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Homesickby Kate Klise
Synopses & Reviews
Bennys parents are splitting up. His mom leaves home after a fight about a mysterious splinter that is rumored to be part of an important relic. Bennys dad has always liked clutter, but now, he begins hoarding everything from pizza boxes to old motorcycle parts.
As his house grows more cluttered and his father grows more distant, Benny tries to sort out whether he can change anything at all. Meanwhile, a local teacher enters their quiet Missouri town in Americas Most Charming Small Town contest, and the pressure is on to clean up the area, especially Bennys ramshackle of a house, before the out-of-town guests arrive.
"Klise (Grounded) looks at the effects of hoarding and the struggles and joys of smalltown life in this honest, good-natured coming-of-age story set in the early 1980s. Twelve-year-old Benny's mother leaves his father, whose hoarding has gotten out of control, heading for New Orleans with a promise to come back for Benny. With Benny's father increasingly unable to care for himself or his son (he won't let Benny throw away pizza boxes, convinced they will be valuable in the future), the boy spends his time with his loving and quirky neighbors, in particular his father's best friend, Myron. Benny begins work at Myron's fledgling radio station, transcribing amusing interviews with locals, including schoolteacher Miss Turnipson, who has entered their Missouri town in a contest to find 'the most charming small town in America.' As Benny's father deteriorates, the neighbors band together. While some things remain open-ended, matters still resolve in a surprising, slightly too-good-to-be-true, yet satisfying way. Klise conjures ample empathy for the residents of Dennis Acres — even Benny's father who, despite his problems, has a gift for foresight (sometimes). Ages 10 — 14. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Kate Klise is the author of Grounded, winner of the 2011 Judy Lopez Award (Womens National Book Association) for Best Childrens Novel of the year. Her other books include the 43 Old Cemetery Road series of epistolary novels, illustrated by her sister, M. Sarah Klise. In addition to writing for children, Kate spent fifteen years working as a journalist for several publications, including People magazine. She now leads writing workshops all over the country for aspiring authors of all ages.
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