Home, and other big, fat lies
| Home, and Other Big, Fat Lies|
by Wolfson, Jill
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7–Whitney thinks of home as a place where other people belong. She's heading to Foster Home #12 in Forest Glen, CA. Knowing that no one will want to keep a superfunny, hyper, loudmouthed kid, she reminds herself that the situation will be temporary. When she meets her foster family, she soon realizes that the McCrarys–and the entire lumber-based community–have suffered hard times due to an economic downturn and logging bans to protect habitat. Once again, she's the outsider, but not for long: she becomes a leader among the many other fosters in the school (mostly taken in for the monthly income); a caring science teacher encourages her interest in her new surroundings; and Striker, the McCrary's son, shows her that nature doesn't make mistakes and that everything has its place in the forest. When logging begins again in the town, the two bond together to save their favorite redwood, Big Momma. Whitney's first-person narrative is lively and humorous. She tends to approach and evaluate new ideas and situations with rapid-fire questions, and creatively reinvents idioms to say exactly what she means. The ending is a bit predictable, but the protagonist's spunky voice will engage readers. Fans of Patricia Reilly Giff's Pictures of Hollis Woods (Random, 2002) will appreciate Whitney's independence and plucky spirit.–Kelly Czarnecki, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg, NC
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