WHERE DO YOU STAY? by Andrea Cheng

WHERE DO YOU STAY?

Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

From the author of Where the Steps Were (2008) comes this story of loss and healing through friendship, family and music. After his mother’s brief illness and death from cancer, Jerome Mason, 11, is taken in by her sister’s family. Their inner-city neighborhood is located across Cincinnati from Jerome’s old home, and Aunt Geneva has sold the piano—central to Jerome’s life with Mama and that he misses desperately—to help pay for his upbringing. Rootless and lost, Jerome first resists Aunt Geneva’s caring gestures and efforts to integrate him into her family. He finds his cousins Damon, 15, mean and Monte, 10, a needy nuisance. Only Mr. Willie, the elderly man who “stays” in the carriage house of a nearby derelict mansion and does odd jobs, reaches Jerome’s heart. Like Mama and Jerome, he plays the piano; as a child he took lessons at the mansion. Perhaps the piano is still there, but before they can find out, Mr. Willie disappears and the house is sold. In spare, pared-down language that makes masterful use of elision, Jerome’s voice convinces and moves readers without falling into sentimentality. While the rather abrupt ending leaves unanswered questions, especially about Damon and Mr. Willie, Jerome himself makes a fully realized, deeply sympathetic protagonist. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59078-707-6
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2011




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