I read this book concurrently with my son who got it as an assignment for a 7th grade reading class. I am really liberal about what my kids read, and I worked at a homeless shelter for a while, so I'm also keen on my son learning about difficult social and moral issues. My criticism of this book is that I found Holly to be a completely unbelievable character--like the "Eloise" or "Junie B Jones" of the homeless world. Her street smarts seem basically plausible, but her voice, vocabulary, and knowledge of the world left me feeling just how invented she was. I can see that the author spent some time in the venues she describes, but I find it hard to believe that she spent any time with 12-year-old street-raised post-foster-system runaways. Bottom line, if you value the time your kids spend reading, pick a book that does not waste it.