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Waiting to Forget
 
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Sheila Kelly Welch
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Waiting to Forget

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  146 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
T.J. has always looked out for his little sister, Angela. When Momma used to go out and leave them home alone, he'd lock the door so they'd be safe, keep Angela entertained, and get out the cereal and milk for her. When Momma's boyfriend got angry at them, he'd try to protect Angela. Later, at their foster homes, T.J. was the only one who knew how to coax his little sister ...more
Hardcover, 170 pages
Published December 31st 2011 by Namelos (first published September 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Robert Kent
Meet T.J., also known as Timothy, also known as Terry Jerry, and “it’s not unusual” for him to be referred to as Tom Jones (cracking myself up this week). But he prefers T.J. (for most of the story) and he’s an eleven-year-old kid with an adult’s problems because there is no adult to handle his problems for him. When we first encounter T.J., he’s sitting in a hospital waiting room, which is an appropriate place for him to be given the title of the book. T.J. is waiting to find out whether or not ...more
Eric_W
Jul 06, 2011 Eric_W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adoptive parents, foster parents, parents, children
I read this book as part of a package with Hatchet for our reading club. Both are survival stories, yet very, very different. This one is far the more literary and realistic.

As the parent of six adopted children, this book often made me feel like I was looking in a mirror or reliving the past through the eyes of my kids. The frustrating social workers and counselors who just don't get it, the perspective from the children who are sure that "we " don't get it and the impact bad choices of both ad
...more
Kathy
Oct 05, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
I was honestly surprised by how much I ended up liking this book especially considering the subject matter. Waiting to Forget is a well written story about two young children who have been neglected by their selfish, sometimes abusive, mother. It is a touching, heart-breaking read. Written in an alternating Then, Now and Between Then and Now format this book hooked me from the beginning. The author shared just enough details to let you know about their struggles without being too graphic or over ...more
L.E.Olteano
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon
Sep 10, 2011 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Waiting to Forget is a powerful novel. I found myself twisted in knots as I read it...had to put it down...then had to pick it up again. The emotion conveyed in the writing is so real it hurts. I found myself reaching for those children on more than one occasion.

The story is told in a series of time periods, then, now, and between then and now. We are with T.J., the older brother of the siblings who are the focus of the story, in the hospital. He is waiting for word of his sister, Angela, who h
...more
Adrienne
Aug 19, 2011 Adrienne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
As T.J. sits in the hospital waiting room, anxious for news about his sister Angela, who has suffered a fall, he reflects on their life. "Now" they are adjusting to being recently adopted and fitting in with their new parents, but "then," they lived with their mother and her series of boyfriends, with T.J. acting much more like an adult than his mother as he tried to keep himself and his sister safe. As he reflects on his life and worries about his sister, T.J. comes to realize what he wants fro ...more
Carol Saller
Sep 06, 2011 Carol Saller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The situation is heart-wrenching, of a young boy who has had so little stability and love in his life that he’s never learned how to let down his guard and trust someone. Now his little sister’s life is in danger, and his loneliness, fear, and guilt (was he partly responsible?) are finely portrayed.

Alternating between past and present (chapters are simply titled Now and Then), the narrative clues us in on TJ and Angela’s abandonment by their unstable mother and their upbringin
...more
Louise
Oct 27, 2011 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story Description:

T.J. has always looked out for his little sister, Angela. When Momma used to go out and leave them home alone, he'd lock the door so they'd be safe, keep Angela entertained, and get out the cereal and milk for her. When Momma's boyfriend got angry at them, he'd try to protect Angela. Later, at their foster homes, T.J. was the only one who knew how to coax his little sister out of her bad moods. The only one who understood why she made origami paper cranes and threw them out the
...more
Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
Ms. Welch spins an intriguing story in Waiting to Forget. It is like a train wreck reading about these children and all they went through, but I know that I for one could not look away. TJ and Angela evoke sympathy, and I couldn't help but be invested in their stories.
Sometimes the jumps in narrative from one time in the story to another can be jarring and confusing, but it was done very well in Waiting to Forget. The use of TJ's life book-pictures and drawings to help him remember his life b
...more
Kristina
Oct 15, 2011 Kristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waiting To Forget is a very fast and emotional read. Since there mother left them alone when she went to Vegas with her boyfriend, TJ and Angela have been in foster care. Their mother was only supposed to go for the weekend, but when she didn't come home a week later, TJ called their social worker. TJ has always taken care of his baby sister and now he is waiting in an emergency room with their adoptive family waiting to see if she is ever going to wake up.

