Tuesday, February 13, 2018

JUST LEFT OF LUCKY by Dianna Dorisi Winget


Brings About A New Understanding Of Being Homeless


 - Middle Grade -

From the award-winning author of A Million Ways Home, comes this poignant and absorbing story of family bonds, determination and finding the courage to overcome hardship. 



Synopsis:
Author Dianna Dorisi Winget takes us on a journey through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl, Shannon. After Shannon’s mom dies, her aunt Junie does her best to provide for both of them, but when she finds it impossible they take off to another state. A state, Aunt Junie tells her, where wages will be higher so they will be just fine. So Aunt Junie, Shannon, and Shannon’s dog Boone head for better things. But their move from Idaho to Washington doesn’t make things better. In fact, they find themselves living in Aunt Junie's car. Shannon tries desperately to hide this secret, while Aunt Junie deals with it in her own way, with alcohol. Will they ever find a way out of what appears to be a no-win situation?


Cons:  While I feel the ending is satisfying and just right for a middle-grade book, it felt a little too tidy.
Pros: This is one of the best descriptive, make-you-feel-like-you’re-there, writers I’ve read. Description for the sake of naming everything in a room or exactly what each person looks like and what they are wearing doesn’t appeal to me. But this writing develops characters through their actions and you feel like you are almost experiencing what they are seeing and doing. This story kept me turning pages. I highly recommend it. And even if you aren't a dog lover, the dog in this story will win you over.

From the Author:
It was an article in my hometown newspaper about the ever increasing needs of our local food bank that really got me thinking about the topic of poverty and homelessness. It's a topic most of us don't like to think about, and yet the problem is so very real, in towns and cities large and small, in every region of the country. I started to think how difficult it would be for a child in this situation, how awkward or embarrassing it would be to have your friends find out you were homeless, and how far you might go to keep your situation a secret. I wanted to try and portray this experience in a realistic way, while still offering some hope and light. This is what I've tried to accomplish with Just Left of Lucky. The stories I heard, and the things I learned while researching this book, have forever changed my view of homelessness. I hope it might do the same for others.

From the Back Cover of the Book:
"What do you think would happen if he finds out we're living in the car?"
"He won't, bug. You worry too much."
"But what if he did? Do you think he'd tell?"
She swiped a finger around the rim of her cup. "I suppose legally he'd have to report that kind of thing, yeah." 
"They'd take me away from you," I said. "Just like they did Amber."
I waited for her to tell me I was wrong, that she'd never allow something like that to happen. But she didn't. She didn't say anything at all. Which told me I was one hundred percent right.




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