Paper Things

Jennifer Richard Jacobson. Candlewick, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6323-0
Ari and her older brother, Gage, have lived with a strict guardian since their mother died four years ago, but now Gage, 19, wants to leave—and take 11-year-old Ari with him. The siblings’ mother implored them to “Stay together always,” but without an apartment or a job for Gage, they bounce around among friends’ places and a homeless shelter, even spending a night in Gage’s girlfriend’s car. As Ari falls behind at school, she wonders if she can still fulfill her mother’s wish for her to attend a middle-school for gifted kids. Despite an overly neat conclusion, Jacobson (Small as an Elephant) elevates her book beyond “problem novel” territory with an engaging narrator who works hard to be loyal to her brother—and to her mother’s memory. Small moments pack big emotional wallops, as when a teacher gives Ari “brand-new, trés cool shoes” to replace her “ratty” ones, or when Ari pretends that the people she cuts from magazine are a family, because, “With a big family you’re likely to have someone watching out for you always.” A tender exploration of homelessness. Ages 10–up. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/22/2014
Release date: 02/10/2015
Genre: Children's
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5012-3726-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-5012-1602-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5012-1588-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5012-1616-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5366-1924-9
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-7636-9441-8
Prebound-Glued - 384 pages - 978-0-606-39841-1
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