Tuesday, December 31, 2013

More of the Year in Review!



This week we're spotlighting a few of our favorite book reviews from 2013. We tossed a coin, and Fairday went first! Now it is my turn. Here's my first pick for a book you shouldn't miss. Tomorrow, we'll find out which book Marcus liked best.  ~ L 


Sugar Mae Cole has to overcome so many things in life. Her father, whom she calls Mr. Leeland, is a gambler, and her mom must try to make ends meet. The one place she loves to be is school. Sugar’s teacher, Mr. Bennett, really inspires her. Her writing takes off while she's in his class, and it's an outlet that helps her to sort out her emotions. Sugar tries to appreciate life and thinks things will work out until her mother can’t pay their bills, and they lose their house. They move in with some relatives for a couple of weeks and then to a shelter. It seems family only wants you for so long when you are homeless. Now Sugar has to go to a new school and, most of the time, her mother needs mothering. Sugar has to act like an adult. Each day she thinks about how hard her life is, but she finds the strength inside herself to face each day. When Sugar’s mom has a breakdown and the police are called, Sugar’s life becomes even more uncertain. Thank goodness for Lexie and Mac who take her in as a foster child. Living away from her mom is a big change. Will Lexie and Mac prove themselves to Sugar? Will Sugar ever be able to live with her mom again? How will Sugar stay positive in the face of so much uncertainty? You must read this heartwarming story to see how everything works out and to learn to appreciate what you have in life. 

The wonderful Claudine from CarryUsOff Books introduced me to Almost Home by Joan Bauer. I am so glad I didn't miss it! What a story! Sugar is so full of positive energy that I wish I knew her and could help to shield her from the world. Not that she needs it, she finds strength from within. Still, she deserves to have a life with a lot less stress. Each day she tries to look for the positive and is thankful for the people who come into her life, no matter what lesson they teach her. Her dog, Shush, comes to her accidentally, but Sugar finds creative ways to take care of him. Shush sure does help those around him. I felt bad for Sugar that she had to grow up so soon. No child should know what it is like to be homeless or have to parent their parent. Her attitude inspired me. I also loved the thank you notes she wrote throughout the book. When I learned about her painting doors to make the world a brighter place- I wanted to paint my door! How fun! This is a story I recommend to kids in grades three and up. Adults will love this story, too. Without a doubt this is a book you don’t want to miss! I look forward to reading more from this author!

Has anyone else read Almost Home? Or have you read another book by Joan Bauer? We would love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Reading!
~L

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

32 comments:

  1. I just want to stare at the adorable puppy on that cover!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What Kelly said! I've never come across this book before, but that cover is simply adorable! Sugar sounds like someone I would like to meet. I'll be sure to check this out now. :) Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam- Shush is an adorable dog and Sugar is a strong and inspiring main character. A book that will tug at your heart and give you hope. :) ~L

      Delete
  3. Sounds like a sweet book. I so love the sweet puppy on the cover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Natalie- It is a book with lots of ups and downs, but determination and not giving up are they key to Sugar's survival. Luckily, she has her sweet dog, Shush, to help her through everything. :) ~L

      Delete
  4. I haven't read this, but it looks irresistible.

    Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Medeia- It is a great read- one you won't want to put down. Sugar will stay with you after you are done. :) Happy New Year! ~L

      Delete
  5. Almost Home sounds like a book I MUST OWN! I've heard about it somewhere else and you brought it back into my memory. Thanks! That's one thing blogger pals do best! *wink*

    Happiest of New Years to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robyn- Glad to bring Almost Home back to your memory! It is a book that shouldn't be missed. You will love Sugar and her dog, Shush. :) Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year! ~L

      Delete
  6. This sounds wonderful and I will add it to my list. I love when a book grabs you like this one did :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimba- Isn't that awesome? :) Enjoy! ~L

      Delete
  7. I can't believe I hadn't heard of this before! This one sounds wonderful! I was just reading an article about a homeless girl in NYC and her family and how they live, etc and was thinking it would make a really good book with more of a story. I'll have to add this one to my list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Candace- Based on the article you just read I think you will fall in love with this story. My heart really went out to Sugar and kids like her. Not having a place to call home can't be easy. Reading this book makes you want to go out and be a better person. :) Thanks for stopping by. ~L

      Delete
  8. I love that you are reviewing these! It's a great reminder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patty- Thanks! Reminders are always good. :) ~L

      Delete
  9. This is such a great review!

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. That does indeed seem a wonderful story. And besides, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar is nodding her approval.

    Welcome to the New Year and a new hope.

    Gary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gary- Well- Penny is super smart! She knows a good story when she sees one. :)

      Happy New Year to you! ~L

      Delete
  11. I remember you writing about this one. How can a book go wrong when it's so cute -- with kids and a puppy! Adorable. :-D

    Happy New Year!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lexa- Book with kids and puppies are usually a great mix. :) ~L

      Delete
  12. This is the cutest cover. Ever. I NEED that puppy!! Adorable! This is a fantastic review of what sounds like an awesome yet sad book! Thanks for the wonderful post!! <3

    ~Katertot @ A Belle's Tales

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katertot- It is a cute cover! Shush is adorable. :) It is a great book- sad, but it gives you hope, too. Sugar has a tough life. Thanks for stopping by!
      ~L

      Delete
  13. Great write-up!

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nas! Happy New Year to you, too. :) ~L

      Delete
  14. The puppy already has my heart. Obviously a must read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee- I think you will love this one! A great read! :) ~L

      Delete
  15. I'm so happy 'Almost Home' made it to your list of favourites! Sugar really deserves a lot less stress and it's quite sad that some children are forced to grow up faster than they are supposed to because the adults (parents, mainly) in their lives are in crumbles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Claudine- I really feel for kids like Sugar. Childhood should be enjoyed and stretched out. She spends her childhood worrying about where to sleep, go to the bathroom, and how she will basically survive the day. Her mom could make things easier, but she needs to first figure out what it means to be an adult and overcome the obstacles in her way. Thanks so much for recommending "Almost Home". :) ~L

      Delete
  16. My daughter read that book and just loved it. I had never heard of it until she just picked it up randomly at the bookstore one day and decided she was going to read it that night. She didn't put it down until it was finished.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Curled Up By the Fire- How awesome that your daughter read this book! It is awesome. I read it in one sitting too. The author has a great style and the main character has a unique voice and story. I hope you get a chance to read it. :) ~L

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. We love to hear your thoughts! Fairday's Blog is no longer accepting awards. We appreciate all the nominations that we have received and are honored to have been mentioned! Happy Reading!

Twitter Bird Gadget Twitter Bird Gadget