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Contributor(s): Bauer, Joan

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ISBN: 0142427489     ISBN-13: 9780142427484
Publisher: Puffin
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: August 2013

Annotation: Sixth-grader Sugar and her mother lose their beloved house and experience the harsh world of homelessness.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Homeless persons; Fiction.
Mothers and daughters; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Homelessness & Poverty
- Juvenile Fiction | Family | Parents
- Juvenile Fiction | Family | Orphans & Foster Homes
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2013033261
Lexile Measure: 590
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 4.75" W x 0.75" (0.50 lbs) 264 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 154885
Reading Level: 3.7   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 6.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q59277
Reading Level: 3.3   Interest Level: Grades 3-5   Point Value: 10.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): iv> Joan Bauer has won critical acclaim for her many books, which include the Newbery Honor Book Hope Was Here as well as Rules of the Road, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and Close to Famous, winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, the Christopher Medal, and the Judy Lopez Memorial Prize. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2012 October)

Gr 5–8—When Sugar Mae Cole is given a small, discarded puppy named Shush, she decides that he will become a helper dog. And help he does throughout her ordeal of losing her house, her mom's spiraling depression, moving from a small Missouri town to Chicago, and living in foster care. Sugar appreciates the importance of writing, which she learned from Mr. Bennett, her slightly eccentric but astute and talented sixth-grade teacher and from her mom, who has always emphasized the importance of writing thank-you notes. Her narration effectively includes her poetry, emails, thank-you notes, and reflections to reveal a resilient, thoughtful girl. As her name suggests, she tries to bring "a little sweetness into people's lives… [but, she knows] sweet doesn't mean stupid." Her philosophy, that if one "looks hard enough, there's always something to be grateful for," is especially hard to abide after her grandfather dies and her father takes off again, leaving a huge gambling debt. The conclusion is hopeful and satisfying. Though Sugar is still in a foster home, she and Shush become catalysts that empower Reba to stand up to her twice-ex-husband, help friends revitalize a business, and more. In her correspondence with Mr. Bennett, Sugar begins to feel ready to start a new life in seventh grade. Told with humor and pathos, the narrative is full of quirky, likable characters, all of whom are three-dimensional. Sugar's writing is sophisticated and touching, appropriate for a child who is thrust into an adult role. Altogether, a memorable novel that is sure to have broad appeal.—Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library

[Page 123]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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