Reviews for Home, And Other Big, Fat Lies


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
Whitney--aka "Termite"--is a foster kid with lots of energy and a big mouth. Her twelfth foster home is located in a depressed logging town in rural northern California, where she unexpectedly falls in love with nature and the great outdoors. Termite's first-person narration--including misheard and mixed-up phrases--is both hilarious and heartwarming without being sappy. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2006 September #2
Eleven-year-old Whitney, aka Termite, arrives at her 12th foster home, in remote Forest Glen, prepared for the worst. Termite soon discovers that foster children are a cottage industry in this logging town where layoffs have meant psychological as well as economic depression for the loggers. Termite might be the loudest of the band of fosters at Forest Glen Elementary, but she is by no means the most eccentric. From this ragtag band, Termite fashions a cohesive mutual support group and, with her foster brother as an unlikely ally, goes head to head with the newly re-hired loggers who want to cut down an aged redwood lovingly known as Big Momma. A sweet, spirited tale told with warmth and humor about a determined misfit who finds a home at last in a family and a community. (Fiction. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2006 December

Gr 5-7 Whitney thinks of home as “a place where other people belong.” She’s heading to “Foster Home #12” in Forest Glen, CA. Knowing that no one will want to keep a “superfunny, hyper, loudmouthed” kid, she reminds herself that the situation will be temporary. When she meets her foster family, she soon realizes that the McCrarys and the entire lumber-based community have suffered hard times due to an economic downturn and logging bans to protect habitat. Once again, she’s the outsider, but not for long: she becomes a leader among the many other “fosters” in the school (mostly taken in for the monthly income); a caring science teacher encourages her interest in her new surroundings; and Striker, the McCrary’s son, shows her that nature doesn’t make mistakes and that everything has its place in the forest. When logging begins again in the town, the two bond together to save their favorite redwood, Big Momma. Whitney’s first-person narrative is lively and humorous. She tends to approach and evaluate new ideas and situations with rapid-fire questions, and creatively reinvents idioms to say exactly what she means. The ending is a bit predictable, but the protagonist’s spunky voice will engage readers. Fans of Patricia Reilly Giff’s Pictures of Hollis Woods (Random, 2002) will appreciate Whitney’s independence and plucky spirit. Kelly Czarnecki, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg, NC

[Page 158]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2006 October
Sixth grader Whitney is heading out to her twelfth foster home-this time in the middle of nowhere. Born with a heart condition and ADHD, she knows that she is a handful and that this one will end up to be just one more place where other people belong. She just wishes that stupid feeling would not slip in at the worst possible moment-the one that makes her hope that this family will be the one "down on their knees, praying night and day about having a superfunny, hyper, loudmouthed, messy, small-for-her-age foster kid." Needing to squash that idea down before it gets out of hand, Whitney makes sure that she gets noticed on her own terms before anyone gets any ideas about who she is or what she needs. What she does not count on is a school where half the students are fosters in a broken-down town torn between the logging industry and the environmentalists. Finding a hidden nature girl under her city background, Whitney makes a stand for her beliefs and rallies the support of some surprising allies along the way Written with humor and sensitivity, this book from the author of a 2005 Perfect Ten novel, What I Call Life (Henry Holt, 2005/VOYA December 2005), tackles issues from fitting in with family and friends to getting through school to making a difference in the community. There is no preaching here, just honest to goodness situational humor perfect for starting a discussion on environmental topics. It might just encourage youth to find ways to stand out while fitting in.-Angie Hammond 5Q 4P M J Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.

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