When Sugar's gambler father abandons them, the 12-year-old and her mother travel to Chicago. But fresh starts are hard to come by when you're homeless. Will rescue dog Shush, a supportive teacher, and faith in God teach Sugar that although she can't control what life hands her, she can choose how to respond?
Newbery Honor winner Joan Bauer's new novel will touch your heart
When twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar's mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. With the help of a rescue dog, Shush; a foster family; a supportive teacher; a love of poetry; and her own grace and good humor, Sugar comes to understand that while she can't control the hand life deals her, she can control how she responds.
Joan Bauer has won critical acclaim for her many books, which include the Newbery Honor Book Hope Was Here as well as Rules of the Road, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Twelve-year-old Sugar Mae Cole has had to act older than her age ever since her beloved grandfather died, and her father abandoned Sugar and her mother, Reba, yet again. But when they lose their house, Sugar must summon additional strength as she and Reba face homelessness. Before all this happened/ I wasnt brave like I am now./ I didnt know I could take care of my mother/ or pee by the side of the road/ and not get my underpants wet, writes Sugar, a talented poet. She relies on her poetry, along with support from a loving foster family and a favorite teacher, when the stress of their circumstances drives Reba to a serious breakdown. Bauer (Close to Famous) explores a timely issue through the eyes of a resilient girlthe kind of heroine so familiar to Bauers fans. Sugars anger, fear, humility, and resolve are portrayed with insight and compassion. Bauer also brings moments of levity and hopefulness to the story, which she peppers with a cast of thoughtfully crafted personalities. Ages 10up. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Sept.) 2012 Reed Business Information
Praise for Almost Home by Joan Bauer
"Sugar's voice is convincing, both as storyteller and young writer; her natural good humor shines through what could be a sad story indeed. Quirky supporting characters—both human and dog—add to its appeal. Sugar...will win readers hearts." —Kirkus, starred review
"sure to inspire" —Library Media Connection, starred review
"Bauer's trademark humor lightens the serious subject matter, while Sugar's frank honesty will give young readers a glimpse at a situation affecting a growing number of children." —Booklist
“Sugar's anger, fear, humility, and resolve are portrayed with insight and compassion.” —Publishers Weekly
“a memorable novel” —School Library Journal
“Almost Home… skillfully tells the tale of precocious and street-smart Sugar Mae Cole.” —New York Times Book Review
“While Bauer fans will definitely want to get their paws on this one, there's plenty of realism here to draw a wider crowd.” —BCCB