When twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Read more...
When twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar's mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. With the help of a rescue dog, Shush; a foster family; a supportive teacher; a love of poetry; and her own grace and good humor, Sugar comes to understand that while she can't control the hand life deals her, she can control how she responds.
- ISBN-13: 9780670012893
- ISBN-10: 0670012890
- Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: September 2012
- Page Count: 264
- Reading Level: Ages 10-UP
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds
Searching for home
“I want to paint my whole life over in tangerine.” That metaphor is apropos for Sugar Mae Cole, who could use some brightness in her life right about now.
She has seen a lot in her 12 years. She has a deadbeat, absentee (and unfortunately reappearing) father—Mr. Leeland, who promises much more than he delivers. And her mother, Reba, keeps believing he’ll keep his word, someday, and that they’ll become a family.
When hard times hit, Sugar and Reba are left homeless and must head to a shelter. When Reba can’t find work, clinical depression sets in—and Sugar is sent to foster care while Reba undergoes treatment.
Thanks to her strong wit and will, her love of writing (inspired by her favorite teacher Mr. B) and her cuddly canine companion Shush, Sugar quickly sets forth on her own quest to find the meaning of “home.” Is it a place? A person? A feeling?
Newbery Honor-winner Bauer (Hope Was Here) masterfully crafts a well-paced story with realistically drawn characters. The narrative is full of details (Salvation Army shirts, scamming for free dog food and painting her neighbor’s door bright purple) that vibrantly illuminate Sugar’s new world—one in which she learns how to trust, how to make friends and how to bring her mother a “sweeter” life.
While it may be cliché to say “home is where the heart is,” Bauer takes that phrase and eloquently illustrates it. Her skill in bringing Sugar and Reba to life creates a gentle tale of hope, of heart and of a heroine simply not willing to give up searching for her place in the world.