Away From Home

The Porcupine of Truth
by Bill Konigsberg

When you have grown up in NYC and are being told that you’ll be spending the summer in Montana in order to help with your dying father, who you’ve only seen a handful of times in your life, your attitude could be described as lousy. Meet Carson.

When you have grown up as one of only 500 people of color in the entire state of Montana feeling like an outsider is your normal. When the bright spot of your childhood is that you were always the apple of your father’s eye, that is until you told him you’re gay and then he throws you out of the house leaving you homeless, your attitude might be described as bitter. Meet Aisha.

Humor is a coping mechanism for their abandonment issues, which gives the story buoyancy and makes the reader feel hopeful and positive about Carson and Aisha’s struggles.


Mosquitoland

by David Arnold

When a family member has mental illness and your dad is convinced you have inherited it, your confidence suffers. When your new stepmother is trying to keep you from having contact with your mom and you have no idea why, you’ll have trouble bonding. When you take matters into your own hands, steal some money, get a on a Greyhound bus headed to Ohio and your mother, people might think your dad is right. Meet Mim.
As Mim travels, she meets a variety of zany characters that keep the pages turning. Along the way, Mim writes a series of letters that reveal quite a lot about herself and her family. As the reader comes to understand Mim, it’s hard not to love her.


LisaBlogThis Youth book review was brought to you by Lisa Q. Harling. When not conducting Story Times or reading the best that kids’ authors have to offer, Lisa enjoys writing witty PSAs on Facebook, playing with her dogs and keeping up with her two adventurous sons. If you have suggestions for future book reviews, email her at lqharling@cityofportsmouth.com.

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