Sally’s Bookshelf is Going To the Dogs – all month long. So today I’m pulling one of my favorites – a great summer read that was published last August.
by Bobbie Pyron
304 pages; ages 8 - 12
Katherine Tegen Books, 2019
I am a Bobbie Pyron fan. What can I say? I love her dog stories and can never resist just one more… and this one hit close to home. Because that’s what it’s about, at its core: finding home.
Piper, who’s not-quite-twelve, and her family arrive in a new city by bus. The buildings are tall, sunlight fills the sky, and mountains in the distance nearly poke through the blue and into heaven. A new start, but when her family arrives at the address for Hope House, they find a hotel-like emergency center – and daddy has to live apart from them, in the men’s residence.
Baby is luckier – he gets to live with his person, Jewel, in a park. Every day presents a new chance to explore the city. They have a corner where Jewel sits, and some people give her money or food, and others yell at her to get a job. But always, they have each other and the park. Life is good, but something is not right with Jewel.
Using alternate points of view, Piper and Baby, Pyron dives into a tale of what family means. What friendship means. And what kids can do to make the world a better place, even when they don’t have a home to call their own.
What I like about this book: I love the sense of place. Bobbie sets the story in a place so real that you can find it on a map. And even though it’s been years since I lived there (and downtown landmarks have changed) I could visualize the paths she walked through the park and the corners where Jewel and her comrades fly their signs.
I love how real each character is. And, as a once and future Girl Scout, I really love that Piper gets involved with the “Firefly Girls” - and that their service project embraces finding a way to reconnect Jewel with Baby while raising awareness about mental health issues and homelessness.
If I gave out stars, Stay would get an entire Kibble’s box worth.
Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy from my personal library.