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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  4,073 ratings  ·  555 reviews
A critically-acclaimed novel that explores the world of a man bound by cerebral palsy -- now in paperback.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 3rd 2000 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published 1999)
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Samantha It was familiar because he went on a train to warm springs when he was a baby
It was familiar because he went on a train to warm springs when he was a baby

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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,073 ratings  ·  555 reviews

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Michelle Carey
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My 4th grade son's class read this together. He came home talking about it. And then, luckily, they got to have a phone interview with the author! As he learned more about the back story of Petey from the author, he came to love the book even more. One day while we were in the library, he insisted that we check the book out so I could read it too. I agreed and we brought it home.
Technically, it wasn't a difficult book to read, but it was hard.... emotionally. Maybe more so because I'm a mother.
Mimi 'Pans' Herondale
Mar 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
Ben Mikaelsen does not possess the talent to be writing a book about cerebral palsy. His words are clumsy and pedestrian, his characters are paper dolls, his pacing is non-existent, and his sense of plot is amateur at best. Most of Petey centers around the titular character, who suffers from cerebral palsy, and the people who enter his life only to abandon him a couple chapters later. Is this Mikaelsen's Big Message? Humans Are Uncomfortable And More Than Willing To Ditch People Who Aren't Perfe ...more
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
In 1920, Petey is born with Cerebral Palsy. After his parents drained their savings trying to treat him, Petey is given to the state, where he grows up in a state mental institution. Since he cannot speak, he is considered an idiot, but Petey can hear, think, and feel. As time goes by, Petey learns to communicate and makes friends along the way, but through various circumstances beyond his control, he is always alone in the end. In the second part of the book, Petey is an old man, and he hasn’t ...more
Sara Khan
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I learned that you should never ever judge someone by how they look. Just because a person is disabled doesn't mean they're idiotic! I recommend this to people who like reading books about someone and how they grow up. So basically I recommend this to people who like reading about someone and who like crying while reading the book and laughing while reading it.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a powerful read!

I bought this book, kind of by accident. I bought a set of audiobooks and received Petey as a bonus audiobook. I wanted my students to read along as they listen so I needed a hard copy. Both audiobook and hard copy have sat on the shelves for two years. The book is highly recommended so I needed to read it so I could hard sell it to my students.

I read it in less than a day. I couldn't put it down.

Sometimes it's hard to realize how recently we stigmatized physical disabi
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I honestly can only think of a few books that truly changed my life. Petey was certainly one of those. I first read the book as a child and can even remember the moment I took it off the shelf. Among other things, Petey is a profound meditation on joy, love and our search for meaning. As someone with CP, Petey was one of the first books I really related to. And for that reason, and so many others, Petey will always have a special place in my heart.
Oct 31, 2015 rated it liked it
My mom brought me home a (signed!) copy of this book after meeting the author. I thought it sounded fantastic and was excited to pick it up. I’ve read one other Ben Mikaelson book, Touching Spirit Bear, and for the most part I enjoyed it, but I did have to read it for school and do about a thousand projects related to it, which definitely took away from the enjoyment. However, that’s not the book we’re talking about right now.
So, Petey. Overall, I liked it. It was definitely middle grade, which
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody except for people who don’t like sad books
Recommended to Emily by: my brother
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mat Nelson Who is an Eagle Scout
Okay this is one of the greatest books ever. I read it in 4th grade and almost cried. It's great
Logan Bailey
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
my review on petey was very positive. I really injoyed reading this book and all the detail the author put into it. Petey is about a guy who is born deformed and when he was like almost year old his parents gave him to the facility and he stayed there until he was fifty three.....that's crazy I think if I gave my kid to a facility to fit his needs I would want to check on him every once and a while but in the book the parents never even came to petey never had a family you know how u ...more
Emily Dent
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
My name is Emily Dent and I read the book Petey with my pride class. This book deserves four stars! It was really good! I have always been one of those people who are really rude and mean when it come to disabled people or people with special needs, which is pretty sad... But reading this book has really changed my perspective towards disabled people. The boy Petey is so strong after being born and being labeled an idiot and retarded. This book really makes you think... wow, that could have been ...more
Katie Kaste
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad I finally finished this book. Living in Montana and growing up working with people who have disabilities this story spoke to me. The story is about a young man misdiagnosed in the 20s and sent to Warm Springs, when his family became unable to care for him. I lived thirty minute from Warm Springs and knew many adults who had been sent into Helena from the facility as it closed down. The story was kind, respectful, and most importantly real. This is a great story, I am glad I read it.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a heartwarming story about a man named Petey who suffers from severe cerebral palsy, and the lives he touches along his own journey through life. This book is based on a true story. The audiobook included an interview with the author, where he explained his own interactions with the real life Petey. I will definitely recommend this book to my 4th and 5th grade boys!
Nov 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've read this twice and cried both times. This books is about the indomitable human spirit and the true nature of friendship.
Rebecca McNutt
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a really unforgettable story, well-written and offering a new point of view and excellent imagery and character development to support it.
Mysha Sajid
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is very heartwarming, sad and hopeful. This book is all about the life of Petey who is disabled and cant think or move is limbs right. This book really explains what its like to be disabled. This book can change your outlook on people. After I read Petey, I had a whole new look on other people. I think a theme for this book is never give up hope. I would say this because, every time something bad would happen in this book, like someone Petey loved had to leave, something good came from ...more
Oct 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
Don't get me wrong about the two stars I gave this book; there are parts of it that I'd highly recommend to readers. However, there's also a reason, several reasons in fact, for the two stars. First I'll start out with the positive points.

