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* UselessBystanderParent: It's never explicitly mentioned, but if one reads between the lines, it doesn't appear that Carlie's mother was particularly interested in protecting her daughter (Carlie) from her husband (Carlie's stepfather). At the very least, it ''is'' stated outright that Carlie's mother is still together with her stepfather despite the latter having nearly beaten Carlie to death.

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* UselessBystanderParent: It's never explicitly mentioned, but if one reads between the lines, it doesn't appear that Carlie's mother was particularly interested in protecting her daughter (Carlie) from her husband (Carlie's stepfather). At the very least, it ''is'' stated outright that Carlie's mother is still together with her stepfather despite even after the latter having nearly beaten beat Carlie to death.


** Also Harvey's father.

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** Also Harvey's father.father is of the extreme negligence variety of this trope.


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* UselessBystanderParent: It's never explicitly mentioned, but if one reads between the lines, it doesn't appear that Carlie's mother was particularly interested in protecting her daughter (Carlie) from her husband (Carlie's stepfather). At the very least, it ''is'' stated outright that Carlie's mother is still together with her stepfather despite the latter having nearly beaten Carlie to death.


* MissingMom: Harvey's mom left him and his father some years earlier to live on a commune, and hasn't had a scrap of contact with them since. Harvey initially blamed his father for the lack of contact, but his father then told him that he had tried writing letters to her to keep her up to date on Harvey and encourage her to at least write to him once in a while, but she never replied to any of them.

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* MissingMom: Harvey's mom left him and his father some years earlier to live on a commune, and hasn't had a scrap of contact with them since. Harvey initially blamed assumed his father was at least partly responsible for the lack of contact, but his father then told him that he had tried writing letters to her to keep her up to date on Harvey and encourage her to at least write to him once in a while, but she never replied to any of them.


* MissingMom: Harvey's mom left him and his father some years earlier to live on a commune, and hasn't had a scrap of contact with them since. According to Harvey's father, he's tried writing letters to her to keep her up to date on Harvey and encourage her to at least write to him once in a while, but she never replies.

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* MissingMom: Harvey's mom left him and his father some years earlier to live on a commune, and hasn't had a scrap of contact with them since. According to Harvey's father, he's Harvey initially blamed his father for the lack of contact, but his father then told him that he had tried writing letters to her to keep her up to date on Harvey and encourage her to at least write to him once in a while, but she never replies.replied to any of them.


The Pinballs is a children's' novel by Creator/BetsyByars, telling the story of three foster children who find themselves sharing a home. Carlie, an abuse survivor, Harvey, a cripple who was run over by his drink-driving father and Thomas J, who was abandoned as a baby.

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The Pinballs is a children's' novel by Creator/BetsyByars, telling the story of three [[FosterKid foster children children]] who find themselves sharing a home. Carlie, an abuse survivor, Harvey, a cripple who was run over by his drink-driving father and Thomas J, who was abandoned as a baby.


The Pinballs is a children's' novel by Betsy Byars, telling the story of three foster children who find themselves sharing a home. Carlie, an abuse survivor, Harvey, a cripple who was run over by his drink-driving father and Thomas J, who was abandoned as a baby.

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The Pinballs is a children's' novel by Betsy Byars, Creator/BetsyByars, telling the story of three foster children who find themselves sharing a home. Carlie, an abuse survivor, Harvey, a cripple who was run over by his drink-driving father and Thomas J, who was abandoned as a baby.


* DisappearedDad: Carlie's father apparently abandoned her mother before she was born.

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* DisappearedDad: Carlie's father apparently abandoned her mother before she was born.

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* DisappearedDad: Carlie's father apparently abandoned her mother before she was born.


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* HadTheSillyThingInReverse: A very non-humorous version is how Harvey's legs were broken. While Harvey was walking in front of the car, his father tried to put it in reverse, but [[DrunkDriver because he'd been drinking]], he accidentally put it in drive and ran Harvey over.
* MissingMom: Harvey's mom left him and his father some years earlier to live on a commune, and hasn't had a scrap of contact with them since. According to Harvey's father, he's tried writing letters to her to keep her up to date on Harvey and encourage her to at least write to him once in a while, but she never replies.


