By Joan Bauer
Almost Home is a novel about a girl who is resilient, despite hardships. Still mourning the death of her grandfather, Sugar Mae’s life goes from bad to worse. Her father, a gambler who makes periodic appearances in her life, offers more heartache than support. Sugar Mae and her mother, Reba, find themselves on the street when Reba is unable to keep up with the house payments. Sugar Mae tries to make the best out of the unfortunate circumstances, but when her mother spirals into a deep depression that requires hospitalization, Sugar Mae goes into foster care. Through all of her struggles, Sugar Mae relies on her puppy, her writings, encouragement from her former English teacher, and a loving couple who take her in to their home. Though life is not perfect for her, Sugar Mae learns to hold on to her dreams with the help of friends.
Almost Home is a realistic fiction novel. Those who have experienced any of the struggles which Sugar Mae encounters will find it a book to which they can relate. Those who have not experienced the type of struggles Sugar Mae deals with will come away with an attitude of gratitude for what they have.
I love working in the middle school library because each day I get to work with wonderful students. In addition, I have access to lots of interesting books. It is always fun to help students connect to books they like, and to talk about what they are reading.