SHELTER by Beth Cooley


Age Range: 14 & up
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Sixteen-year-old Lucy’s family has been in a downward economic and emotional spiral since the death of her father several months earlier. They were forced to leave their home in an expensive suburb, first moving to a small apartment. Now they are residents of a homeless shelter. Her mom has never been employed and does not seem able to cope with the changes. Lucy gains strength from her art and from the small group of friends she makes at the shelter and at school. Cooley creates an impressive, finely defined cast of characters and treats her subject with compassion. But therein lies both the strength and weakness of the work. The shelter and its staff are models of cleanliness, kindness and leadership; the inhabitants are almost all helpful, ambitious and well-functioning. By the conclusion, Lucy’s family and most of her friends have graduated from the shelter and are independent and successful. Readers will find a moving glimpse into a different kind of life, with the more frightening aspects downplayed. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 2006
ISBN: 0-385-73330-5
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2006


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