Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Almost Home” as Want to Read:
Almost Home
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Almost Home

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  5,653 Ratings  ·  738 Reviews
Newbery Honor winner Joan Bauer's new novel will touch your heart
When twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar's mother has taught her to be
...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Viking Children's
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Almost Home, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Kelsi_Betsy It is an amazing book, beautiful, hopeful, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. :)
Tayor Mitchell yes she does but i wont tell u where u havt to read it yourself!!!!
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Liviania
Oct 22, 2012 Liviania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's all take a moment to appreciate the cover of ALMOST HOME. First, and most importantly, the adorable puppy. But it's appropriate for the intended audience without alienating crossover audiences. It could be the cover of a women's fiction or chick-lit novel as easily as a middle-grade one. Classy.

Now, the blurb and press release had me running for the hills. A girl named Sugar Mae Cole becomes homeless and goes into foster care with her rescue dog Shush? It sounds like a recipe for a treacly
...more
Pam
Jan 21, 2013 Pam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up Almost Home from the library intending my ten year old to read it. What an adorable puppy on the cover! So I flipped through the book as I always do when I am not familiar the the story, and I ended up reading the book myself. I immediately heard the voice of CeeCee Honeycutt of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman ringing loud and clear in the sixth-grade protagonist Sugar Mae Cole. Almost Home's storyline is comparable to Saving CeeCee Honeycutt in its tone and family dysfunctio ...more
Kelsey Preston
Feb 01, 2015 Kelsey Preston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Once, long ago, a girl lost her home, but she didn't lose her dream. She hung onto it as the wind kept trying to blow it away, But that just made it stronger." The genre of Almost Home is Realistic Fiction. I absolutely loved this book!
The setting takes place in Missouri and then in Chicago. Sugar and her mom, Reba have to get out of their house by Friday because Reba can't pay the mortgage on the house. Sugar's grandfather, King Cole, dies and Sugar still thinks about him and writes many poem
...more
Linda Lipko
Don't let the cover full you! There is nothing over the top fluffy about the tale of a spunky, spirited, scared twelve year old whose father is a jerk and whose mother needs the jerk in her life more than needing to provide stability for her daughter.

There is nothing soft and fuzzy about a mother who is emotionally, mentally unstable and whose actions lead to homelessness for herself and her daughter.

Highly recommended. This is a poignant, honest look at how very strong young children can be und
...more
Meghan McClurg
Sep 28, 2014 Meghan McClurg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grade-6, fall-2014, review
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
marcy marshall
Nov 21, 2014 marcy marshall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books
Do you like to read heart warming book's? If so this is a prefect book for you ,that will have you running for a box of tissues. This is a realistic fiction and a heart warming story that will touch your heart .
*** spoiler alert ***
This story takes place in Missouri and Chicago and the reason why it takes place in two different setting is because sugar who is the main character first lived in Missouri in the beginning of the story then sugar became homeless and moved to Chicago to have a fresh
...more
Becky
Sep 29, 2012 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though this one has a dog on the cover, I knew I had to read it because it is Joan Bauer. I trust Bauer. I do. I trust her books to be good if not great. Almost Home did not disappoint. It was a compelling read, an emotional one. For the heroine, Sugar Mae Cole, goes through some tough things. She's such a wonderful, lovable heroine. I loved the fact that writing was one of the ways she coped, loved to see her writing and sharing poetry, loved the fact that she was able to stay connected wi ...more
Audrey
Nov 09, 2013 Audrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! It was a pretty much perfect book. I started it and finished it in one night. The poetry was really good and I loved the characters!

Sugar Mae Cole was so awesome. She was really nice to everyone even though she was homeless, her dad was an alcoholic, and her mom was having mental problems, she was so sweet(and I don't usually use that word, but I feel like it is the only way to describe her) to everyone she meets. I loved the notes she wrote to people. It was kind of funny when she
...more
Linda
Jun 01, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-ya, read-2013
I just finished Blue Balliett’s Hold Fast, and have read One for The Murphy’s by Linda Mullahy Hunt, a favorite last year. This book by Joan Bauer is another treasure about being homeless, so much to share about the feelings and experiences one has that I hadn’t thought about. When Sugar, the main character, is told to “go out there and set the world on fire”, she replies, “Yes, ma’am, I will.” but further thoughts reveal more: “Every time she said it, I felt a little candle trying to light in ...more
Teresa Garrett
A book about homelessness from the veiw point of a 6th grader who unexpectedly find herself in this predicament. Could be paired with: Also Known as Harper, How To Steal A Dog, Waiting For Normal, Dicey's Song, Hound Dog True, and Keeping Safe the Stars. Not finished reading more to come later. I love Sugar's voice and the fact that she uses writing as an escape from her homelessness.

