A Place to Call Home

A Place to Call Home

4.7 8
by Jackie French Koller

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Caring for her two younger siblings after their unreliable mother abandons them, fifteen-year-old Anna discovers the difficulties of trying to be a parent.


Caring for her two younger siblings after their unreliable mother abandons them, fifteen-year-old Anna discovers the difficulties of trying to be a parent.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To keep her siblings from being separated in foster care, a 15-year-old girl tries to keep her mother's disappearance a secret. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) o
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-Mama's gone again, and it's hardly a surprise to 15-year-old Anna. The surprise comes later, when Mama doesn't come back, and Anna discovers her old yellow car submerged in the lake. Anna's desperate struggle to make a home for her two younger siblings leads her to Mississippi to trace her mother's escape route from her abused childhood and to seek her family and milieu. Anna, the black child of a white mother and unknown father, loves her two white siblings passionately, though she can't forget she's different. Poverty and sickness lead the young woman to abandon her fight to keep the household together and to turn to the social service agency that has scattered them before. This eloquent depiction of impoverishment and courage is set in the contemporary hills of Connecticut, where there are plenty of contrasts: destitution among wealth; grief hiding below apparent equanimity; bigotry within families; tenacity against all odds. Anna tells the story in the first person with warmth and immediacy. Among the cast of less credible characters are despicable Aunt Roe McCallum, who literally furnishes her home with foster children; and Nate Leon, Anna's white sweetheart and champion, who appears every time a rescue is needed. Nonetheless, A Place to Call Home is a fast-paced, compelling read, with a memorable and feisty heroine and satisfying social values. It will sit easily on the shelf next to Virginia Euwer Wolff's Make Lemonade (Holt, 1993).-Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Merri Monks
Fifteen-year-old biracial Anna tries to care for her five-year-old sister and infant brother when her alcoholic mother disappears yet again. Anna discovers her mother's car in a nearby lake--evidence of her suicide. After hiding in a cabin in the woods and then being placed with an unloving foster family, Anna, in desperation, travels to her mother's hometown in Mississippi, hoping to find family and a home. Instead, she learns of the horrors of her mother's past and meets white grandparents who don't want her. In spite of the grimness and apparent hopelessness of Anna's situation, she finds help, love, friendship, and a home. Koller portrays a young woman of strength and character, whose search for love and roots is at the core of a sensitive and finely written novel that shows the tragic and all-too-common results of sexual abuse and rejection from one's family.

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.85(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.83(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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A Place to Call Home 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be marvelous. The main character is unique and someone you can relate to. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the written word.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Where is my mother?¿ That is one question Anna O¿Dell has asked her self a lot. She never knows where her mother is, then the time comes when she doesn¿t have to wonder anymore. Every time her mother left she had to watch her little brother Casey, and her little sister Mandy, her brother is an infant and her little sister which is around 8. They really look up to Anna because she is the only person they can depend on. When I read this book I couldn¿t put it down I was shocked, surprised, and so sad at the same exact time through the whole book. I really felt like I was there it was so informitive. I laughed sometimes and cried most of the time. I really recommend this book to anyone who loves Jackie Kollers books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, I had to read it for school. As soon as i started it i couldnt put it down. I Recommend this to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I began this book while waiting for a friend of mine who i was babysitting to take his books and i just got into it starting on the first page. I even asked the friend if I could take it out on his card. Once I took it home, it was all about finishing it. I didn't want to put it down. This was the first and only book that ever made me cry...no not cry...BAWL. I cried so hard I couldn't see what I was reading. But I kept going. My mom told me to stop torturing myself, but she just didn't understand. Once I finished the book, i told her about it and she cried too. It's definetely my favorite book of all time!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book 'A Place To Call Home' in about 2 days... It was a very touching book I cried my eyes out and I went back and re- read pages several times and each time I cried even more than the first time! I would definetly recommend the book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this was a very good book. I could relate to it very well! Sometimes I was disappointed about some of the decisions that Anna made. Also, sometimes I agreeded with the decissions she made. I definatly enjoyed the ending!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutly great. It was so wonderful that I keep it in a safe place at home so I can cherish it forever. Jakie French Koller is a wonderful author. This book is so good that it holds onto as you turn each page.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a book report about a month ago, and I couldn't put it down. It was so sad and just....I can't explain it. It's so good. It's just in a class of it's own. Be prepared, because it's a tear-maker and a page turner. I love how Jackie used a different style of writing, everything in the present tense. All I can say is that it is truly beautifully written.