Cover image for Paper things
Title:
Paper things
Author:
Jacobson, Jennifer, 1958- , author.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2015.
Physical Description:
376 pages ; 20 cm
Summary:
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.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
Middle School.

9+.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.4 10.0 172485.
ISBN:
9780763663230
Format :
Book

Available:*

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J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
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J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
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J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

When forced to choose between staying with her guardian and being with her big brother, Ari chose her big brother. There's just one problem--Gage doesn't actually have a place to live.

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.


Author Notes

Jennifer Richard Jacobson is the author of several books for children and young adults, including the middle-grade novel Small as an Elephant and the Andy Shane early chapter books, illustrated by Abby Carter. She lives in Cumberland, Maine.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

There are few things in fifth-grader Arianna's life that matter: her 19-year-old brother Gage, getting accepted into Carter Middle School, and her precious box of paper things cut out of out mail-order catalogs. Ari's father was killed in Afghanistan, and when their mother died four years ago, Ari and Gage understood that she wanted them to always stay together. Janna, their strict guardian and parents' close friend, agrees to let the siblings move out because they have an apartment to rent. In fact, they're homeless, moving from couch to storage unit to shelter for a six-week period. During that time, Ari holds on to her mother's dying wish that she follow in the Hazard family tradition of attending Carter. Through Ari's resiliency, Jacobson introduces readers to the precarious and frightening life of a homeless elementary-school student who holds fast to her dreams and the only family she knows. It is her mature sense of her own needs that informs the adults who love her and helps them to understand how they might build a future together.--Bush, Gail Copyright 2015 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Ari and her older brother, Gage, have lived with a strict guardian since their mother died four years ago, but now Gage, 19, wants to leave-and take 11-year-old Ari with him. The siblings' mother implored them to "Stay together always," but without an apartment or a job for Gage, they bounce around among friends' places and a homeless shelter, even spending a night in Gage's girlfriend's car. As Ari falls behind at school, she wonders if she can still fulfill her mother's wish for her to attend a middle-school for gifted kids. Despite an overly neat conclusion, Jacobson (Small as an Elephant) elevates her book beyond "problem novel" territory with an engaging narrator who works hard to be loyal to her brother-and to her mother's memory. Small moments pack big emotional wallops, as when a teacher gives Ari "brand-new, trés cool shoes" to replace her "ratty" ones, or when Ari pretends that the people she cuts from magazine are a family, because, "With a big family you're likely to have someone watching out for you always." A tender exploration of homelessness. Ages 10-up. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Aaron Soto shares a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx with his mother and brother, his father committed suicide, and his friends aren't the greatest. The bright spot in his life is his girlfriend, Genevieve, but she's away for a month-long art retreat. Aaron begins spending time with Thomas, a new boy who doesn't quite fit in with his group of friends, and soon discovers he's happier than he's ever been before. Maybe too happy. Before long, Aaron realizes he's romantically interested in Thomas, but Thomas doesn't reciprocate, and his friends won't tolerate having a gay friend. Aaron turns to the Leteo Institute, known for their memory-relief procedures, to try to get his life on track. Ramon de Ocampo voices the myriad characters and brings Silvera's tale to life. VERDICT Tackling issues including race, class, and sexuality, this book is fitting for mature teens. ["A gripping read-Silvera skillfully weaves together many divergent young adult themes within an engrossing, intense narrative": SLJ 5/15 starred review of the Soho Teen book.]-Amanda Stern, Northwest Village School, Plainville, CT © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.