Many roadblocks conspire to keep 11-year-old Ari from getting into a prestigious middle school, but the biggest threat of all is the fact that she and her brother are now homeless. A heartfelt and perceptive look into a young girl's experience of running away from, and eventually towards, a new home. Perfect for 5th-7th graders looking for a read both serious and--ultimately--uplifting.— Aubrey Restifo
When forced to choose between staying with her guardian and being with her big brother, Ari chose her big brother. There's just one problem--Gage doesn't actually have a place to live.
When Ari's mother died four years ago, she had two final wishes: that Ari and her older brother, Gage, would stay together always, and that Ari would go to Carter, the middle school for gifted students. So when eigheeen-year-old Gage decided he could no longer live with their bossy guardian, Janna, Ari knew she had to go with him--even though she'd miss baking cookies with Janna and curling up to watch HGTV. What Ari didn't realize was that Gage didn't have an apartment yet.
And now, two months later, he still doesn't.
He and Ari have been "couch surfing," staying with Gage's friend in his tiny apartment, crashing with Gage's girlfriend and two roommates, and if necessary, sneaking into a juvenile shelter to escape the cold Maine nights. But all of this jumping around makes it hard for Ari to keep up with her schoolwork, never mind her friendships, and getting into Carter starts to seem impossible. Will Ari be forced to break one of her promises to Mama?
Told in an open, authentic voice, this nuanced story of hiding in plain sight may have listeners thinking about homelessness in a whole new way.