Almost Home

Published By: Walker Books Ltd

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Juvenile Non-Fiction

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Reviewed by Maria Hoeffer

Leah's whole world has been turned upside down. She is suddenly living with her father and new stepmother while her sister and mother move across the country. She's the new kid in sixth grade and feels totally lost and alone. In her struggle, she lashes out at her stepmother, avoids others at school and retreats to a world of her own imagination. It is only when Will, another lonely student, reaches out to her that Leah is able to dream and stake a claim on her future.

Almost Home takes a hard look at what it means to be a family and what happens when that family is broken apart. As told through Leah's eyes, Nora Raleigh Baskin vividly captures the loneliness of divorce, yet provides some hope for the future.

Leah begins to find her own voice through the support of Will and a few kind words from a teacher. Leah's character is fully developed and written with honesty showing both her positive and sometimes nasty sides. By creating a believable character in Leah, young readers are able to relate and grow along with her. While some of the characters surrounding Leah are not as convincingly drawn, the focus remains on her thoughts and personal growth, and therefore does not hinder the feeling behind the story.

Armchair Interviews says: Almost Home is an honest portrayal of the difficulties of surviving a divorce and the tremendous growth that comes from discovering your own place in the world.

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