cover image Home Away from Home

Home Away from Home

Cynthia Lord. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-338-72611-4

An 11-year-old leans into her passion for birding while navigating life changes in this heartfelt novel from Lord (Ivy Lost and Found). Mia looks forward to her first solo stay with her beloved grandmother in Stone Harbor, Maine, especially because it means she won’t have to watch her mother prepare their Ohio house for sale before they move into a new place with Mom’s boyfriend. But just as she’s ready to settle into a month of extra attention and Grandma’s familiar, relaxed rhythms—including regular walks to town for ice cream and looking out for eagles and seals—Mia’s surprised to meet Miss Agatha, a mysterious stray cat in Grandma’s yard, and new neighbor Cayman, a boy her age who knows his way around Grandma’s kitchen and the local eagle nest. When Mia and Cayman spot a huge white raptor battling the eagles, Mia’s mission to identify it ahead of Cayman sets off a frenzy that attracts an unwelcome overrun of strangers who disrupt the town she loves and endanger what turns out to be a rare white gyrfalcon. With a steady pace and a comforting tone, Lord skillfully weaves a message about respecting wildlife with themes of facing change into a tale of finding courage. Protagonists read as white. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Apr.)