[[quoteright:307:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thepinballs.jpg]]



The Pinballs is a childrens' novel by Betsy Byars, telling the story of three foster children who find themselves sharing a home. Carlie, an abuse survivor, Harvey, a cripple who was run over by his drink-driving father and Thomas J, who was abandoned as a baby.

to:


The Pinballs is a childrens' children's' novel by Betsy Byars, telling the story of three foster children who find themselves sharing a home. Carlie, an abuse survivor, Harvey, a cripple who was run over by his drink-driving father and Thomas J, who was abandoned as a baby.



* GoshDangItToHeck: Carlie is described as foul mouthed, but as a book aimed at 8-12 year olds, the worst she gets to say is "Bug off".
* PinballProtagonist: Discussed. Carlie insists that they are this, thrown around by forces they are powerless against in a world that doesn't care about them. [[spoiler: On the last page of the book she finally admits she's wrong.]]

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* GoshDangItToHeck: Carlie is described as foul mouthed, foul-mouthed, but as a book aimed at 8-12 year olds, 8-12-year-olds, the worst she gets to say is "Bug off".
* PinballProtagonist: Discussed. Carlie insists that they are this, thrown around by forces they are powerless against in a world that doesn't care about them. [[spoiler: On the last page of the book she finally admits she's wrong.]]]]
* TheSeventies: Published in 1977, the book stands as a UnintentionalPeriodPiece with many references to the pop culture at the time.


* AbusiveParents: Carlie's stepfather. He hit her so hard he ''gave her a concussion''.
** Also Harvey's father.



* TheCynic: Carlie, at first



* PinballProtagonist: Discussed. Carlie insists that they are this, thrown around by forces they are powerless against in a world that doesn't care about them. [[spoiler: On the last page of the book she finally admits she's wrong.]]

to:

* PinballProtagonist: Discussed. Carlie insists that they are this, thrown around by forces they are powerless against in a world that doesn't care about them. [[spoiler: On the last page of the book she finally admits she's wrong.]]


* DoorstopBaby: Thomas J, as a baby, was left in front of a farmhouse belonging a pair of older twin sisters names Thomas and Jefferson (their father named them after his favorite president). The sisters took him in and didn't report him to the authorities and it isn't until they both break their hips and end up in the hospital that Thomas J is discovered.

to:

* DoorstopBaby: Thomas J, as a baby, was left in front of a farmhouse belonging a pair of older twin sisters names named Thomas and Jefferson (their father named them after his favorite president). The sisters took him in and didn't report him to the authorities and it isn't until they both break their hips and end up in the hospital that Thomas J is discovered.

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* DoorstopBaby: Thomas J, as a baby, was left in front of a farmhouse belonging a pair of older twin sisters names Thomas and Jefferson (their father named them after his favorite president). The sisters took him in and didn't report him to the authorities and it isn't until they both break their hips and end up in the hospital that Thomas J is discovered.

Added DiffLines:

* GoshDangItToHeck: Carlie is described as foul mouthed, but as a book aimed at 8-12 year olds, the worst she gets to say is "Bug off".

Added DiffLines:

-->"Harvey and me and Thomas J are just like pinballs. Somebody put in a dime and pushed a button and we came out."

The Pinballs is a childrens' novel by Betsy Byars, telling the story of three foster children who find themselves sharing a home. Carlie, an abuse survivor, Harvey, a cripple who was run over by his drink-driving father and Thomas J, who was abandoned as a baby.

!This novel provides examples of:

* TheAlcoholic: Harvey's father
* FryingPanOfDoom: Turns up in Carlie's backstory, implied to have saved her life.
* PinballProtagonist: Discussed. Carlie insists that they are this, thrown around by forces they are powerless against in a world that doesn't care about them. [[spoiler: On the last page of the book she finally admits she's wrong.]]

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