Where the Heart Is

304p. Candlewick. Apr. 2019. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781536200034.
Gr 4–7—A gently told story about tough transitions, family and sibling love and stress, and evolving friendships. Thirteen year old Rachel's summer is filled with uncertainties. Her relationship with her longtime best friend, Micah, is being tested by new crushes and jealousies, and her family is having serious financial problems and may lose their home. On top of that, Rachel is struggling to figure out what she wants from life and love. Many children will empathize with Rachel as she struggles with friendships old and new, emerging crushes, a little sister and a cranky pig, and worried, preoccupied parents. Even as Jo Knowles tackles some tough issues, especially income insecurity and loss of home, she keeps the tone quiet, warm, detailed, and often funny, leaving the reader space to work out questions and problems along with Rachel and her loved ones.
VERDICT A good read for fans of Rebecca Stead and Jeanne Birdsall.

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