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Parents' Guide to

Something Like Home

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Girl faces new home with aunt in gripping novel in verse.

Something Like Home book cover: Girl with red frizzy ponytail snuggles with brown Puppy atop a hill above a city skyline filled with birds

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This brilliant, compelling story captures the fear, frustration, and hope of a middle schooler torn from the parents she loves who have serious issues of their own. Something Like Home deals with the effects of substance abuse on a family -- and a kid's guilt for having alerted authorities. But her well-drawn mixed emotions ring true and relatable for anyone who's dealt with being the new kid in school, being wary of opening up to new friends, or grappling with adjusting to two homes or new caregivers following divorce.

The first-person, diary-like narrative helps readers be on Laura's side from the get-go. And the novel-in-verse format leaves lots of space on each page, helping the pages fly by. Laura's letters to her parents -- including ones she didn't mail -- add another element of heartfelt emotional truth. The storyline about Laura's found puppy, her descriptions of wild birds' behavior, her communication with seemingly distant Titi Silvia and new friend Benson add more layers to understanding who she is, how she feels, and what she wants. This profound book gets in the heart and head of an 11-year-old facing big challenges, who makes mistakes but is driven by love and hope. Laura's story will linger in readers' hearts and minds long after they close the book.

Book Details

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