Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Book Review: Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Title: Paper Things
Author: Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Published by: Candlewick Press (2015)

My Rating: ★★★★☆


When Ari’s mother died four years ago, she had two final wishes: that Ari and her older brother, Gage, would stay together always, and that Ari would go to Carter, the middle school for gifted students. So when nineteen-year-old Gage decides he can no longer live with their bossy guardian, Janna, Ari knows she has to go with him. But it’s been two months, and Gage still hasn’t found them an apartment. He and Ari have been "couch surfing," staying with Gage’s friend in a tiny apartment, crashing with Gage’s girlfriend and two roommates, and if necessary, sneaking into a juvenile shelter to escape the cold Maine nights. But all of this jumping around makes it hard for Ari to keep up with her schoolwork, never mind her friendships, and getting into Carter starts to seem impossible. Will Ari be forced to break one of her promises to Mama? Told in an open, authentic voice, this nuanced story of hiding in plain sight may have readers thinking about homelessness in a whole new way. 

My Review:

Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson was such a sweet book, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Going into this book I expected another run of the mill story with some kind of positive message, that’s a good read but ultimately not very well written. But I got nothing like that!

Though the writing of this book wasn’t anything amazing, it was still very good. The plotline was put together very well and skillfully. The message of this book was clear without being obvious or cliche, and it sent a strong theme about the idea of homelessness. It was written from an 11-year-old’s perspective, and from that standpoint it was done quite well. The themes are very clear and positive, deep enough for older readers but yet simple enough that younger kids can understand.

Overall, to put it simply, this was a captivating and yet sweet read. The themes were positive, the characters memorable, and just a good read. Nothing amazing but a good read all the same. 4.0 stars. 

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