Monday, August 12, 2013

Pieces of Me – Darlene Ryan

Publisher: Orca
Pages: 240
Source:  Won a copy from LibraryThing, the review is my own opinion of the book
Gere:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

Every now and then I read a book that just tears my heart open.  As a teacher I have had students who were abused or were homeless.  It seems to be a problem that is growing daily.  Darlene Ryan has crafted a story that we could watch on the news any night. Maddie comes from an abusive home.  Her step-dad is the abuser and her mother sides with him.  I really disliked the mother for this reason. Maddie decides it would be better if she ran away.  Out on the street she meets a boy named Q.  She agrees that they stand a better chance of surviving on the street if they work together.  Things are hard but manageable at first.  One day they agree to watch a homeless couple’s six year old boy.  Unfortunately the parents never come back for him.  I was so angry.  I kept wondering how they could just desert him.  Now Maddie has to try to make them all a family.  She wants to make sure that Dylan doesn’t have the kind of parents she had.  Q starts to have some issues that break the trust that Maddie placed in him.  She finally realizes she can’t do this on her own.  This is a hard story to read yet once started it is hard to put down. Your heart breaks for all of the kids out there like Maddie.  This is definitely a book that I want on my shelves in my classroom.

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