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A Tinfoil Sky

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  194 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Mel and her mother, Cecily, know what it’s like to live rough, whether it’s on the streets or in the apartment of an abusive man.When Cecily announces that they’ve had enough and that they are going to go home to her mother’s, Mel dreams of security, a comfortable bed, and a grandmother’s love seem to be about to come true. But some mistakes cannot be easily forgiven or ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Tundra Books
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Jan 04, 2012 Catie rated it liked it
This book is very sweet. It’s like a sort of modern day version of Heidi – with the heroine becoming separated from her mother because of homelessness, poverty, and addiction, and with a judgmental, grieving grandmother standing in the grandfather role.

It’s obvious that the author has dealt with homelessness and poverty in teens before. Excluding a few times when I felt like Mel’s tribulations were softened a bit, Mel’s story seems realistic to me. However, I still just couldn’t connect with it
Shirley Marr
Dec 04, 2011 Shirley Marr rated it liked it
Shelves: usa-ya, usa-mg
Okay then boys & girls, I know you've been dying for this one (not literally of course har-dee-har). I'm going to dispense with the good first okay, so if you're after the bad, you'll have to scroll all the way to the bottom of this thick chunk-a-review to reach it.

Firstly, I see the author of this book, Cyndi Sand-Eveland has worked as a teaching assistant for children with learning difficulties, an ESL tutor and helped with the homeless - in other words the woman is a saint. A Tinfoil Sky
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Dec 23, 2011 Cassi aka Snow White Haggard rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011, galleys
Whenever I review a book with middle grade leanings I tend to find myself using the same words. "Sweet" and "cute" but neither of those describe Tinfoil Sky. When I searched my mind the word that I came up with was heartfelt. This book is full of feeling, genuine and messy yet realistic.

What does it feel like to be in the same place today as you were yesterday, as you will be tomorrow? Cecily liked change. Lots of it. Mel, on the other hand, did not.

In some ways this is a very sad story. Mel an
Jenna Anderson
Nov 29, 2011 Jenna Anderson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
A Tinfoil Sky will be released January 10, 2012

“When Things Get Better”

Readers need to pick up this book. People who walk by homeless families, look away from the man on the street corner, or tease the classmate who only owns two shirts - you need to read this story in order to be reminded that these are real people.

Mel is a character you want to cheer for. I found myself pulled deep into her life and hoping for the best. Ms. Sand-Eveland is a skilled author and gave the 12-year-old, Mel, an ho
Nov 26, 2012 Paula rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
A nice small story about a girl with tremendous inner strength. Her mother is unreliable on a level that qualifies as neglect. Her grandmother is one of the most bitter and spiteful characters I've encountered in a long time. Brilliantly drawn grandmother. Things happen. Things change. I had been worried that the homeless angle in the story combined with a boozing law-breaking mother (who makes bad choices where men are concerned) might make this inappropriate for junior-age readers, but I find ...more
Jul 26, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it
Enjoyed these characters and a fairly realistic situation, though: why does the homeless girl ALWAYS love to read? Why does the library ALWAYS provide salvation?
Gail Neale-Sedgeiwck
Nov 06, 2012 Gail Neale-Sedgeiwck rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully written book that tells a story of a life that is too real for some young children. Loved the ending, and the cat
Mar 21, 2012 Kary rated it it was amazing
First, a big thank you to Tundra and Netgalley for the chance to read and review this book!

I honestly did not expect to be blown away by this book - maybe because of the rather unexciting cover (once again, we can't ALWAYS judge a book by its cover, can we?), but I was. I read this book practically all in one sitting!