While he is waiting for news, TJ is lo
...more
Brenda Knight
Sep 15, 2014 Brenda Knight rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather
Feb 11, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waiting to Forget is very well-written. I enjoyed it more than I’d anticipated. I didn’t expect to not like it. I just wasn’t sure.

I will be honest and say that the story itself felt kinda bland to me. I did feel sorry for these kids – especially T.J. – but not heartbroken. I did find myself hating their mother, though. For me the worst part is knowing that there really are people like that out there. Anyway, the writing is fantastic. Welch weaves the story together very well, seamlessly switchi
...more
E. Anderson
It's the lyrical nature of Sheila Kelly Welch's writing that kept me engaged throughout my reading of WAITING TO FORGET. I found this title hard to categorize -- flashing back and forth between a hospital waiting room, where T.J. waits with his adoptive parents to find out if his little sister is okay, and the past T.J. spent with a neglectful mother, it's definitely a bit dark for middle grade. And as a YA novel, it's hard to say whether a teen would be engaged by such a young character -- T.J. ...more
Cecilia Robert


The story is told from T.J.'s POV, a twelve year old boy. I have to say this is one of the saddest, yet beautiful stories I've ever read. It opens up with T.J sitting in the hospital's waiting room, anxious to know his sister's condition. The story tells about the kind of life T.j and his sister have lived, moving from one foster home to another. One minute their life's going so well, you can feel the joy spreading through T.J through his thoughts, and the next, that life is yanked from under h
...more
Lori Henrich
T.J. and his little sister Angela have been through a lot in their young lives. There home life hasn't been stable or safe either. T.J. is sitting in the E.R. waiting room waiting to hear news about his sister. She fell and their adoptive parents are with her while the doctors work on her.

T.J. grabbed his "Life Book" to look at while he was sitting and waiting. As he is going through the book he lets the memories unfold telling their story from as far back as he can remember. The story goes bac
...more
Maggie V
I thought this book would be a total and complete downer. Fortunately I wasn’t completely right. TJ is such a precious boy. While waiting in the hospital for his sister, he goes through his “life book” a scrapbook of his life and the different foster homes he lived in. It’s an interesting way for readers to see what happened to get TJ and Angela to this point in their lives. I also appreciated that the flashbacks were labeled … and the labels were interesting (in a good way) “then” “between now ...more
Elizabeth
Hmmm...An interesting read that reminded me somewhat of either a younger version of Werlin's Rules of Survival or maybe a male version of Connor's Waiting for Normal. Now, twelve-year-old T.J. sits in a hospital waiting room, waiting for his little sister to wake up after she's knocked unconscious in a fall. Then, he lived with his sister and his Momma, with Momma erratic, unable to hold a job, often gone for days at a time. Between Then and Now, he and his sister worked with a social worker to ...more
Kim
Nov 29, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes an interesting look at child neglect. TJ takes care of Angela because his mom just isn't prepared to do it. The book flashes between now, then and between. I liked the format. The ending gave hope for children in foster care.
Randy
Nov 24, 2011 Randy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a poetic story of children trying to understand their mother's neglect.
NebraskaIcebergs
Mar 23, 2012 NebraskaIcebergs rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Waiting to Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch is only the third novel that I’ve read about foster children. The unflinching manner in which Welch writes about their tumultuous lives had me searching the internet for more fictional examples. By its end, Waiting to Forget also had me thinking about its unique but well-crafted style.

The lives of T.J. and his sister had been rather unpleasant before they came to live with foster parents Marlene and Dan. Waiting to Forget makes me think of The Pinballs by
...more
Faye {Daydreaming_Star}
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Waiting to Forget but there is no doubt in my mind that it would have exceeded every single expectation that I did have. This was a truly inspiring and emotionally powerful novel which invoked in me feelings that I haven’t felt in a long while. Sheila Welch has written a beautifully moving story from the perspective of a young boy and how he witnesses and understands everything that is going on within his life. It is an absolutely char ...more
Stephen Herfst
My Blog's Review
In a Nutshell
Twitter summary: "Prognosis: reflective of troubled childhood"
Novel Size: just shy of novel-length
Target Audience: 10-14 years old
Genre: Fictional drama
Swearing: Mild
Violence: Mild
Reflection on past: High

Plot
The story follows the reflections of a teenage boy named T.J. (Timothy James) as he waits for news of his sister's emergency surgery in the hospital. Through a life book he created during his time in foster care, he reflects on the experiences that he and his sis
...more
Amanda (Born Bookish)
I always have such a hard time rating books that deal with tough subject matter. I settled on three hearts because it was well written, the characters well developed, and because the story was one worth telling. The thing that held it back from a higher rating for me was just how upsetting and sometimes depressing the storyline was.

