Here in the Real World

Sara Pennypacker. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-269895-7
When Ware’s grandmother falls and breaks her hip, the idle summer that the relentlessly scheduled 11-and-a-half-year-old was looking forward to is canceled. His parents make last-minute arrangements for him to attend a community center camp, instead, a prospect that prompts “the familiar contracting retreat of the thing that lived deep in his chest, which must be his soul.” Impulsively, Ware escapes to the rubbled remains of a nearby church—the perfect place for the Middle Ages–obsessed boy to build his own medieval refuge while pretending to attend camp. The space is already occupied, however: prickly Jolene has claimed it as a garden to grow papayas that she’ll sell to make up for her aunt “drinking the rent.” The two establish an uneasy truce, agreeing to share the space at a distance, until they must join forces to prevent the intrusion of the real world by way of a looming crisis. Pennypacker’s humane tale is written with straightforward grace and populated with exquisitely layered characters; vulnerable, imaginative Ware’s journey to self-acceptance is particularly skillfully rendered. Ages 8–12. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/21/2019
Release date: 02/04/2020
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-269897-1
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