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Unlocked Paperback – October 12, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 955 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An average of 1 in 110 children has autism spectrum disorder, an astonishing number that also bespeaks sadness and frustration on the part of lots of parents of autistic children. Popular and prolific novelist Kingsbury (Ever After) takes on autism in the story Holden Harris, an 18-year-old high school student with autism and target for high school bullies. Popular Ella Reynolds, star of the high school's musical Beauty and the Beast, sticks up for Holden against her friends who are his tormentors. Added to the complex topics of autism and bullying is a subplot about teen-age suicide, making for far more weight than this story can bear. Her legions of fans may well find this nicey-nicey story resolution inspirational; that is the Kingsbury brand. But given the gravity of the subjects, what one finds inspirational another will likely see a naïve and unpersuasive fantasy that Walt Disney does a whole lot better, with music. Kingsbury is in over her head. (Oct.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Before You Take a Stand ... You Got to Take a Chance. Holden Harris is an eighteen-year-old locked in a prison of autism. Despite his quiet ways and quirky behaviors, Holden is very happy and socially normal---on the inside, in a private world all his own. In reality, he is bullied at school by kids who only see that he is very different. Ella Reynolds is part of the 'in' crowd. A cheerleader and star of the high school drama production, her life seems perfect. When she catches Holden listening to her rehearse for the school play, she is drawn to him ... the way he is drawn to the music. Then, Ella makes a dramatic discovery---she and Holden were best friends as children. Frustrated by the way Holden is bullied, and horrified at the indifference of her peers, Ella decides to take a stand against the most privileged and popular kids at school. Including her boyfriend, Jake. Ella believes miracles can happen in the unlikeliest places, and that just maybe an entire community might celebrate from the sidelines. But will Holden's praying mother and the efforts of Ella and a cast of theater kids be enough to unlock the prison that contains Holden? This time, friendship, faith, and the power of a song must be strong enough to open the doors to the miracle Holden needs. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310266955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310266952
  • ASIN: B0051BNTOW
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (955 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #999,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Thatcher on May 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Length: 2:10 Mins
Hi everyone, This video was created by the young man (my son) who inspired Karen to write this book. Christian Youth Theater, the book Unlocked, and the events around the KKLive event in 2010 have been nothing short of a miracle. The encouraging words, the scriptures verses applied, and the support for Mitch has been nothing short of amazing.

Mitch reviews the book, talks about KKLive with Karen, and invites you to join his growing community on Facebook. Search for Mitch-Unlocked and "Like" his page. He will keep you informed on the daily and weekly events going on for him. He also keeps you informed on issues with Autism.

Please read and distribute Unlocked to as many people as you can. The messages of Autism awareness, Bullying, and applying Christian love is the central theme of this great book.

Also, you can read the real story of Mitch's life in this book written by Carrie Thatcher, Mitch's mom. Take an opportunity to learn the real life story behind the fictional character that Karen created. Good Night Mitch

Thank you from Mitch's Family.
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Format: Paperback
This story clearly shows the pain of losing your child to Autism. I know many moms who carry the burden each day, but I never understood the toll it must take on each of them. I cannot begin to imagine how much it would hurt if my child stopped making eye contact with me or if my child stopped allowing me to touch him. My words cannot begin to describe the pain I feel from just imagining the scenario. This story is beautifully told, as all Karen Kingsbury stories are, but I am most excited about this one because I can allow my 12-year-old daughter to read it as well. I'm longing to share all of the Kingsbury books with her when she's a bit older. This one is perfect for adults, as well as middle and high schoolers. The best pert of any Kingsbury book is how she clearly shows what it is like to live a life of walking with God. For so many who are starting the journey, or just need encouragement, it is helpful to "see" what the journey of others looks like. Readers will laugh and cry, and many lives will be changed.
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Format: Paperback
Karen Kingsbury has done it again. Every time I open one of her books, I cannot put it down. They have been such a blessing to me.
In Unlocked, Holden Harris, a high school student with Autism is greatly helped after finding his childhood friend Ella. She, with the power of faith and music, touches his life and breaks down the walls created by Autism.
The character development is wonderful and readers are given a window into the mind of someone who has Autism in ways they have never been before. The characters are believable and I found myself laughing and crying.
I am a college student and have never really known someone with Autism. This book was truly an eyeopener and opened my heart to things I had never thought about before. Everyone should read this book.
Kudos to Mrs. Kingsbury for her wonderful writing. The Lord has certainly used her to bless many with her writings and I pray he will continue to do so!
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Format: Paperback
This book was absolutely an emotional ride. I always am amazed at the writings of Karen. This book dealt with not only about Autism but also had a gut wrenching truth of teen suicide in our world today. The book really touched me in so many ways. GOD is truely amazing and he works through these books that GOD has gifted Karen to write. A box of tissues is always by my side as I read her books. This one is a must. Love the book and keep writing Karen. BEEBEE
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I hope that other Karen Kingsbury fans don't tar and feather me for this review. I am giving it honestly and with a good heart that takes nothing away from Ms. Kingsbury's own heart, talent, and passions. I have read and enjoyed almost every book I've read by Ms. Kingsbury other than this one.
I was unable to read this book after multiple attempts to do so. It was simply too formulaic, too sweet, too predictable, too simplistic, too everything I don't like. I find that the older I get and the more life I get under my belt, the more I appreciate the depth and width and breadth of things (be they books, food, people, etc.) that have complexity and unexpectedness within them.
I ordered Unlocked because my stepson is on the autistic spectrum and I am always searching for insight into what is going on in his mind and his life.
What I appreciated in the few chapters I could get through was that there was an attempt to show us that God is actively relating to and working in all of us, whether those of us who are "normal" realize it or not. I also appreciated that the coldheartedness and lack of awareness of bullies was brought to the foreground. I am thankful that God appears to have provided the people I have met who are on the autistic spectrum a special gift for either being oblivious to the bulk of the bullying and ostracism they experience, or having some type of filter that lets it roll off of them. If I had experienced a fraction of the ugliness that my stepson has received, I would have joined the roll call of the heartbreaking suicidal children we are hearing about. Fortunately, my stepson keeps his even keel throughout it all and only reacts to the worst of it all.
God bless to all who read this who have children or loved ones with autism, especially those who are on the far end of the spectrum and appear to be "lost" to us. They aren't lost to God.
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