The book starts with Cecily and 12 year-old Mel, a homeless mother and daughter, who are fleeing from Cecily's abusive boyfriend. Cecily is hoping to return "home" to her mother who
Victoria Whipple
Jun 13, 2012 Victoria Whipple rated it really liked it
Mel and Cecily (her mother) are fleeing Cecily's boyfriend, and Mel is told they are going "home" to her grandmother's place. Unfortunately, Cecily has alienated her mother with a lifetime of addiction and all its complications, and when they arrive at Gladys's apartment, she send them away. This is certainly not the first time Mel and Cecily have had to live out of their Pinto. They find the local soup kitchen, and Mel befriends Rose, who runs the kitchen. Mel also becomes a regular at the ...more
Erin Forson
Jan 04, 2012 Erin Forson rated it liked it
A Tinfoil Sky
By Cyndi Sand-Eveland
3 Scribbles
Release Date January 10, 2012
Twelve-year-old Mel cannot believe her good fortune when her mom, Cecily, decides to leave her jerk boyfriend and return "home" to Mel’s grandmother. Mel and Cecily have moved eleven times during the past four years, and Mel is absolutely thrilled about the chance to meet the grandmother she cannot remember. She dreams of a bedroom all her own, the same school all year long, friends, and a much-coveted library card. Wha
Dec 01, 2011 EeeJay rated it it was amazing
Overall Feel
I hope no one has to go through a bit of what Melody did (even though I am aware that nothing actually happened to her). The worst part of having an unstable parent (or relative or friend, whatever) is the uncertainty. Although the book's not depressing, it does make you think and for those reasons alone, I give this story 5 stars. The funny thing is, the book's written as if for kindergarten-ers but the content's so mature. That makes sense because while Melody is 12 and although in
Sarah Sammis
Feb 08, 2012 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
Cyndi Sand-Eveland says she was inspired to write A Tinfoil Sky when she met a homeless girl and her father in Eugene Oregon. It was a brief exchange of spare change but it was enough to spark her novel about Mel and her mother facing homelessness while escaping an abusive boyfriend and not being allowed to come home.

Mel and her mother end up sleeping in their car, parked under a bridge until it's eventually towed. By then Mel has started to get to know a few people in her mother's home town. Th
Feb 26, 2015 Glenda rated it really liked it
Mel and her mother Cecily have very different wants. Although Mel goes along when Cecily wants to make lists of all the places they're going to live once they "make it," Mel really just wants a place to call home. Life is always in flux with Cecily in charge. They have just left the current boyfriend's place in the middle of the night in his car to go "home." Once they're on the road, Cecily lets Mel know they're going to her mom's place and that things are going to be better. Mel imagines her ...more
David Durston
Feb 19, 2013 David Durston rated it really liked it
What does it mean to have a home? Cyndi Sand-Eveland explores this important theme (and many others) in her heart wrenching novel A Tinfoil Sky. In this novel, Cecily and her daughter Mel leave her ex-boyfriend and return to her mother's apartment in the town she grew up in. Upon their arrival, Cecily's mother Gladys won't let her daughter return, and the two are left to live in their car. After Cecily makes some bad choices, Mel is left to live with Gladys and try to mend a relationship that ...more
Pam Torres
Jan 10, 2012 Pam Torres rated it it was amazing
First of all, bravo to Cyndi for addressing a difficult issue, homelessness in a children's book. We often hear about the difficulties that the adults face by being homeless, but rarely the children, let alone their point of view. I believe this would be a great book to help open up the conversation about poverty, homelessness and ultimately how to respect people no matter what their perceived reality is.
Mel reminds me of a couple of children I worked with in my writing and art classes, anxiou
Feb 19, 2012 cecilia rated it liked it
Simple is as simple does, A Tinfoil Sky does not have a whole lot going on – at least, when I sit back and contemplate the book for this review, I cannot recall anything remarkable. Which can be viewed as a problem, yes? Let’s see, A Tinfoil Sky is about a girl who ends up in the custory of her ornery grandmother (more or less, a stranger) because her no-good mother lands in jail. After living with bad men to even worse men that her mother manages to find, Mel finally has a place to call “home” ...more
Ms. Yingling
Melody's mother, Cecily, has never been the best mother. The most recent problem the two have is running from the latest boyfriend. Cecily decided to go "home", but her mother, Gladys, is not happy to see the pair, since Cecily's last visit resulted in many of Gladys' things being stolen. When Cecily ends up in jail for shop lifting, Mel's only resort is to live with Gladys, who grudgingly takes her in. Mel is happy that she can get a library card, and starts to spend much of her summer vacation ...more
Jan 15, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing
A Tinfoil Sky by Cindy Sand-Eveland follows Mel who has lived a rough life. When her mother pulls Mel in the middle of the night from her abusive boyfriends house to move near her grandmother the two end up homeless. After Mel's mother is arrested she moves in with her grandmother who is less than welcoming. With the help of a few kind strangers things in Mel's life start to change.

