You Are Here

You Are Here

3.7 16
by Jennifer E. Smith
     
 

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Emma Healy has grown used to being the only ordinary one in her rather extraordinary family. But when she finds a birth certificate for a twin brother she never knew she had, along with a death certificate dated just two days later, she realizes why she never felt quite whole. She sets off on a trip to visit her brother’s grave. Peter Finnegan, her neighbor,… See more details below

Overview

Emma Healy has grown used to being the only ordinary one in her rather extraordinary family. But when she finds a birth certificate for a twin brother she never knew she had, along with a death certificate dated just two days later, she realizes why she never felt quite whole. She sets off on a trip to visit her brother’s grave. Peter Finnegan, her neighbor, comes along for the ride. Emma thinks they can’t possibly have anything in common, but with each passing mile, they find themselves learning more and more about themselves and each other.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—This book has as rocky a start as the road trip it describes. Emma, 16, feels disconnected from her family of academics and brilliant people. Rather than compete for attention, she's happier being alone. Then she discovers a reason for her feeling of isolation. She had a twin brother who died two days after they were born. Emma, determined to find out more, sets off on a road trip from New York State to North Carolina to see her brother's grave. When her car breaks down in New Jersey, she calls her neighbor Peter, who arrives in a stolen yellow convertible. Along the way, Emma adopts a stray dog, makes peace with her family, and learns that there's more to Peter than his interest in maps and the Civil War. Told in alternating chapters by Emma and Peter, the plot moves jerkily from the present to the past, then back to the present. After an uneven beginning, however, the novel becomes more engaging as Emma seeks answers to why she was never told about her brother.—Melissa Rabey, Frederick County Public Libraries, Frederick, MD
Kirkus Reviews
Two 16-year-old loners plus a dog take a road trip that brings them together; it's a familiar plot, but Smith invests her somewhat odd and isolated characters with some distinctions that help to make this feel more fresh than that description might lead readers to believe. Emma is a much-younger child in a family of academically gifted children and parents, while Peter's father is the town sheriff in the upstate New York college town where they live and occasionally share space at the same time. As acquaintances recognizing a bond of sorts, they gradually begin to open up to each other. Peter's mother died at his birth, and Emma has just discovered a birth and death certificate minutes apart for a twin brother never before known. An alternating focus on each establishes the differences that have nonetheless managed to lead them to share a similar journey. Still, it's a half-relayed journey at best, one that fails to deal realistically with money, potty breaks or other mundane details of life on the road-a lapse that might well prove fatal with readers. (Fiction. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
"A unique voice, comic and moving." -- Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of All We Know of Heaven and The Deep End of the Ocean

"You Are Here doesn't just take you on a memorable road trip, it takes you on a journey of the heart." -- Lisa Schroeder, author of I Heart You,You Haunt Me

"You Are Here is a thoughtful, sensitive story of self-discovery." -- Deb Caletti, author of Honey, Baby, Sweetheart and Wild Roses

Children's Literature - Amalia Selle
Put a map-crazy history buff, an ordinary teenage girl, a three-legged large-hearted dog, and one blue convertible together and the result enchants. Emma Healy, daughter of two college professors, and Peter Finnegan, son of the local police chief, have lived next to each other for years. As the youngest in a brilliant family of academics who often forget the basics amidst their philosophizing, Emma as always struggled to fit in. The only son of widower with no ambitions and few parenting skills, Peter struggles to relate to a father who refuses to tell him about his mother. Emma's discovery of the birth and death certificate of a twin she never knew she had provides the catalyst that propels both teenagers out of their homes. They are drawn together by mutual need. Emma needs a car; Peter needs to finally follow his beloved maps. They begin a trip from upstate New York to North Carolina. This trip soon proves more than pilgrimage to a grave or a Civil War battlefield. The characters are masterfully drawn and the plot contains the right amount of humor and poignancy to attract those in search of a heartwarming and entertaining read. Reviewer: Amalia Selle

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442407756
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
02/23/2010
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
373,306
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
13 Years

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