Where the Heart Is – Jo Knowles

Where the Heart IsFrom the publisher:

If home is where the heart is, what would happen if you lost it? Compassion and humor infuse the story of a family caught in financial crisis and a girl struggling to form her own identity.

It’s the first day of summer and Rachel’s thirteenth birthday. She can’t wait to head to the lake with her best friend, Micah. But as summer unfolds, every day seems to get more complicated. Her “fun” new job taking care of the neighbors’ farm animals quickly becomes a challenge, whether she’s being pecked by chickens or having to dodge a charging pig at feeding time. At home, her parents are more worried about money than usual, and their arguments over bills intensify. Fortunately, Rachel can count on Micah to help her cope with all the stress. But Micah seems to want their relationship to go beyond friendship, and though Rachel almost wishes for that, too, she can’t force herself to feel “that way” about him. In fact, she isn’t sure she can feel that way about any boy — or what that means. With all the heart of her award-winning novel See You At Harry’s, Jo Knowles brings us the story of a girl who must discover where her heart is and what that means for her future.”

This is a quick read about a summer in Rachel’s life.   Rachel and little sister, Ivy, and her parents struggle with money and face foreclosure on their home.  Rachel is also wondering about her sexual identity. The author handles this struggle with taste and class so that the book is well suited for the middle grades.  As with all of the author’s books, her characters come to life and are easily identifiable and relatable.

eGalley review                                                          Publication date 4.2.19

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