Sugar is handed a blow when she and her mother find themselves homeless. Things go from bad to worse quickly as
...more
Annie Oosterwyk
This is the moving and powerful story of a young girl with everything stacked against her. Sugar and her mother become homeless as a result of her father's gambling and her mother's enabling behavior. Her father disappears (as usual) and she and her mother move to Chicago following a "promised" job offer.
This story proves how hard it is to get back on your feet once you've hit rock bottom. Sugar is put in foster care when her mother is sent to the hospital. Both of them begin the process of hea
...more
Michelle
Jan 31, 2014 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a well written book which addresses a lot of life issues. It's a great book for middle school kids to read as it deals with homelessness, alcoholism and drugs - with honesty. The way Sugar feels about her homelessness is very tangible, and the way she overcomes her adversity is uplifting. I appreciated her use of language and poetry and the important role that her teacher played in her life - even when Sugar moved away and attended a different school. There are a lot of touching parts i ...more
Deirdre
Sep 22, 2013 Deirdre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh. My. God. If there were ever a time NOT to judge a book by its cover, this would be it. I stared at the painfully girly puppy on this book for weeks, dreading what I might find on its pages. It turns out, Almost Home made me cry more than I care to admit, and my heart soared for Sugar Mae Cole, the deserving protagonist. Bauer takes on homelessness and family dysfunction like no other, and I think anyone can see at least a little of themselves in one or two characters. Reba, Sugar's mom, is h ...more
Brookie ✳ Cookie ✳
This book is probably my favorite of all time, partly because Alyssa and I read it together and we were both obsessed with it. :)
Joy
if you love dogs, you should read this book. a heart-warming book
Kate Matson
2.5
Summary From Goodreads:
When twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar's mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. With the help of a rescue dog, Shush; a foster family; a supportive teacher; a love of poetry; and her own grace a
...more
Madeline
Sep 29, 2016 Madeline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost Home



Almost home is about a girl named Sugar who one day has a perfect life in her beautiful house with her mom and dad, but then the next day something horrible happened. Her dad Mr. Leland said he was going to go to the gas station, but then leaves his family. After that he was supposed to pay for the house rent but he left so he couldn't. So her mom said the finally had to give the house up. But before that her grandpa died. She loved her grandpa, he was always nice he would play games
...more
Anyce Paul-Emile
Have you ever wondered how it would be if you were homeless? Do you ever see homeless people on the streets? Maybe you don’t because you are not looking close enough. This is a realistic fiction story that is really heart felt, and will make you feel bad about the actions you do.
This story takes place in Missouri and Chicago. This story is about a young girl named Sugar. Who lives with her mother that is struggling with paying the bills. Sugar has a father who gambles and is never home and a gra
...more
Julie Cotton
Jul 08, 2016 Julie Cotton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those super-sweet stories that inspires you to deal with the crumby things in life and move on. Sugar's voice is strong, opinionated, but sweet all at the same time. A refreshing combination. It's hard not to love her. And don't even get me started on her little dog Shush - who purrs. But perhaps the best way to show how much I liked this book would be to highlight some of my favorites.

page 16 - I was in sixth grade and up for anything... -- "Why should I hire you over an eighth-g
...more
Megan Kurz
Sep 30, 2013 Megan Kurz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 8th-grade-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Molina
Nov 28, 2015 Sarah Molina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The plot of this story begins with Sugar's grandfather dying and her Sugar's dad leaving them. Sugar and her mom, Rebecca, are forced to leave to their house in Missouri, and go to Chicago because of money issues. Once they get to Chicago they find out that they don't have any money or a job. So they are homeless, Sugar knows and she and her mother are going to go through a hard time, thankfully with the help of her dog, her teacher, and poetry she is able to go through it. My favorite part of t ...more
Mommywest
Absolutely beautiful book about a sixth-grader named Sugar Mae Cole who ends up homeless when her mother has put up with her gambling, drifter husband far too long and can't pay the bills anymore. Sugar has to say goodbye to the only living adult who has truly understood her and appreciates her gift for writing--her English teacher, Mr. Bennett. Along the way, Sugar ends up caring for a homeless dog named Shush, who has to overcome his own set of troubles. Despite the cutesy cover, the main focu ...more
Nikita Gundawar
Mar 14, 2015 Nikita Gundawar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an interesting book to read and I love the way how it is set out. When Sugar's mum is in the hospital, the money she and her mum has saved to go to Chicago, a homeless puppy gives her the support she needs.

