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A Face in Every Window

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  160 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
When his grandmother dies, 15-year-old JP's family is set adrift. His mother starts acting like a teenager, leaving JP to care for his mentally challenged father. Then she wins an old farmhouse in an essay contest, insists that the three of them move there-and, because she wants to "share her luck", invites some of the neighborhood outcasts to live there, too. There's Larr ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 23rd 2001 by Puffin (first published September 20th 1999)
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420th out of 439 books — 462 voters
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12th out of 13 books — 19 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 24, 2008 Eve rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teen boys, adults
A truly amazing book about a teen boy's struggle to survive in a family in turmoil. The book has depth and is very contemporary.
Nov 05, 2008 Jamie rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-lit, 2004
Man do I disagree with the author of this book.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Rebecca Wells for

When JP O'Brien's Grandma Mary dies, his orderly world quickly begins to unravel - his mentally challenged father becomes completely lost, and his mother, Mam, starts acting quite unlike her usual sheltered self. JP tries to make do in this new world, but when Mam wins a farmhouse in an essay contest and the family moves, things really come apart.

Mam insists on opening the farmhouse to just about every neighborhood outcast who comes by, and suddenly
Mar 28, 2009 Jill added it
Shelves: teen, teen-boys
After the death of his grandmother, who held the family together, JP is left with a mentally challenged father and a mother who seems ineffectual and constantly sick. It is especially hard on him when she invites all kinds of people, mostly "misfits", to come and live in their new house, which she won through an essay writing contest.

6th-8th grade
Makaila rated it really liked it
May 01, 2009
May 09, 2009 Jeanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: many
Another good find... a surprising group becomes a "family" .. written through eyes of an adolescent boy ... Themes: change, acceptance of differences.. Excellent if someone is prepared to open his or her mind. A compelling story as well.
I would read another of Han Nollan's books. Will look for Dancing on the Edge.
Jul 28, 2009 Josh rated it it was amazing
This was a riveting and moving YA novel that teaches you about the intrinsic value of a close-knit family.
Mouse rated it liked it
Mar 20, 2010
Joanna Pardue
Joanna Pardue rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2010
Devin Wallace
Feb 26, 2011 Devin Wallace rated it really liked it
A Face in Every Window is the type of Young Adult book that contains universal themes applicable to any reader, regardless of age or life experience. Each character, from the protagonist to each and every odd hipster that bursts through his front door, is, on the outside, a crude stereotype of what society would label them as. JP is an introvert and a loner, his mother is a homewrecking, care-free, spoiled woman, and her various friends are all hipsters drinking wine and reading poetry. But Han ...more
Julianna rated it liked it
Feb 27, 2011
May 01, 2011 Theresa rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Not as good as her book "Crazy," but still really solid. I loved the characters, especially the Irish family roots. Well, maybe not that part the best, but I did love being able to hear Irish accents through the characters. I think HN does a really good job of getting into the minds of teens, especially with parents who have some kind of disability. I'm still excited to read more of her books.
Read this on all yesterday.
Emily Iliani
Jun 03, 2011 Emily Iliani rated it really liked it
Shelves: home
I read this novel a year after my own grandmother passed away and I was hoping to find some comfort and understanding in her passing. Somehow in time of despair, you always seek out to find that one point where eevrything is not so alien to you; I was trying to rediscover familiarity and strunggling to understand the anger I felt for her death.

I must say I immediately warmed up to the novel and the style of writing; it was meant to portray a worldview of a kid and it splendidly portrays a world
Astrid Jakobs
Astrid Jakobs rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2016
Heather rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2011
Alison Gresik
Jan 01, 2012 Alison Gresik rated it really liked it
Beautiful character-driven young adult novel about a boy whose mother wins a house and fills it with stray people who need a home. Han Nolan's strength is in portraying the inner thoughts and emotions of the main character, so that even trivial events are extremely moving.
Genesis rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2012
I've had this book sitting on my class bookshelf for a long time. I originally bought it because a 7th grade student I tutored in Trophy Club had it on his summer reading list and he said it was a good book. I trusted Max's opinion, a non-reader wanted me to read it because he liked it.

It's a good book, a very good book, but I don't think I'll be able to recommend it to any of my students. It's too real and many of my students are being protected from reality by their parents.

But if I had a stud
Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson rated it liked it
Oct 14, 2012
Amber Sarubbi
interesting story. i enjoyed the character development of the star, but some of the other characters felt a little flat. the plot is simple and could of used more drama, more of a climax.
Ashley Luisa
Ashley Luisa rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2013
I should like Han Nolan a lot more than I do. This is my fifth Han Nolan novel, and she does a lot of things that I wish more YA authors would do. She consistently writes about unusual and important topics (particularly mental illness). She's one of the blessed few YA authors who consistently writes contemporary novels without romance. She writes Problem Novels, but resists the trends of oversimplification and condescension within the genre. But the more of her work I read, the more I like the i ...more
Jess rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2013
Tanerah Taylor
Tanerah Taylor rated it it was amazing
Nov 23, 2014
Lauren rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2015
While this book is good, it isn't my favorite of Nolan's work. I did not like the mother in this novel because she was quite selfish. I felt so bad for James Patrick. Nolan deals with so many issues in this book, but the main theme is the teen becoming, but becoming like what? Like parents or the opposite of parents and the over riding fear that when our parents are flawed we may become like them.

I loved Grandma Mary in this book because I have one and she is great. Page 8 says, "Grandma Mary w
Waranthorn Trairat
Mar 20, 2016 Waranthorn Trairat rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I thought of Frankie S and felt more sympathy for the character than the author does. Bizarre, but thought provoking.
Sue J
Apr 17, 2016 Sue J rated it liked it
I really like Han Nolan's books. This one was not my favorite. I finally got hooked when I was three quarters of the way through the book. In retrospect, the point she was trying to make was good, but the storyline seemed a bit too convoluted...perhaps necessary, but it was a bit off putting.
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Han Nolan is widely acclaimed for her evocative language, her gritty subject matter, and her ability to plumb the psyche of her characters. Her books include Dancing on the Edge, which won the National Book Award, Send Me own a Miracle, a finalist for the National Book Award, Born Blue, A Summer of Kings, and several other acclaimed novels. She and her husband live on the East Coast.
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“...and I was afraid because I knew I had outgrown my past before I could see a path to my future.” 2 likes
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