Ann Grifalconi Not Home: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780316329057

Not Home: A Novel

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9780316329057: Not Home: A Novel
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Tommy and his brother are left in the temporary care of an inner-city group home, where Tommy befriends silent and unapproachable Jimmy, whom the other boys avoid. By the author of The Village of Round and Square Houses.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-7?When their mother has to have major surgery, Tommy, 10, and his younger brother, Dicky, are placed in an inner-city children's home. There, the older boy feels threatened and out of place. He is drawn to a quiet fellow resident named Jimmy, who has a cool demeanor that gains him the respect of the other boys. But when his brother dies of TB, Jimmy withdraws and becomes depressed. One day when Dicky is missing for a while, Jimmy speaks for the first time in days to warn Tommy to take care of his brother. Sadly, Jimmy, too, is stricken with TB. The crisis draws the other boys at the home together. Just before Tommy and Dicky return home, Tommy visits Jimmy in the clinic. In a poignant scene, he gives his favorite baseball cap to him; he later tells his mother that he gave it away because "Jimmy doesn't have a mom like me." The time period of this story, told by Tommy, is never defined; it could be today, or 20 years ago. While the ending is somewhat neatly wrapped up, the characters, especially Tommy and Jimmy, are vividly drawn while still maintaining the voice of the child narrator. A fine first novel.?Marilyn Long Graham, Lee County Library System, Fort Myers, FL
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Picture book author and illustrator Grifalconi (The Lion's Whiskers, reviewed above) displays her prowess in another genre with this heartrending novel. When their mother is hospitalized, Tommy and his younger brother, Dicky, must move into an inner-city group home. At once terrified and remarkably self-assured, Tommy is well aware that his is a heavy load: since his father was killed by a stray bullet in their drug-infested neighborhood, he has been, in his mother's words, "the man of the house"; now he is given the task of watching out for Dicky in the threatening environment of "The Home." Propelled not by action but by Tommy's inner monologue and dialogue with his peers and the home's staff, this novel may be overly ponderous for the average middle-grade reader. Others may be put off by the gosh-golly quality of much of Tommy's first-person narration, which is studded with exclamation marks and fringed with an inconsistent dialect. But those drawn into Tommy's story will be moved by its emotionally charged, bittersweet conclusion. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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