by Joan Bauer
When twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar's mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. With the help of a rescue dog, Shush; a foster family; a supportive teacher; a love of poetry; and her own grace and good humor, Sugar comes to understand that while she can't control the hand life deals her, she can control how she responds. (Description from Amazon.com)
This was a sweet, heart-string plucking book. It reminded me a lot of One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Sugar is a girl who strives to be sweet...to take on the world with a positive attitude. Even after she gets stuck in foster care and she doesn't quite trust her new situation, she vows to be kind. What a fabulous and strong character! A girl who is forced to take on a grown-up role too young, Sugar's street smarts, compassion, and independent character carry this story through to a satisfying conclusion.
I very much enjoyed as well, how almost all of the adults in the book were portrayed as being fleshed out, multi-faceted characters. Yes, there were those that skewed towards being inherently good and those that were too flawed to be redeemable, but they each had their moments that made them feel like real people. It was refreshing and made the book a much richer reading experience.
Full disclosure: Borrowed from my Library