Sunday, August 25, 2019

Summer Reading 2019 A Place to Stay

A warm and understanding look at a mother and child who come to stay in a shelter. The book does not explain the  reason for their stay, but focuses on how they help each other make the best of the situation. The mother encourages her daughter to imagine they are someplace exciting and special as they enter the building and are shown to their room. They meet other residents in the dining room and by the time they need to shower and get ready for bed, the child is comfortable enough to take the lead in their game of make-believe about this new home.

Bright, colorful illustrations help to keep the tone upbeat and hopeful. The images show the shelter and, while it is obviously not a traditional family home, readers see some of the services that are offered and what life might be like for the residents. The imagined scenes that the mother and daughter conjure up include a palace, a rocket ship, and an underwater adventure. 

The back matter explains various reasons why families might need the services of a shelter, but the story is open-ended so that it could apply to any of the possible situations. The author wrote the book after working as a child abuse and neglect investigator. Her background shaped the book and makes it an excellent opening for discussions about homelessness.

Highly recommended for school and public libraries, and for use by teachers and counselors working with displaced children and families. I read an e-book provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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