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Posted October 21, 2010
Moving but hard to place...
This book details the emotions (or lack thereof) that Ted feels after his parents die. He enters the foster care system expecting for horrible things to happen to him, but he ends up finding a source of comfort and refuge amongst his new friends who gradually lead him away from needing to rely on the company of animals. I believe that this book is a truly honest look at loss presented authentically from a boy's perspective. This book will definitely be a great find for those dealing with loss or even those who feel left behind or left out.
I do have some reservations about this book going into my personal classroom library due to the fact that it seems to be marketed toward more of a middle grade audience when, in fact, I believe that young adult audience is vastly more appropriate. The cover and size of the book look very middle grade, as does the cover art. Even some major plot and thematic elements would indicate middle grade - for example, a boy talking to dogs (and them talking back) to deal with his grief. However, more mature topics are contained inside - references to abuse, a weirdly insane foster-mother, and some instances of the F-bomb.
I have nothing against those things since they come together to form something poignant and real, but it makes this book difficult for me to place. In a school or public library, I would have no problem acquiring and/or recommending this. It would reach and captivate a demographic that is always underrepresented, which is always a must.
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