Petey is the story of a boy born with Cerebral Palsy, a symptom acquired before birth, during birth, or shortly after birth, as referenced from the "author's note" at the end of the book. Cerebral Palsy distorts a person's physical attributes, and sometimes a p
Yia Yang
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book Petey by Ben Mikaelsen is about a boy named Petey Corbin who was born with cerebral palsy. His mother struggles to help care for his health. She was unwilling to places Petey’s in an asylum, but she had to. There he was labeled as an idiot and was ignored by the people around him. A young resident named Calvin Anders arrives in Petey’s room at the hospital one day. He then took the time and learns to understand Petey’s garbled sound which leads him to become Petey’s spokesman and best f ...more
Taylor Marez
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book "Petey" by Ben Mikaelsen, in realistic fiction, was a great book on a real world topic and a very real and not to joke about. My favorite part of the book was when a middle school student protected Petey in one situation and became best friends because it shows that it doesn't matter what your age is and you can be friends with people no matter what they look like, and when Petey met up with an old care taker and later met up with an old friend and the care taker with his best friend b ...more
Daniel Pustynovich
Petey is a touching story of friendship, discovery, and the domination of the human spirit over physical obstacles. This book is actually a very good book and I would mostly not read a eh but this one is pretty good. It is a pretty sad story when his parents did everything possible but they had to give him away into the states care. He was told to be an idiot. But actually he had cerebral palsy. He was bound to a wheel chair. This is the story of an idiot of his life of struggles. I would recomm ...more
Luzelena Alvarez
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think the book was pretty good. I read it when I was in fifth grade, and now I have different feelings about it. I guess I didn't understand the real meaning of it in fifth grade which for the most part makes sense. The reason why I only gave it four stars instead of five was because I feel as though the beginning wastes to much time. I understand that it's meant to lead you into the story, but I think that the author definitely could've made it shorter.
Drakye Seward
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Petey is definetly my #1 book! It was so sad, but thats why I think it was one of those books that was intreging to just keep reading and reading. My favorite part of the book was when Petey was getting picked on and Trevor stepped in and started beating up the guy. That was a heart warming moment.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to cry and people who love drama books. Again Petey was a great book and I would recommend it to anybody!
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
i think the theme for this book was no matter how different people look we are all the same because Petey was a baby and everyone thought he was an ugly baby and the mother shouldn't wasnt her time. but when petey grew up he was able to say so words which was a huge progress change for him !!!
Amy Varchetti
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An important book. I read this with my 8th grade daughter in our mother-daughter book club. I'm so glad she read it. I'm so glad I read it, too. Hopefully we will carry it with us and let it inspire us to make the world a tiny bit better.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book!
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Choked up at the end— the last two sentences! Good story!
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookleggers
In the 1920s, at a hospital in Bozeman, Montana, a boy named Petey is born. The mother and her husband spend two years and lots of money to find a doctor who can give them good news, but all diagnose their son as an idiot. The Corbins reluctantly let Petey go to the Insane Asylum in Warm Springs, Montana. We later find out that he was misdiagnosed and probably has cerebal palsy.
The story then switches its point of view to following Petey's life in the asylum. Crowded, unsanitary, and terrible,
Jayden S
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
this book is so good i really cried in the end. in the begining petey is miss diagonosied as a mently handy capped person when he really had cerebal palsy and so he was raised in and insane asylum. and there he met a boy that was two years younger than petey named calvin and they grew up together and they pretended to have a gun fight. then 20 years later thay got seprated and petey went to a nursing home and then a boy saves him from snowballs ans thenn he wants that boy to met him and his name ...more
Richard (Rick)
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book! It's the kind of book that I'm going to want my children to read because of what it can teach them. It's the story of a man with cerebral palsy who is committed to an insane asylum as an idiot, but has an overwhelming optimism and view on life that he touches the lives of many people around him. It's also an interesting book because it helps the reader see what it might be like to be inside the head of someone with cerebral palsy. It's also very heart-rending, as Pete ...more
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Amazing 4 20 Jul 06, 2014 07:04PM  

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