Paper things by Jennifer Richard Jacobsen

Hi everyone, I hope you are counting down the sleeps towards Christmas like my two nieces. There’s always something unexpected under their tree for them. This week’s review post is a small story I found quite by chance. Unlike the majority of us the tweens in this read have struggles I found hard to fathom. 

cover image of small white paper cut-out of house and while moon above it. green background with white stars behind. white thin letters above reads Paper Things.
An engaging read…

Title: Paper things

Author: Jennifer Richard Jacobsen

Genre: Contemporary

Publication details: Candlewick Press; Somerville, Mass (US), 2015

ISBN: 9780763663230 (Paperback)

What this book is about: When Ari’s mother died four years ago, she made Ari promise that she and her older brother, Gage, would stay together always. So when Gage decides he can no longer live with their bossy guardian, Janna, Ari knows she has to go with this, even though they don’t have an apartment yet. Instead, Gage and Ari “couch surf”, crashing with friends or sneaking into shelters to escape the cold Maine nights. In all this chaos, there is one thing that gives Ari comfort: her Paper Things. She knows she’s too old to play with the paper people she’s cut out of magazines over the years, but it’s nice to pretend to have a big, happy family and a home with a room all her own. Of course it would be better if she didn’t have to pretend. A heartrending novel of a homeless kid hiding in plain sight – and the people who help her out along the way. 

My review: what a beautiful story this was! I would be lying if I said I didn’t burst into tears in between chapters. I really loved the characters of Ari and her brother Gage. It took me a while to understand how this kind of situation could arise for someone so young. Hence the tears which made reading a bit difficult. The themes of friendship and family are deftly interwoven with those of loyalty and honesty. I hadn’t realised that homelessnes was such a huge issue and the impacts it had on children until I read titles like these. I hope you enjoy this read as much as I did!! 

My rating: 4 ⭐

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