This is an interesting book that lets readers into the life of a homeless pre-teen. I really enjoyed Mel and found
Carly (Lis les Livres)

This was an interesting read about a homeless girl trying to find herself a home. It was short, but I will admit that for me it was not quick. When I wasn't reading it, I didn't find myself wanting to be. I found the story a bit slow and sad. However, I did like the main character Mel. She was just someone trying to find her way like we all are during some part of our own lives. After reading the ending, I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't particuraly
This was a fabulous story of a young girl forced to follow her drug-addict mother around from man to man, dealer to dealer. Mel never knew a normal life with a normal home. At least she didn't remember one. One day Mel's mom decides to take them back to her hometown to live with her mother, a grandmother Mel doesn't even remember. They are not welcomed with the warm and open, loving arms that she dreams of. Instead they end up living in the car and singing for change on the corner. One day her ...more
Raegan Rocco
Apr 18, 2013 Raegan Rocco rated it it was amazing
Knowing that you have one person in the whole world that really loves you can make a young person's world secure and help them make crucial decisions that will impact their lives forever...this novel beautifully articulates such a relationship. It inspires us to think that no matter where we come from or what we have had to deal with, we still have the ability to choose our own of love and health or one of fear and distress, brutally hard choices for children to make but in reality ...more
Jan 18, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen, juvenile
Mel’s mom, Cecily, says to 12 year old Mel, “We’re going home.” Home is where Mel’s Grandma Gladys lives and, as Mel has never had a real home, she looks forward to the move. Until they get there and Gladys won’t answer the door. Their car breaks down right outside of town and Mel and her mom live out of the car for a little while, going to a soup kitchen and begging for handouts. One day, Mel’s mom doesn’t come home and this is when Mel’s journey really begins. Along the way, she meets a ...more
Logan D
Mar 21, 2013 Logan D rated it it was amazing
Wow. I didn't think I would like this book, I thought it would be like a "Bla bla bla i don't really like this book but i have to read it for silver birch books" but I really loved this book. I was like "Please don't stop me from reading this book, please i just want to read it all day" It was very confusing just jumping into the story like that but it took a couple of pages to get what was going on. This was just a really good book and I am rating it a 5 out of 5 the only thing I want is a ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Peggy rated it it was amazing
Meant for younger readers, this is the story of 12-yr-old Mel. Mel ends up running with her mother to escape a bad relationship, only to discover that their home is to be the bad seat of their car. When the car breaks down, and Mel's mother is arrested and put in jail, Mel is forced to go live with the grandmother she is pretty sure hates her. As the past unravels, Mel finds out that things are never as simple as they seem.

Excellent plot and character development. The story moves quickly to keep
Jun 25, 2015 Bookhoarder rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: MIddle school students
A book for middle school students that will have them encourage compassion, maybe open discussions about families- what makes a family, home- what makes a home, and what hard decisions do some children have to make every day. This book was not typical book for my son with an expected good-bad, right-wrong ending or characters. It did have him thinking and we had lots of discussions about Mel and her mother and grandmother. YAY! Book discussions!

Meagan Houle
Aug 05, 2014 Meagan Houle rated it liked it
This is definitely a young adult novel, so it's not gleaming with brilliance. That being said, it is absolutely packed with emotion; even though the plot was predictable and the prose lacked imagination, I kept reading because I cared so much about Mel. I wanted her to be okay so desperately that I read the entire book in one sitting. This book will do a little more than pass the time. It might even make you cry.
Nov 10, 2013 NightAuditMan rated it liked it
My daughter left this book sitting on my nightstand and having nothing to read upstairs, I picked it up.

This is a nice little heartwarming tale of a little girl who takes back control of her life after living with a less then stellar mother.

I knew someone like this growing up and so I could easily relate to the tale. I found the writing to be solid, and the central characters to be interesting enough to polish off the book in no time at all.
Feb 19, 2015 Alpha rated it really liked it
I liked this book. Sometimes I felt like the characters and scenes were immediately recognizable and that the narrative moved in very predictable ways but Mel's experience of finally finding an emotional and physical home is important and well-rendered. I especially liked the description of her grandmother's apartment and her relationship with Mr. Frohberger. I also appreciated the way in which the ending wasn't tidy or neatly uplifting.
Roxanne Meek
Jan 28, 2013 Roxanne Meek rated it it was amazing
I read this and will be reading the 9 other Silver Birch Nominees for school. I absolutely loved this. It's a very sad, but unfortunately true, story of a little girl who just wants a real "home". This girl loves the library and finds comfort there. So enjoyable. Unless the others are amazing, this one will get my vote for sure!!!
Rachel Seigel
Jul 13, 2012 Rachel Seigel rated it really liked it
I was expecting this to be another issue-based, depressing novel, but it was surprisingly uplifting. I really liked the main character Mel, and I loved the subtle and gradual shift in the relationship between her and her grandmother. It's a story about a child's desire to belong somewhere and to put down roots, and how a community library helps her do just that.
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Author Cyndi Sand-Eveland has worked with elementary-aged children for the past fifteen years as a teaching assistant for students with learning disabilities and ESL students. She has led storytelling and journal writing workshops for primary and intermediate students. She has also worked as a freelance storyteller, children’s library assistant, and sign language interpreter. Dear Toni and her ...more
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