond first impressions, and value people for who they are. It’s a really touching book, and has certainly made me reconsider how I view a lot of things. The books itself is easy to read, adhering to a lighter language which is really effective to get the themes across to the younger reader. I think this book is important in reforming views on the major issues it tackles. It will play an important role in changing the climate for the awareness of mental issues and disability. It has certainly opened my eyes. I thoroughly recommend this fantastic read. Relatable and transparent, it’s sure to get you thinking! - Lucy Harris @Lugey6 @childrenschat childrensbookchat.wordpress.com

  14. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    I want to start my review of Finding a Voice the usual way, with a bit of a plot summary, but I’m afraid it might put you off. It sounds like an ‘issues’ book and, I don’t know about you, but that pretty much always puts me off. So let me get it out in the open before I start: Finding a Voice is about mental illness and physical disability and being isolated. And now I’ve told you this, forget it. Finding a Voice is about Jo who longs more than anything for a friend, but is afraid to make friends I want to start my review of Finding a Voice the usual way, with a bit of a plot summary, but I’m afraid it might put you off. It sounds like an ‘issues’ book and, I don’t know about you, but that pretty much always puts me off. So let me get it out in the open before I start: Finding a Voice is about mental illness and physical disability and being isolated. And now I’ve told you this, forget it. Finding a Voice is about Jo who longs more than anything for a friend, but is afraid to make friends. Her mother’s mental illness rules Jo’s life and cuts her off from her peers at school. Given the chance to run away from the discomfort of school lunchtime, Jo finds herself immersed in a part of school she previously knew nothing about: the special education unit. There she meets Chris, a severely disabled boy who is apparently unable to communicate. As she helps Chris with his food, Jo pours her heart out to him. None of his carers think Chris can understand much of what is said to him, but Jo begins to think they are wrong. She sets out to help Chris to communicate. I had a few doubts about how realistic some of the plot was. I doubted that all the carers and educators would have totally given up on communicating with Chris; I doubted how quickly he would pick up communicating having never done it before, I doubted Jo would get so far with Chris in his wheelchair before someone stopped them and that she would be able to push it off-road at all. Did any of this matter? Not really. While I was reading, I had no trouble suspending disbelief, it was only later that I wondered. Jo and Chris’s story was engrossing, fast-paced and thoughtful, not an easy combination to master. So many young adult books find their drama either in fantasy adventure or in the internal wrangling of one character’s views of themselves and their interactions with the world. Here, Kim Hood gives us another type of story, a story of a teen looking outside herself and finding a place for herself in the world.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Received for free through Goodreads' First Reads. I really enjoyed this book and I only wish it were longer. It's a very easy read with a compelling storyline. Jo represents teenagers who feel marginalised and excluded and through her character the author tries to challenge misconceptions about disability. There's nothing too complicated, in-depth or emotionally challenging about the book, which is surprising considering its main topics. I really felt for Jo because of the childhood she was unable t Received for free through Goodreads' First Reads. I really enjoyed this book and I only wish it were longer. It's a very easy read with a compelling storyline. Jo represents teenagers who feel marginalised and excluded and through her character the author tries to challenge misconceptions about disability. There's nothing too complicated, in-depth or emotionally challenging about the book, which is surprising considering its main topics. I really felt for Jo because of the childhood she was unable to have. Chris makes her realise that life could be so much better if only she would admit that she can't do everything herself. I do think this book could have been better, if more of this was explored: "I had never been able to compare these episodes to any illness I knew. Other illnesses you could talk about without being met with silence and stares. Other illnesses had a set timeline and a surety of how to know when you were better. You didn't get social workers with other illnesses". This was the paragraph that stayed with me throughout the book and I wish there had been some more insightful forays into mental illness. However, it's obviously not meant to be an analysis of society's attitudes to mental health but rather a YA fiction story about an unlikely friendship and how two people help each other without even meaning to.

  16. 5 out of 5

    aiv

    This was a short and sweet read, something simple that sends out positive messages to both young and old. The relationships between characters in this novel were special, especially between Jo and Chris, and the reader is given a unique view of the life of a disabled person and the personality that lies within someone who isn't able to communicate in the most conventional way. It was heartwarming to read about Jo trying to find ways to make the lives of others better, although in the process sh This was a short and sweet read, something simple that sends out positive messages to both young and old. The relationships between characters in this novel were special, especially between Jo and Chris, and the reader is given a unique view of the life of a disabled person and the personality that lies within someone who isn't able to communicate in the most conventional way. It was heartwarming to read about Jo trying to find ways to make the lives of others better, although in the process she learns some important lessons. It's a story about friendship between two outsiders that develops beautifully as you turn the pages.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    A very good "issues" book. I managed to read this in one day in two sittings. It did feel like an information overload at the start, faced with mental health issues I'd not seen before and knew very little about. But the story unravelled about a girl, her mum and her friend Chris. It is definitely a heart-warming story and a really enjoyable read. The author really knew what she was talking about and it looks like she had personal experiences from the notes in the back of the book. I was worried A very good "issues" book. I managed to read this in one day in two sittings. It did feel like an information overload at the start, faced with mental health issues I'd not seen before and knew very little about. But the story unravelled about a girl, her mum and her friend Chris. It is definitely a heart-warming story and a really enjoyable read. The author really knew what she was talking about and it looks like she had personal experiences from the notes in the back of the book. I was worried the story could have been very Americanised but reading it I was imagining my old school, English buses, roads etc... so it definitely fitted in with the UK.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jay Dee

