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Almost Home

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  6,543 Ratings  ·  826 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
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by Viking Juvenile (first published September 1st 2012)
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Kelsi 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!!!!
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lola  Reviewer
Sugar has lost her father and her house. Fortunately, she still has her mom—although she doesn’t act like a mother—and a furry friend, although she doesn’t have a home for him either.

Thanks to her gambler of a father, she and her mom are now homeless. Eventually, she is placed into a home, with people that are good to her and help her and her mother see the truth, but before that, she experiences what it’s like to have no place to go.

No kid should experience that. It’s a strong story. Maybe bec
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Kate Matson
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
Jan 21, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Meghan McClurg
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grade-6, fall-2014, review
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate C
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved Almost Home. It is about a girl named Sugar, her mom, Reba, and her dog, Shush. They are homeless and Reba is very depressed. They go through many hard struggles. Will they get through these hard times, and find a home? I liked this book because it was very inspirational. I did not like this book because it was sad at some parts. Throughout this book, it made me feel sad, happy, and scared. People who like sad but inspirational books would like this book. This book reminded me of Echo.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent light read. Predictable story but heartwarming.
marcy marshall
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Annie Oosterwyk
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 13, 2015 added it
if you love dogs, you should read this book. a heart-warming book
Brookie ✳ Cookie ✳
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is probably my favorite of all time, partly because Alyssa and I read it together and we were both obsessed with it. :)
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I thought this was just a fantastic book. There were some parts that kind of made me mad, but the other parts made it worth it to read. I lovvveeeeeee the main character, Sugar, because she is so strong, kind, and tough. She went through so many things that I couldn't even ever imagine. People say they know what it feels like, but you don't unless you have walked in their shoes. That phrase is so very true. I go to that phrase a lot, because you don't know what could be going on. The night befor ...more
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book will forever be in my heart. It is beautiful, sad, emotional, and an all-around amazing read. The author, Joan Bauer, is still one of my favorite authors to this day. I love Sugar, and her narration is funny, light-hearted, and she was humorous even when things got tough.

I read this book very fast (it's a pretty quick read), and it remains one of my favorite books to this day. After you read this, you'll feel like you need to go to Home Depot, by some paints, and paint your door the b
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bauer does not shy away from tough topics. Listened to this one and found it caught my interest from the very beginning and held it throughout. I tried to imagine myself reading this aloud to a class - would have to be very aware of who students are and situations they are facing. This goes beyond homelessness. Some very positive, memorable pieces throughout. I absolutely love the main character, 12 year-old, Sugar. And what's not to love about a puppy named SHHH.
Jace S
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
this is a story about a girl named Sugar Cole who lives in a small town called Round Lake.Sugar Mae Cole is a girl in 6th grade that gets bullied by this girl named Harper Wihelm.She is always picking on Sugar.Its really hard for her since her gtandfather recently died.
one thing i like about this character is that she never gives up and never gives up.
Anna Neeb
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book!!!! So sad but so good!!
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
When sugar's grandfather sadly passes away and her father that loves to gamble takes off again, and sugar and her mom lose their home in MIsssouri. They go to Chicago to restart their life, and they meet an rescue dog named sush. This is a really good book because of the storyline and how they try to get their life together. I recommend this book to people who like reading about other people's life.
Anyce Paul-Emile
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Two reviews in one day.

What a treat.

I started this book, so kindly lent to me by a dear friend. Here I am a few months later, with those last few pages finally read through and appreciated. Never did I think I'd see a book with such a gentle prose, kindred execution, and tense subject matter. Never did I think a book aimed for age groups far from my usual realm would offer such a sense of fondness. Never did I think a book like this would make my eyes water on more than one fruitful occasion.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Julie Cotton
Jun 28, 2016 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
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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 about Joan Bauer...
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.”
“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.”
More quotes…