The Hoarders

( 5 )


I guess you could say Joaquin and I are in a pile of trouble. I sure wish I could tell you how we're going to get ourselves out of this, but I don't see a way yet. All I can tell you is how we got here. I'll start kind of close to the beginning.

For Cheyenne and Joaquin, two brothers who are expert hoarders, the future has always been uncertain. That's why it's important to keep a food hoard. After all, you never know when Momma might forget about eating for a few days. But as ...

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I guess you could say Joaquin and I are in a pile of trouble. I sure wish I could tell you how we're going to get ourselves out of this, but I don't see a way yet. All I can tell you is how we got here. I'll start kind of close to the beginning.

For Cheyenne and Joaquin, two brothers who are expert hoarders, the future has always been uncertain. That's why it's important to keep a food hoard. After all, you never know when Momma might forget about eating for a few days. But as things get more and more desperate, the boys realize they'll have to rely on each other and the lessons they've learned together to get them through.

This captivating coming-of-age novel is vibrant, alarming, and yet full of joy. With characters who are as true to life as they are heartbreaking, this is one book that will stick in your mind and make you appreciate something as simple as a meal at a table, with forks, knives, and plates. Like a hug that's a little too tight, this story is unforgettable-a potent mix of enduring themes and quietly brilliant writing that's sure to become an instant classic.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599554075
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Incorporated/CFI Distribution
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,454,082
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Muddy Walk 1

2 Sight Dogs 6

3 Getting Money 12

4 Big Stink 17

5 Dead Uncle Dick 22

6 Jokes 26

7 Pet Store 33

8 Flower Lady 37

9 Adventures 42

10 Thieves 47

11 Heaven 50

12 Butterfly 56

13 Bills 59

14 Flown 67

15 Walker Men 74

16 Spying 79

17 Bliss 85

18 French Arrives 92

19 End of the World 97

20 The Lake House 102

21 Christmas 109

22 Runaway 115

23 Funeral 120

24 Family Council 124

25 Sleepover 131

26 Ice Storm 136

27 Lost 141

28 Grey Tooth 150

29 Painfully Bored 156

30 Alien Woman 162

31 Good-bye Scuffy 168

32 Right Now 178

33 New Owners 180

34 Paying Jobs 184

35 She Escapes 189

36 Family Ghost 192

37 LKC 197

Discussion Questions 199

About the Author 200

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 19, 2010

    Reviewing the Kirkus Reviews Reviewer

    What kind of naiveté propelled the Kirkus Review response? Perhaps a reader whose view of a childhood beyond hearth and hedge, i.e. beyond the comfortable confines of nineteenth century children's spheres, is a childhood comprised of melodramatic incident. Yes, the adult world should protect children: but it doesn't. Read the internet. Turn on the TV news. Peruse sociological case studies. This novel is twenty-first century contemporary realism. The point of creating empathy for two children in desperate circumstances is to show a child reader there are no throw-away children.

    The climax of error in the review, however, was the complete misreading of chapter thirty-one. These two little boys do for their aunt what the medical world couldn't. They give her hope; they awaken in her the memory of being loved and needed. They also give her back her dignity and her identity when they spread the contents of her wallet out on her tray. This event echoes the aunt's need for honesty as she resolves her insolvency in an earlier episode in the novel, and her nephews know this. She is discharged from the hospital after her aneurysm (not her stroke as the reviewer has it) at her own request and on her own terms.

    All over the world victims of a brain aneurysm leave hospitals, just like I did. Many of them are holding the hands of small children. To say that my book suggests that a hospital would discharge an adult into a child's care is a silly and irresponsible misreading. Kirkus Reviews, I think your reputation is more at stake on this one than mine is.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2010

    Compelling story, with gems of observation within

    My favorite writers are the ones that I can count on to provide me with "stop and ponder" moments in whatever book they write. I can now happily add Jean Stringham to that list. Her debut novel "The Hoarders" is a deeply affecting story of two brothers who do what they must to survive in a world filled with instability and undependable caretakers. This is sad of course, but the courage and commitment of Cheyenne, the oldest, to care for his younger brother and their aunt and step up and BE the caretaker, is heartening to behold. But beyond the praiseworthy merits of the story itself, I truly relished the moments of description and observation that resonated in me. They caused me to literally stop reading and just savor them for the human truth depicted therein. Here is an example: "Momma smiled at him and gave him a hug. I like watching them together. When I'm in the middle of the hugging, it's hard for me to keep a balance on things. How I feel seems to tip and blur and get confused. But when I watch Momma and Joaquin together, it's like I know how to feel her kind of love." This is great writing!

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  • Posted July 1, 2010

    Satisfying on many levels

    On the first level, an interesting and compelling story. Second,Real-seeming characters. Third, A book you wish young people would read because of the ideas. Fourth, A book you'd like to talk with young people about. Fifth, You really worry about two brothers and their dilemma, wondering how on earth they'll ever work things out. Sixth, Believable kids with loyalty and resourcefulnessface adult responsibilities no kid should have to.

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  • Posted June 30, 2010

    Great book. will never forget this story....fantastic....

    Just Finishedit...great fantastic, heartfelt...all the adjectives. You would make Mr. Gabert very proud and then some. You have a natural wonderful way of painting in the readers' mind vivid pictures of every life situation you desribe in one short paragraph of relatively short sentenes...You haveit mastered. The way you told the story through Cheyenne I think is classic. I enjoyed the nick names of the twins..I laughed out loud on page 138...Vinegar and Oil, Rough and tumble, and Vigor and Vim. I sort of wish we would have done that with Matt and Marianne but we never would havebeen fun. Aunt Amy and her how you can relate to that...I was in Atlanta on the phone with you and you had to stop abruptly...lying on the floor running out of strength. Thank God you had a full recovery. Jean, you are very talented. I hope you sell a bazillion copies. For lack of words I an only echo the threeparagraphs on the backcover. I'm recommending it to all my family and friends. I'm glad Dead Uncle Dick got his Richard back in theend. (I'm glad I never got tagged with Dick). Again, Congratulations, well done.... I'm proud to actually know a real author. It wouldn't surprise me if you are not already working on another book. Stay healthy and lovelife. The best to you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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