    This novel reminded me a great deal of Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind. The characters have depth and will cause readers to feel great empathy towards them. (excellent character development.) However, sadly the novel developed a plot twist that, to me, was simply unbelievable on many levels. I was so disappointed. I know that Middle School students will absolutely love this novel so I will recommend it to them but I wish there had been a different means of "finding a voice" for the main character This novel reminded me a great deal of Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind. The characters have depth and will cause readers to feel great empathy towards them. (excellent character development.) However, sadly the novel developed a plot twist that, to me, was simply unbelievable on many levels. I was so disappointed. I know that Middle School students will absolutely love this novel so I will recommend it to them but I wish there had been a different means of "finding a voice" for the main characters.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved this book so much that I finished it in one day. This story is about Jo and Chris an unlikeliest pair surviving school together. Chris is disabled and has no means of communication. Jo basically has no social life if not no life. Jo has to mind her mental mother and try to keep away social workers. It is the support person who reccomend Jo for Chris lunch buddy and friend. She then realises Chris can read and she develops a way to communicate. Much to everyone astonishment. I love this b I loved this book so much that I finished it in one day. This story is about Jo and Chris an unlikeliest pair surviving school together. Chris is disabled and has no means of communication. Jo basically has no social life if not no life. Jo has to mind her mental mother and try to keep away social workers. It is the support person who reccomend Jo for Chris lunch buddy and friend. She then realises Chris can read and she develops a way to communicate. Much to everyone astonishment. I love this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Beth Wainwright-Swaine

    Thoroughly enjoyable, Kim Hood writes about a number of difficult subjects with respect and honesty. Though not necessarily always the most well-written or articulate book, I found it to be unexpectedly light and uplifting. With wonderfully interesting characters and an intriguing examination of some contemporary themes such as non-traditional parenting, disability and mental illness, I'd recommend this book to fans of All The Bright Places, My Heart And Other Black Holes and Unspeakable. Thoroughly enjoyable, Kim Hood writes about a number of difficult subjects with respect and honesty. Though not necessarily always the most well-written or articulate book, I found it to be unexpectedly light and uplifting. With wonderfully interesting characters and an intriguing examination of some contemporary themes such as non-traditional parenting, disability and mental illness, I'd recommend this book to fans of All The Bright Places, My Heart And Other Black Holes and Unspeakable.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Normally I love nice simple quick reads with a story line like this. But with "Finding a Voice" I had a bit of a problem seeing as it tried to be everything using simple writting making the reader feel dumb our a child. But you can't be a child to read it, as it deals with some very serious issues ( at one point the mother is found self-harming in the bathroom and her daughter finds her. ) Normally I love nice simple quick reads with a story line like this. But with "Finding a Voice" I had a bit of a problem seeing as it tried to be everything using simple writting making the reader feel dumb our a child. But you can't be a child to read it, as it deals with some very serious issues ( at one point the mother is found self-harming in the bathroom and her daughter finds her. )

  22. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    I kept going back and forth between 3 & 4 stars for this novel. I read it quickly and was reasonably involved in the story. A young carer of a mentally ill mother, develops a friendship with a boy suffering from cerebral palsy. There are no subtle messages in this book; they are plain for all to see. And yet I read it in one sitting...

  23. 4 out of 5

    ♡ Jeri's Book Attic ♡ Jeri the Romance Bibiliophile ♡

  24. 4 out of 5

    Garin College

    Jo's mother is the cause of great stress in her life, and the suggestion of the school councelor that she helps out with a student from the Special Ed department doesn't really seem like it will help. But getting to know Christopher has unexpected repercussions - and rewards. Jo's mother is the cause of great stress in her life, and the suggestion of the school councelor that she helps out with a student from the Special Ed department doesn't really seem like it will help. But getting to know Christopher has unexpected repercussions - and rewards.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

    A thoughtful little read

  26. 5 out of 5

    michelle

    this book reminded me a lot of out of my mind and i liked this as well!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sonya Oldwin

    I borrowed Finding a Voice from the library mainly because it was short. Glad I did because I couldn't put it down. Jo's voice gripped me from the start and never let me go until the end. I borrowed Finding a Voice from the library mainly because it was short. Glad I did because I couldn't put it down. Jo's voice gripped me from the start and never let me go until the end.

  28. 4 out of 5

    skippity_doo

    A sweet story which was enjoyable and easy to read. The author's inexperience showed at times but overall a fun read with a happy ending. A sweet story which was enjoyable and easy to read. The author's inexperience showed at times but overall a fun read with a happy ending.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    If every teen could relate to books like this, the world would be a better place. Reminds us of how others journeys are just as strong even it not on the main road.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Niamh Ennis

    well written with important messages. some of it feels unrealistic and Jo is a bit annoying at times, but what protagonist is perfect? the author has done her research aswell.

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