Read: Petey

Petey - Ben Mikaelsen

I knew that Petey would likely make me cry.  And it did, twice. 

 

Aimed at middle-grade readers and told in simplistic terms, Petey records the historical mistreatment of persons with disabilities in the early 20th century, where people with physical disabilities were mistaken for people with intellectual disabilities and placed in state "hospitals" for the insane .  The book follows Petey through the widespread disbursement of former state hospital inmates into community placements in the 70's and his befriending by a high school student.  While parts of the book are just "too pat"  Petey does show how taking the time to understand someone and to make a friend, can make a huge difference in a life.