Good listening. 2 casettes/2.75 hours
ISBN 0064401987 - An ALA Notable Children's book, The Pinballs is one of those books that took me a little while to like. Once I gave it a chance, it turned out to be a very good read.
Carlie, Harvey and Thomas J. come into the foster care system and meet in the living room of the Masons. Mrs Mason can't have children, so she and her husband began the process to adopt. Along the way, they ended up as foster parents and they've gotten quite good at it. Harvey's there because his father got drunk and ran over his legs with the car - and that was after his mother ran away from them. Carlie's had a hard time with stepfathers and is in the system until things stabilize. Thomas J. is a mystery - a child who toddled up to a farmhouse owned by twin sisters, who took him and raised him until they both ended up in the hospital. Then the authorities found him and while they figured out what to do with him, he was at the Masons.
Carlie comes across, at first, like a girl you'd like to NOT know; Thomas J. is the loudest quiet kid in the world; Harvey just seems to be broken, in more ways than one. How they help each other and how they learn to let others help them is a touching story that every kid - and every adult! - ought to read. And who they really are, under all the hurts of their short, messed up lives, might surprise you.