by Janae Marks
Katherine Tegen Books
In this compelling and heartfelt mystery story, Janae Marks--author of the acclaimed bestselling From the Desk of Zoe Washington--follows a young girl reshaping her meaning of home. Perfect for fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Rebecca Stead.
"Joyful. A book that kids will love." --Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me
Joy Taylor has always believed home is the house she lived in her entire life. But then her dad lost his job, and suddenly, home becomes a tiny apartment with thin walls, shared bedrooms, and a place for tense arguments between Mom and Dad. Hardest of all, Joy doesn't have her music to escape through anymore. Without enough funds, her dreams of becoming a great pianist--and one day, a film score composer--have been put on hold.
A friendly new neighbor her age lets Joy in on the complex's best-kept secret: the Hideout, a cozy refuge that only the kids know about. And it's in this little hideaway that Joy starts exchanging secret messages with another kid in the building who also seems to be struggling, until--abruptly, they stop writing back. What if they're in trouble?
Joy is determined to find out who this mystery writer is, fast, but between trying to raise funds for her music lessons, keeping on a brave face for her little sister, and worrying about her parents' marriage, Joy isn't sure how to keep her own head above water.
Target Age: 8 to 12
"At turns poignant and affirmative, this sophomore novel by Marks ( From the Desk of Zoe Washington) imparts invaluable messages on growing up, being honest, and communicating feelings to loved ones."-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This relatable story touches on topics such as divorce (Joy's parents briefly separate, then reconcile), the ups and downs of having a job at a young age, and the difficulties that arise from keeping secrets from family and friends. . . There is a diverse cast of characters with different experience . . . VERDICT An engaging coming-of-age story that will appeal to a wide range of readers."--School Library Journal
About the Author:
Janae Marks is the author of the critically acclaimed novel From the Desk of Zoe Washington. She grew up in the New York City suburbs and now lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughter. She has an MFA in writing for children from the New School. Visit Janae online at www.janaemarks.com.