1) The reason why I decided to read this book is that I was just searching the aisles of the public library and suddenly my eyes fell on this book and I grab it then start reading the blurb of this book, I found it quite interesting and issued it. So, overall it was a random decis
...more
Stephanie
Aug 03, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad I didn't miss this one! What a story! Sugar is so full of positive energy that I wish I knew her and could help to shield her from the world. Not that she needs it, she finds strength from within. Still, she deserves to have a life with a lot less stress. Each day she tries to look for the positive and is thankful for the people who come into her life, no matter what lesson they teach her. Her dog, Shush, comes to her accidentally, but Sugar finds creative ways to take care of him. ...more
Adrienne
Sugar Mae Cole is enjoying sixth grade, particularly writing her thoughts and poems for Mr. B's writing class, but when her mother's financial woes force them out of their home and into a shelter, Sugar's survival skills are tested. Soon Sugar finds herself in foster care, while her mother is in the hospital after having an emotional breakdown. Sugar is left with a lot of emotions to sort through, which she does admirably well as she continues to write down her thoughts, takes care of an abused ...more
Natasha
Oct 01, 2013 Natasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sugar Mae Cole, a sixth grader, lives with her mother Reba,and a careless father. Sugar and Reba become homeless and try to pass through life with the challenging obstacles that get in their way. This meaningful and fascinating book is called Almost Home.

The characters in this book help Sugar and Reba by caring and acting as true friends do. A girl Sugar's age gives her advice and strength to get through these difficult times in her life. Another character named Dana Wood tries to help Sugar and
...more
Sophia
Oct 03, 2012 Sophia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sophia by: Julia Sternberg
This book is awesome.

I say this because despite having SO many other things I should have been doing with my time, I still read this book in about 36 hours. It was adorable and hilarious and moving and did I mention adorable and I had trouble putting it down every time I had to go back to work. And okay, I was skeptical about this book when I first saw it, because the cover looked overly cutesy, but this book is cute and important, instead of just sickeningly sweet. It's a sweet book, but the im
...more
Randi
Jan 22, 2013 Randi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and have already referenced it in several different conversations with all ages of people. Almost Home tells the story of Sugar Mae Cole and her mother, as they face losing their home and becoming part of the homeless population in this country. Fortunately for Sugar Mae, she has also been given a dog who was headed for homelessness himself, but who comes to Sugar and her Mom at just the right time. An added perk to this story is Sugar Mae's teacher, who does all the right thin ...more
Shannon Irion
Dec 10, 2013 Shannon Irion rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost Home is a realistic fiction book about a girl who was evicted from her home in Missouri. Soon after, she goes to Chicago with her mom to start a new life.
I loved it. I was crying from about an eighth through to almost two-thirds. If you read this book, you seriously need a box of tissues right next to you, because you will need to blow your nose about once a minute, if not more. The saddest part is that people really do act as if homeless people are nonexistent. Sugar Mae Cole, the main c
...more
Martha
Nov 09, 2012 Martha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
Normally I love Joan Bauer, but this was disappointing. A little formulaic (standard plucky heroine), heroine's "poetry" was awful, and most of the book was about how terrible it felt to be homeless. It IS terrible to be homeless, but there was not a lot of plot otherwise, and what there was seemed very predictable. Moreover, the showdown with the no-good husband just seemed over the top and unrealistic--as well as way too similar to a scene in another Joan Bauer book, Close to Famous. The whole ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Religious and Lea...: My Favorite Book 3 3 Mar 31, 2016 02:12PM  
Religious and Lea...: A New Adventure 1 2 Jan 24, 2014 12:07PM  
  • Outlaw
  • Twelve Kinds of Ice
  • Prairie Evers
  • Planet Tad
  • Kindred Souls
  • Ghetto Cowboy
  • Laugh with the Moon
  • One Year in Coal Harbor (Coal Harbour #2)
  • Little Dog, Lost
  • A Dog Called Homeless
  • Summer of the Gypsy Moths
  • Buddy
  • Kepler's Dream
  • One for the Murphys
  • Ava and Pip (Ava and Pip #1)
  • Never Say Die
  • Death by Toilet Paper
  • Sparrow Road
190441
From: http://www.joanbauer.com/jbbio.html

July 12, 1951 - I was born at eleven A.M., a most reasonable time, my mother often said, and when the nurse put me in my mother's arms for the first time I had both a nasty case of the hiccups and no discernible forehead (it's since grown in). I've always believed in comic entrances.

As I grew up in River Forest, Illinois, in the 1950's, I seem to remember a
...more
More about Joan Bauer...

Share This Book



“Almost.
It’s a big word for me.
I feel it everywhere.
Almost home.
Almost happy.
Almost changed.
Almost, but not quite.
Not yet.
Soon, maybe.
I’m hoping hard for that.”
48 likes
“Almost Home
by Sugar Mae Cole

Home isn’t always a place you picture in your mind
With furniture and cookies and music playing and people laughing.
Home is something you can carry around like a dream
And let it grow in your heart until you’re ready for it.
Losing things helps you appreciate when you find them again
And finding things gives you hope that when you lose things
It might not be forever.
Once, long ago, a girl lost her home, but she didn’t lose her dream.
She hung on to it as the wind kept trying to blow it away,
But that just made it stronger.
So now she has keys and walls of many colors
And people around her who think she’s something.”
14 likes
More quotes…