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Pieces of Me
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Pieces of Me
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Maddie is living on the streets, trying to protect herself and make enough money to get a place to stay and find a way to go back to school. When she meets Q, she is wary but welcomes his friendship....
Maddie is living on the streets, trying to protect herself and make enough money to get a place to stay and find a way to go back to school. When she meets Q, she is wary but welcomes his friendship....
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  • Maddie is living on the streets, trying to protect herself and make enough money to get a place to stay and find a way to go back to school. When she meets Q, she is wary but welcomes his friendship. And then she meets Dylan, a six-year-old boy, living on the streets with his family. When Dylan's father asks Maddie to watch the boy for a while, she is happy to help. But Dylan's parents don't come back; and Maddie and Q are left looking after him. Trying to make a life together and care for her makeshift family, Maddie finds that maybe she has to ask for help.

About the Author-

  • Darlene Ryan has been writing for as long as she can remember, although she pursued post-secondary degrees in biology and education. Despite being endlessly fascinated by theories on the origin of the universe, she decided she wasn't cut out to be a scientist and returned to writing. Darlene was the 2006 poet recipient of the Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Early Childhood Literacy Award. As Sofie Kelly, she writes the best-selling Magical Cats mysteries. She lives with her family in Fredericton, New Brunswick. More information is available at www.darleneryan.com

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2012
    A gritty portrait of teens and children living on the street suffers from a too-tidy ending. Maddie has been living on the street since her mom's boyfriend started hitting her. After leaving a manipulative church service, she meets Q, another street kid, who offers to let Maddie sleep in his car. Though at first suspicious, Maddie says yes: Q will ask fewer questions than the well-meaning shelter director who wants to reunite kids with their families, and the piece of glass Maddie keeps in her pocket will protect her if need be. As Maddie grows to trust Q, the two forge a sort of family together. An abandoned child soon falls under their care; they rent a squalid apartment from an exploitative slumlord; and a skittish 12-year-old, first offered to Q in a poker bet, slowly warms up to them too. Day-to-day existence is rendered in believable and exhausting detail. Maddie and Q acquire food, manage the stresses of caring for a child and attempt to make enough money to get by. Despite both young people's certainty that foster care would be a worse solution than the life they've cobbled together, the book ends with a sudden turnaround that implies that adults and institutions can always save lives like Maddie's. A sadly simplistic finish mars an otherwise complex survival story. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2013

    Gr 8 Up-A gritty, realistic look at teen homelessness. Unwilling to endure physical abuse from her mom's new boyfriend, Maddie leaves home and learns how to get by. Life is hard, but she is fiercely independent and wouldn't have it any other way. Then she meets Q. They both have altruistic hearts-something rare on the streets-and they team up for platonic company. When a homeless family asks if Maddie would watch their six-year-old son, she agrees. However, the family doesn't come back for Dylan, and now Maddie and Q have a makeshift family. Eventually, 12-year-old Leo also joins them. Maddie's maternal instincts and emotions are spot-on-she is by turns loving, protective, frustrated, and unselfish. She and Q do what they can to provide some semblance of stability for Dylan and Leo, and perhaps the assumption of parental roles is what turns their platonic relationship sexual. Their resourcefulness is quite amazing. However, Q's means of providing for the others is playing poker, which becomes their downfall when the stakes get too high. With her fragile world falling apart, Maddie realizes that she needs to ask for help for Dylan, Leo, and, ultimately, for herself. This story realistically portrays several reasons children and teens become homeless.-Lisa Crandall, Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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