by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
I've been hearing teachers on twitter RAVE about this book for about a year now. I wasn't sure based on the summary that it was a book I would like, but I was looking for a good read. I started this book using a sample from Amazon Kindle. By the time I was done with the sample, I had to click buy. I had to know more.
Carley Connors is thrown into foster care because her mother is in the hospital. She is placed with a family that is so far on the other end of the spectrum from her own that she doesn't know what to do with herself and wishes she could escape. But it doesn't take long before this sweet family with three boys, a Red Sox loving dad, and a loving mother creep into Carley's heart.
Pros: Well-written is always key to a successful book in my opinion. The writing style expresses the personality of Carley and added her humor to every page. The book is broken into short chapters, which makes the pace seem fast. It would be a great first read for a reluctant reader.
Cons: The only negative to this book is that Carley comes from an abusive family. Her step-father was abusive enough to put her mother into the hospital. There is also signs that the mother was abusive to Carley. The content is mild, but it may be a little shocking to a more sheltered reader.
Classroom Uses: This book has potential as a read aloud if you preview the content with students. It would also make a GREAT Book Talk to interest readers, just read the first two chapters to them. Or use it as a mentor text to talk about short chapters and developing a character's voice.
Should I read it? Yes! With a box of tissues by your side.
Can I share this tomorrow with my students?
Middle School Students: I would say best for 7th grade and up. 5th-6th graders may be new to abusive family content.
High School Students: Yes, especially 9th-10th graders. Carley is an 8th grader in the book.