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Almost Home

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  8,196 ratings  ·  967 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
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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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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,196 ratings  ·  967 reviews

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Cristina Monica
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
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 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
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.
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
I don't even know where to begin. Almost Home made me laugh, cry, think, laugh, cry and think all over again. It's a fairly lite version of homelessness which suits a middle grade audience but is still poignant for all that. Although I like my poetry a little more sparse and sharp edged I nevertheless want to share some of Sugar's words with you:

"I wouldn't dare shout out my dreams because they're too young to be out on their own. "

"My mother is in a locked place
It's not just a door that locks,
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
Michelle Li
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The title of the book is Almost Home by Joan Bauer. It’s realistic fiction because the story could’ve happened to people and/or animals in a made-up setting. Sugar is a 6th grade girl and is 12 years old. Sugar is homeless because her dad gambled all of their money on a casino. She, her mom, and her dog Shush lived in a shelter. The theme in the book shows that even though she is homeless, she accepts it with kindness. Most of the story takes place in the city of Chicago.

She wanted to be kind b
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
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.
Ava B
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this book was really good and it made me keep reading. The reason why I really liked it was because it make the reader feel how Sugar felt when she lost her home and her old 6th grade. This was a really great read and I definitely recommend it.
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. :)
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I have tried to read this book multiple times, but I kept putting it down before I finished it. I'm glad that I did because it was pretty good. There was one problem that I had with it but it wasn't a really big deal. As I was reading there were some very important moments the effected the story a lot, but they always went by so fast. An example would be, she was reunited with someone but the entrance consist of a few sentences that were not informing at all.
I honestly would have enjoyed the
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bauer tackles being homeless from a child's point of view. The fear, the frustration, the unending upheaval is all addressed in a powerful and realistic plot. Praise for the positive portrayal of foster care. Praise for the open discussion of what it takes to be a good parent, and of the emotional and mental burden homelessness brings. Written for a 3-5 grade audience, this would be a great book to read aloud. Would highly recommend.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent light read. Predictable story but heartwarming.
Jimena Montemolin
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I rated this book a 5 out of 5 for many reasons. first, I loved how Joan Bauer described everything in detail. I also loved how she came up with such a peculiar character like sugar. and the fact that she added the dog to the story makes it even better. I love the relationship that sugar had with the dog and how they went through everything together. that Is my overall explanation of why I rated this book a 5 out of 5.
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
Pages For Thoughts
Sugar is just as sweet as her name. She has a desire to make the world become as sweet as she is, and Sugar demonstrates qualities of compassion and empathy for others, as well as a very clear insight to life. She writes poems in every chapter, putting words to her pain and observations. Sugar is twelve years old, and she is able to articulate the ignorance of others and the reality of situations. She has a gift for seeing the world for what it really is. Sugar is as sweet as an angel, and inspi ...more
Hannah Abrahamson
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book while was home sick Friday and the weekend and yesterday. It was by far one of my favorite books because I could not stop reading. I will say i thought it was a little said only because it was about a dog and anything about a dog makes me a a little said if they are are in a book or a movie. Also a sad part was when the grandfather dies that just makes me really sad. I think that this book would get 5 stars but i took one star away because some parts were sad and I would loose a ...more
Apr 13, 2015 added it
if you love dogs, you should read this book. a heart-warming book
Alison Smith
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I thought this was a cute and sad story. The dog sounded so cute in the story.
Autumn Byrd

“sometimes a kid has to act older than they are”

Content/Trigger Warnings: Alcoholism, talk of animal abuse, homelessness, grief, loss of a loved one, hospitalization

Dearest readers, I’m not going to lie, I got a bit emotional with this book. This touched on a lot of hard topics that I have personally gone through and I was a bit sappy. It had even more of an impact since I was reading this during the month of November and feeling a bit homesick. All of that aside, this is such a
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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

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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…