‘My first week I learned that people refer to ILLC as “illsee”. Emphasis on ‘ill’. The Illinois Learning and Life Skills Center may not sound like the name of a nursing home, but that’s how they work it.
Naming these places is all about misdirection. Inside, it smells, sounds, and looks like your standard-issue nursing home. Same old wolf but in a lamb outfit.’Told in alternating perspectives by a varied cast of characters, Good Kings, Bad Kings is a powerful and inspiring debut that invites us into the lives of a group of teenagers and staff who live at the ILLC.
From Yessenia, who dreams of her next boyfriend, to Teddy, a resident who dresses up daily in a full suit and tie, and Mia, who guards a terrifying secret, Nussbaum has crafted a multifaceted portrait of a way of life that challenges our definitions of what it means to be disabled. In a story told with remarkable authenticity, their voices resound with resilience, courage and humour.