by Brenda Kearns
Published: July 12, 2014
It’s Allie’s 14th
birthday, and she’s in her 17th foster home. “Suck it up,” her mom says.
“Play the game and they’ll let you come home.” And Allie’s great at the
game—at lying about her mom’s drinking, at hiding the weird things her
little brother does that worry social workers, at pretending the
counseling is actually helping. Allie is so great at the game that she
never has to stay in a foster home more than three months.
Allie has a problem: Her newest foster family has caught on to her game.
They see right through her lies, and they’re trying to stop her from
going back home. Ever. Yet the last place Allie wants to live is on a
smelly old farm in the middle of nowhere.
But how do you fight it when everyone around you is saying that where you were born isn’t where you belong?
is a touching tale about a girl struggling to reunite her family,
protect her young siblings and gain control of her life—all in the face
of family problems that no one believes she can fix.
Home by Brenda Kearns was completely different than I had anticipated. I usually prefer books where I actually like the main character. That is a big factor for me. Yet, I never really like Allie and I didn't need to. Allie's goal isn't to make anyone like her, it's to get her and her two siblings home. Kearns does an amazing job of getting us into Allie's mind, so that while I didn't like her, I understood her.
Kearns' personal experiences have obviously given her a view into the mind of a young foster child, and this builds the authenticity behind Allie's voice. I do wish the story were longer (it is a novella). I wanted to find out what happens next because it is more than evident that Allie's journey is far from over.