The book opens with the main character T.J, sitting in a hospital waiting room wondering if his little sister Angela is going to survive. We know she fell but we don’
...more
Carrie Ardoin
As this story begins, a 13 year old boy named TJ sits in the waiting room of a hospital anxiously waiting for any news about his little sister. His sister, Angela, has had a fall and was rushed to the ER. As TJ waits, he looks through an album about his life and remembers the important events that brought he and his sister to their new adoptive parents' home.

TJ has always taken care of Angela, because sometimes it was hard for their mom to take care of them while she worked--or spent time with s
...more
Becky Soledad
*Copy provided by Net-Galley*

What I Liked: Normally I am not a fan of stories that go back and forth between time periods but with Waiting to Forget it seemed to work in a way I don't really understand. Having the three different time periods mix and mingle made the story much more emotional. Going back between now and then gave both situations more urgency for me. T.J. is a kid who had to grow up fast because Momma leaves him in charge a lot. It's his responsibility to take care of his younger
...more
Alex
The Deal: T. J. is waiting at the hospital. Waiting on news about his little sister Angela, who was rushed in a few hours before. His new adoptive parents - Marlene and Dan - told him to wait outside.

So, he's waiting, feeling a little forgotten, and remembering how everything came to be the way it is.

It had always been T.J,'s job to look after and take care of Angela, he remembers that. He remembers life with his mother and her boyfriends and trying to protect Angela then. And he remembers the f
...more
bjneary
Sheila Kelly Welch's realistic fiction book will definitely interest middle schoolers, high school students, and adult readers. Welch does a great job of sinking the reader into the chaotic lives of TJ and his sister, Angela, in the Now/Then format employed in this thin, gripping read. As TJ waits in the emergency room of a hospital, waiting to find out if Angela will live; we visit the Then part of TJ's life which is a horror to say the least. TJ and Angela love their mother but she is not a go ...more
Kate
Mar 03, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
T.J. is stuck in a hospital waiting room while his sister is in the ICU with his foster parents. To pass the time, he looks through the "My Life" scrapbook he made with his social worker, remembering his mother. From his very earliest memories, T.J.'s mother was neglectful and selfish and relied on men to provide for her. T.J. and Angela learned to cover for their mother's - or her abusive boyfriends' - mistakes... until they could keep it a secret anymore.

Reading this book sent me back to the d
...more
Kary
Dec 30, 2011 Kary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As T.J. sits in the waiting room, waiting to hear if his sister is even alive, he is reflecting back on his and Angela's difficult life. Their mother neglected them often, at times was physically abusive, and often put them in dangerous situations. As I read this, I had to keep reminding myself that this was a work of fiction, and not a memoir. This was difficult as Welch writes in a way that makes it feel very real. It might seem like a depressing story, and I'll admit, it IS a sad story - the ...more
Pragya
This book made for a short and interesting read. It took me some time to get into the book because of its different presentation of now, then, and between then and now. But later I adapted to it.

I liked the concept behind the book and could see so many psychological aspects to the characters. I was almost analyzing and diagnosing them as I read.

The story is a bit sad but also a reality for many children. The narrative is told as seen through the eyes of 12 year old T.J. who reminisces his past a
...more
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Discussion of WAITING TO FORGET: Readers and the Author discuss this book in depth 1 1 Apr 26, 2015 06:32AM  
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Sheila Kelly Welch writes and illustrates for children of all ages. Her story, “The Holding-On Night,” published in Cricket, won the International Reading Association’s Short Story Award. Her most popular books are Little Prince Know-It-All and A Horse for All Seasons. Her middle-grade novel, The Shadowed Unicorn, was short-listed for the Prairie Pasque Award and was likened to Paterson’s Bridge t
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