The Tenth Mistake of Hank Hooperman

Knopf. Jun. 2024. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524718923.
Gr 5 Up–Hank Hooperman and his little sister Boo have been waiting for their mom to return home for a week. Without any money and eviction looming over their heads, Hank finds the name of an emergency contact on a permission slip and takes Boo there in an attempt to find his mom. Once there, he meets new friends and adults but is left with the constant worry of his situation and about whom he can trust. Readers will empathize with Hank’s anxiety over uprooting his life, worrying about where his mom is, where he will end up, and whether he and his sister will be able to stay together. Hank is a good kid, but he’s not sure if he is good enough for his temporary guardian to want to keep in her home. Additionally, he’s dealing with all of the friendships, first crushes, and school issues that middle school students face. When his mom is finally located, Hank is faced with an impossible situation that upends an already complicated life. Various representations of family dynamics, friendships, social workers, and the foster system come through in a realistic way.
VERDICT Hank’s story will break readers’ hearts before putting them back together again. Highly recommended for all middle grade collections.

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