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NOT HOME by Ann Grifalconi


by Ann Grifalconi

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-316-32905-3
Publisher: Little, Brown

When their mother needs to go to the hospital, Tommy, 11, and his little brother, Dicky, move to a group home until she recovers. Tommy narrates: This is partly his story and partly that of his bunkmates in the home, especially Jimmy, who has lived there since he was a baby. Although Tommy's stay at the home is hard for him, he recognizes that he has much to be thankful for. Jimmy has never had a real home or a parent he could count on. In her first longer offering, Grifalconi (Kinda Blue, 1993) tackles an important issue; unfortunately, Tommy's voice doesn't ring true -- he sounds more like a social worker than a child when he says, "How did Jimmy handle all this stuff, this waiting and hurting -- all those things now stirring in me." His words lack impact when compared to the narration of another urban child, LaVaughn, of Virginia Euwer Wolff's Make Lemonade (Holt, 1993). Grifalconi's book has redeeming value and may appeal to those needing books about the difficulties faced by the urban poor. (Fiction. 8-12)