Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kid Konnection: Home Free by Sharon Jennings

Home Free by Sharon Jennings (Rated: C)
Second Story Press
ISBN: 978-1-897187555
Published March 1, 2009
Paperback, 154 pages

Funny, nostalgic, and sad but hopeful, this book made us explore a range of emotions. My 9-year-old daughter loved it. Home Free allowed us to talk about topics perfect for her age group: friendships, loss of a loved one, and pursuing one’s dream.

Leanne Mets (Lee) is an 11-year-old spunky, outspoken but na├»ve girl who wants to follow her dream of becoming a writer. It’s summertime in the 1960s, school is out, and a girl moves next door to her family. She is an orphan and Lee wants her to be a kindred spirit just like in Anne of Green Gables, her all-time favourite story. But it is also the summer that changes everything for Lee. A summer that teaches Lee what it means to be a true friend, not to take her parents for granted, and to use her gift of writing.

Written in the first person, Lee’s voice is compelling. We are right inside her head and the author captures her young voice so well, I could see why my daughter was eagerly drinking it all in. I loved Lee’s voice too, and I certainly related to her because it brought back memories of my childhood when I read voraciously and dreamed of becoming a writer.

The topic of sexuality comes up subtly and is dealt with so well that it speaks volumes not only of the author’s finesse in handling such a topic but of the era in which it takes place. This book is a great mother and daughter summer read, and I highly recommend it for the book-loving girl in your life.

Home Free is the first book in the Gutsy Girl Series. Aimed at 9-12 year-olds, the Gutsy Girl books feature heroines who are smart, brave, funny and inspiring.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

Disclosure: Thanks to Annie from Second Story Press for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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  1. This book sounds amazing. I love books that open discussions with your kids like that.

  2. This book sounds perfect for Booking Daughter. Might make a good mother-daughter book club book too!

  3. Yes, this is a great book for mother and daughter book clubs.

  4. This book sounds wonderful for my daughter .. I worry about the content of books at this age when it comes to sexuality.


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