Monday, April 8, 2019

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday #MMGM Book Review: Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson


Ari and her nineteen year old brother, Gage, have been living with Janna since their mother died a few years ago. One of her mother’s final wishes was that Gage and Ari would always stay together. But, things are different with Janna and a lot of days are a struggle for Gage. One day he loses his temper and decides to leave. Ari knows she has to go with him, even though her life with Janna is stable. Plus, Janna helps her with her homework at the school for the gifted that she attends (her mother’s other final wish) and she takes care of her. They have to stick together, so she goes with him. Janna thinks they are living in an apartment, but Gage hasn’t been able to find anything. Instead they have been staying with different friends and sleeping on couches. Other days they sleep in the car and occasionally the shelter. Ari doesn’t have a lot with her and she has to try her best to clean her school uniform, so no one will know she isn’t living with Janna anymore. Her favorite thing to do is to lay out her paper families. She cuts them out of catalogs and makes up stories about them. She knows them and they comfort her. Keeping track of your belongings isn’t easy when you are coming and going all the time, sometimes in a hurry. Can Ari and Gage continue trying to make it on their own? How will Ari continue at school with her ever changing living arrangements? Will Janna find out what is happening? Your heart will go out to Ari as you navigate her new life with her.

Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson was a book a library assistant told me I had to read because it was her favorite book. I took a picture of it with my cell phone, so I wouldn’t forget.  Imagine my surprise a month later when I am at the Connecticut Children’s Book Fair and I see the cover of the book that’s on my phone. It was a delight to meet Jennifer Richard Jacobson and her presentation was so interesting. I was excited to start reading Paper Things and I was not disappointed. Ari tugged at my heart strings, and I kept thinking about the challenges in her life. Kids who are going through a tough time will find a character that they can relate to and be inspired by. I can understand how Ari’s paper families comforted her. I would recommend this book to anybody in fifth grade and up who likes a book that makes your heart ache for the main character, and you can’t help but hope it will have a happy ending.

Has anyone else read Paper Things? Or have you read another book by Jennifer Richard Jacobson? We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

*Stop by the post from the CT Book Fair to find out more about Jennifer Richard Jacobson's books.

Happy Reading!
~L

41 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review, sounds wonderful! Hugs, Valerie

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  2. Love this ! Sounds fun and interesting !! xo

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    1. Gloria- Glad it sounds like a good one to you! :) ~L

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  3. Thanks for your review. I've never heard of or read this book. It sounds interesting. I like the title and cover, too.

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    1. Janet- I couldn't believe a month after hearing about the book that I was at a book signing for the author and buying the book. I agree with you- I really like the title and cover. :) ~L

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  4. This does sound very interesting and such a relevant issue to write about. I bet there lots of Ari's out there dealing with similar things!

    betty

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  5. Oh my, I must find a copy of this one to add to my growing stack of reading for the summer. Interesting characters and plot have me filled with anticipation. Thanks for the review.

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    1. Greg- I hope you find a copy and enjoy it. I can relate to the stack of books that continues to grow. Summer will be here soon. :) ~L

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  6. This sounds like a book that will tug at your heart. I'll be on the look out for it. Thanks.

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    1. Natalie- It really will tug at your heart. Enjoy! :) ~L

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  7. This would definitely tug at my heart strings. There are toooo many people in her situation, clinging on to their thoughts/hopes of home.

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    1. EC- You are so right. The book definitely tugged at my heart. :) ~L

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  8. She wrote Small as an Elephant! Which I loved! Hadn't even heard of this one, so thank you for bringing it to our attention. Lovely review.

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    1. Joanne- Glad to let you know about Paper Things. I hadn't heard of Small as an Elephant, so I will have to check it out. I also want to read her latest book which I heard her talk about- The Dollar Kids. :) ~L

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  9. Your review was excellent and sold me on reading Jennifer's novel. I like real characters and this has a number of themes that I like to highlight on my site. Thank you for the recommendation.

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    1. Patricia- I am so happy to have introduced you to this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :) ~L

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  10. Excellent review. Thanks for that. The book sounds heart wrenching and really good. I'll put this on my TBR list.

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    1. Rosi- I hope you enjoy it when you get to it. It is heart wrenching, but in a way that is important and good. :) ~L

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  11. It's sad that she has to make a paper family to love. Another book I want to read. Thanks for telling us about it.

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    1. Beverly- The paper family really tugged at my heart. Happy reading! :) ~L

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  12. Ooh! This sounds like my kind of read. I do love that Ari tugged at your heart strings.

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    1. Tracy- I hope you get to read this one and enjoy getting to know Ari as much as I did. :) ~L

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  13. My Risa is in the fourth grade, I will have to see about getting her to read this one. It sounds lovely.

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    1. Heidi- I hope Risa enjoys it if she ends up picking it up. :) ~L

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  14. That sounds heartbreaking. Emotional stories like this are sometimes hard to read.

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    1. Mary- They definitely can be hard to read, but this one was done very well and appropriate for kids. :) ~L

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  15. Thanks for the review on this book. It touches my heart!!!

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    1. Magic Love Crow- It touched my heart too. :) ~L

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  16. Thank you so much for the review. Sounds so good!

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  17. This one would definitely pull at my heart strings and I love your review! Hugs...RO

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    1. Ro- So glad you loved the review. Hope you enjoy the book if you get a chance to read it. :) ~L

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  18. Many thanks for the review.
    I find books like this are often hard to read ...

    All the best Jan

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    1. Jan- They can be hard to read for sure. Good to know what you are getting into so you can have enough time to read and digest the book. :) ~L

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  19. Thank you for this excellent review!

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  20. This would make me cry in a heartbeat! I've seen Paper Things before. Isn't it a couple of years old? I love that you read your recommended books. I hardly ever read book's that people recommend to me right away.

    Btw that last line of your review was perfect. It better have a happy ending!

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