THE HOARDERS by Jean Stringam


Age Range: 8 - 12
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Cheyenne, ten, and his brother, Joaquin, five, hoard food. Before she abandoned them entirely, their mother neglected them, so Cheyenne learned very young to stash food—when it was available. In their Aunt Mandy’s custody, things briefly improve as they get to know their extended (but not very helpful) family. Narrator Cheyenne, never letting down his guard, always keenly observes the adults around him, gleaning what information he can, although filtered through his child mind, it’s sometimes humorously misinterpreted. When Mandy has a stroke, the children are left to fend for themselves. Then, as one unbelievable challenge is piled on top of another, at times the children’s burden seems almost fantastical. Is it possible that no one in a small town would notice the small children’s plight, hiding out in a van and foraging through Dumpsters for a freezing month or that the hospital would discharge brain-injured Mandy to their sole custody, setting up a contrived though satisfying conclusion? Yet resourceful Cheyenne’s authentic voice is lovable enough to make this a worthy if at times implausible read. (discussion questions) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59955-407-5
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Bonneville Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2010


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