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Almost Home

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  2,988 ratings  ·  490 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
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ebook, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Viking Children's
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Liviania
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
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Pam
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
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
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marcy marshall
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
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Michelle
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
Meghan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda
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
Audrey
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
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Becky
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
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
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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
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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
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
Megan Kurz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natasha
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
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Sophia
Oct 03, 2012 Sophia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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Stephanie
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
Kris
We're using this for our 5th grade Battle of the Books. Bauer plucks our heartstrings like we're harps. For the age group, I think this is a fantastic, realistic, not-too-gritty but also not-completely-Sugar-coated story about being homeless. As a kid who grew up reading THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS and others by Katherine Paterson, sometimes harsh reality is too bleak. This is hopeful, and made me glad to be there with Sugar even in her tough times. Loved.
Randi
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
Deirdre
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
Lonna Pierce
Sixth-grader, Sugar, (Yes, she is truly sweet.)and her mother, Reba, slide into homelessness when Mr. Leeland (deadbeat dad & husband) gambles away their money & careens in and out of their lives. This Newbery Award-worthy mid-grade novel is filled with poetry, color, and strength, despite the trust issues & dire circumstances. Sugar and her mother have a natural gift for gratitude and making the best of a bad situation, which stand them in good stead after Reba breaks down. Sugar an ...more
Bethe
what a great lesson for younger readers to make the best of your situation, and having a dog doesn't hurt! Heartwarming big smile at the end. Sugar Mae is sassy and mostly strong, wise beyond her years, stepping up when her mother is falling down. Favorite quote from pg. 160: "I've learned something about sadness this last year, sometimes the best thing you can do is just sit with someone who is hurting, you don't have to say anything or offer advice, you just sit there. I think dogs understand ...more
Martha
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
Shannon Irion
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
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Teresa P
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Beth
a. This book is about a young girl named Sugar Mae Cole and her mother, Reba. Reba struggles to provide for her daughter, and their home is eventually taken away from them. Sugar's father, Mr. Leeland, has a gambling problem and comes in and out of Sugar and Reba's lives due to his relationship with Reba. In the midst of all this chaos, Sugar acquires a dog and names him Shush. The dog helps her get through all the hard times. After Reba and Sugar lose their home, they struggle to survive. Reba ...more
Rll52014_barb_zachwieja
Almost Home is on the list of possible Caudill winners for 2015. This is realistic fiction set in contemporary times. The protagonist is 12-year old Sugar Mae Cole. Sugar and her mother find themselves on hard finical times and face homelessness. Sugar's biological father, Mr. Leeland, is an unreliable alcoholic who floats in and out of their lives on his own whims. Unfortunately, Sugar's mother has a weakness for Mr. Leeland, and she buys into his broken promises and believes that he will come ...more
Christine Vranas
Writing about being homeless is a difficult subject. What I found a little hard to believe was the character of the mother. Because of her weakness for a shiftless husband she and her daughter are out in the streets. The grandfather wrote a book about a positive attitude in life defeating adversity and this is a theme that does run throughout the book. How a man who is such a good role model raises a daughter that is blind to a gambling, alcoholic husband is the hole in the entire plot, especial ...more
Deb
Joan Bauer is one of my favorite middle school/young adult authors! I purchased this novel for my 6th grade classroom library and I'm glad I did.

Sugar Mae Cole and her mother Reba are evicted from their home in Missouri, and after a stint of living with a cousin who really doesn't want them, they head to Chicago. Reba is unable to find work, and the two end up living in a shelter. Soon Reba has a breakdown and Sugar is put into foster care. This is a touching story of Sugar's resilience and stu
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Krista
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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
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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.”
32 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.”
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