Where You'll Find Me
Where You'll Find Me
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Annotation: After her mother's attempted suicide, thirteen-year-old Anna goes to live with her father and his new family, and learns to navigate the shifting loyalties of middle school friendships.
Catalog Number: #135633
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
Publisher: Square Fish
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 264 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-250-10442-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-96332-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-250-10442-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-96332-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015004689
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Anna, the 13-year-old protagonist of Friend's bittersweet story, thinks her life is falling apart. It's bad enough her best friend, Dani, doesn't want to be friends anymore. Anna also has to deal with her mother's recent suicide attempt. Now, while her mother is in the hospital, Anna has to live with her father, his new (and young) wife, and their baby, Jane. At school, she sits at the outcasts' table during lunch. Eventually, however, she finds her own place there and at her father's house, where she realizes that her stepmother, Marnie, is genuinely nice. Anna is a gem of a character nny, wise, and clever. Friend has a finely tuned ear for language, which is nicely reflected in Anna's first-person narrative, where she is usually circumspect in her speech but sarcastic and sharp in her thoughts. Her transformation is sympathetic, convincing, and compelling as she takes the time she needs to heal from her own adversity and accept that life isn't going to be perfect. Readers will revel in her journey.
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 6-9 Anna is reeling from the recent changes in her life. A year ago, her parents divorced; six months ago, her dad and stepmother had a baby; a few weeks ago, her BFF declared their friendship over; and three days ago, her mother tried to commit suicide. Everything in Anna's life feels wrong and awfuland on top of everything else, Anna feels she's let her mother down. Friend's book deals with all the difficulties of middle school, newly blended families, andauthentically and without oversimplificationhaving a parent with mental illness. Anna's confusion about her mother, her mother's bipolar disorder, and their relationship are heartbreaking and honest, and her conflicts and conversations with her parents, teachers, and friends ring true. Friend avoids all the pitfalls of a run-of-the-mill "issue" novel to offer a nuanced look at a life that, despite unexpected turns and sometimes crippling feelings of fear and loss, can still be happy. VERDICT This well-written, expertly layered work is strongly recommended for YA collections. Amy Koester, Learning Experiences Department, Skokie PL
Voice of Youth Advocates
Navigating eighth grade is hard enough but for Anna Collette, it seems as if the odds are stacked against her. She has been dumped by her best friend; deserted by her mother after her mother is hospitalized for a suicide attempt; moved in with her Dad and her new barely out of college stepmother and their baby; and to top it all off, relegated to a lunch table of misfits. For Anna, it does not seem as if things can get better again. As Anna begins to hang around her new misfit crew of an Irish step dancer, a girl who pulls out her eyebrows, and a pair of witches who cannot seem to agree on their practice, she begins to discover that bits and pieces of herself are still hanging around but it will be up to her to put them back together again.While most middle school realistic fiction books focus on the romantic trials of characters, Friend focuses more on the emotional state of being that Anna is stuck in when all the walls seem to be caving in on her. Anna's voice is extremely realistic and the attention to detail about her emotional distress surrounding her mother's suicide attempt makes this a must-read book for teens who are going through tough times and screaming their "why me" yawp out into the void.Stephanie Wilkes.
Word Count: 48,325
Reading Level: 3.7
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.7 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 180949 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.1 / points:13.0 / quiz:Q68569
Lexile: HL520L
Guided Reading Level: S

"Natasha Friend, I loved your book. I peeked at the first page and was hooked." --Judy BlumeThe first month of school, thirteen-year-old Anna Collette finds herself. . . .Dumped by her best friend, Dani, who suddenly wants to spend eighth grade "hanging out with different people."Deserted by her mom, who's in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt.Trapped in a house with her dad, a new baby sister, and a stepmother young enough to wear her Delta Delta Delta sweatshirt with pride.Stuck at a lunch table with Shawna the Eyebrow Plucker and Sarabeth the Irish Stepper because she has no one else to sit with.But what if all isn't lost? What if Anna's mom didn't exactly mean to leave her? What if Anna's stepmother is cooler than she thought? What if the misfit lunch table isn't such a bad fit after all?With help from some unlikely sources, including a crazy girl-band talent show act, Anna just may find herself on the road to okay.Heartfelt and heartbreaking, Where You'll Find Me by Natasha Friend is a moving story about the sometimes unconventional bonds of friendship and family.

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