Almost Home – Joan Bauer


17623982Almost Home by Joan Bauer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 29th, 2013
Publisher: Puffin Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade,  Contemporary, Family Issues, Animals


BLURB:

When twelve-year-old Sugar’s grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren’t so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar’s mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. With the help of a rescue dog, Shush; a foster family; a supportive teacher; a love of poetry; and her own grace and good humor, Sugar comes to understand that while she can’t control the hand life deals her, she can control how she responds.

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Sugar has lost her father and her house. Fortunately, she still has her mom—although she doesn’t act like a mother—and a furry friend, although she doesn’t have a home for him either.

Thanks to her gambler of a father, she and her mom are now homeless. Eventually, she is placed into a home, with people that are good to her and help her and her mother see the truth, but before that, she experiences what it’s like to have no place to go.

No kid should experience that. It’s a strong story. Maybe because Sugar is always trying to be so positive, it never made me cry, but it tugged at my heart nonetheless. The way Sugar speaks about people looking at you but not seeing you should not be something children think about. Dream! Laugh! Scream! Run! Sugar will not.

Yes, Sugar doesn’t have it easy. She’s been forced to be the grown up, now that her mom—who she calls by her first name—has given up on fixing things. Sugar is an inspirational box. You just never know what she will open your eyes to next. She writes these cute poems that make it easier to share her own feelings.

I should not have read this book right after finishing HOPE WAS HERE and CLOSE TO FAMOUS by the same author, because the heroines have such similar voices, especially Sugar and Foster. I wasn’t as invested as I could have been. I guess I need variety. Plus this book reminds me a lot of ONE FOR THE MURPHYS which, coincidently, was published by Puffin Books also.

But I would recommend it for sure. Who knows how (good) differently I would have reacted to it, had I read this before the books mentioned above.

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