Monday, December 31, 2012

ALMOST HOME by Joan Bauer

Joan Bauer has created another one of her powerful female main characters.  But then, her fans already know, *it's a natural gift that she has.*

Sugar Mae Cole is in the sixth grade.  She lives with her mother and infrequently sees her good-for-nothing father.  That's OK with Sugar.  She puts all her energy into being sweet like her mother tells her and writing poems and thank yous that please her favorite English teacher.

Sugar doesn't know about her mother's financial problems until the day that the police arrive to evict them from their home.  Now Sugar and her mother are among the homeless in Round Lake, Missouri.  For a short time they live in their car, and finally, they move to a shelter.  In the midst of finding a temporary home, Sugar inherits a stray dog named Shush.  The little puppy is well-behaved and charms everyone around them.  Sugar finds trust and security in the presence of the loyal dog.

With the promise of a decent job, Sugar and her mother move to Chicago.  When it turns out the job doesn't exist, Sugar's mother ends up in the hospital being treated for depression and Sugar ends up in a foster home.  Although, it isn't the home she hoped for, Sugar is comfortable with Lexie and Mac, and her natural optimism and determination allow her to carry on as she waits for her life to return to normal.

ALMOST HOME is an inspirational book about a young girl's struggle to deal with what life has dealt her.  Author Joan Bauer focuses on appreciating the good in life and showing that appreciation by thanking those responsible.  Sugar's ability to take the good with the bad and carry on, makes this a "sweet" read.

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