Where Do You Stay?

Gr 5—7—Jerome is living with his aunt and her family after the death of his mother. The sixth grader is processing his loss while also adjusting to a new family life with older cousin Damon, who resents his presence, and younger cousin Monte. Jerome meets Mr. Willie, an older man squatting in the carriage house of an abandoned mansion in the neighborhood, and the two strike up a friendship over a shared love for piano playing. Jerome has someone to talk to about his mother and slowly comes to terms with life in his adoptive family. This short novel captures the fledgling relationship and the difficulties in communication that can occur. The parallel between Mr. Willie's homelessness and Jerome's emotional homelessness are touching as the two go about creating a garden together. Recollections of his mother's teachings are shown in italics and are spot-on in portraying the world through the 11-year-old's eyes.—Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA
After his mother's death, Jerome goes to live with his aunt, uncle, and cousins. Jerome befriends Mr. Willie, who lives in an abandoned carriage house and who everyone thinks is crazy. Cheng wisely lets readers find commonalities between the characters without hitting her audience over the head with Jerome's emotions.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing