Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Where I Belong - Book Review

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When I was in elementary school, I read every Mary Downing Hahn book I could get my hands on. I thought it was so cool to see an author with my last name. Plus, I really enjoyed Mary Downing Hahn's ghost stories, such as The Doll in the Garden and Wait Til Helen Comes. So when I was at Book Expo America in May and saw that she had a new book coming out, I HAD to pick up a copy to review.

Where I Belong is not the "ghost story Mary Downing Hahn" I remembered. Instead, it's a general middle grade novel about a 6th grade boy named Brendan struggling in school and in his personal life. To get away from bullies and a cold foster mother, Brendan retreats to his treehouse in the woods. But even that can't keep him safe from the real world. Luckily, as his summer continues, new friends find their way into Brendan's life to help him see that he's not alone and there just might be hope for the future.

This book is geared toward ages 9-12, and while some of the literary references might be over the heads of kids in that age bracket (I'm sure not all 5th and 6th graders have read Shakespeare like Brendan), the story is still one that will resonate with kids. Kids who feel bullied, kids who don't have many friends, kids who are smart but aren't challenged in a regular school setting, kids who are artists and dreamers.

Where I Belong is published by Clarion Books and is available to purchase now. I received a free advance review copy at Book Expo America with no obligation to review.

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