Just Under the Clouds
Always think in threes and you'll never fall, Cora's father told her when she was a little girl. Two feet, one hand. Two hands, one foot. That was all Cora needed to know to climb the trees of Brooklyn.
But now Cora is a middle schooler, a big sister, and homeless. Her mother is trying to hold the family together after her ...more
The family in the story is going through tough times, we see this clearly as we read the story, ...more
At first, the prose gets you: its windiness, its chime and ting. Lovely. And the story is designed to pull you in as well. Seventh-grader Cora, her sister Adare (who was denied oxygen at birth), and their mother are homeless following the father's death. The realities of homelessness are somewhat touched on, but not in a gritty way. And from there, it's an aimless journey toward an end that was for ...more
What is home? Since Cora’s father died, her mother hasn't been able to find it. So Cora, her mother, and her sister Adare hop from place to place, couch to couch, in search of home. Cora has lived this way for a while when we meet her in Just Under the Clouds. She is used to being moved from place to place, pulled from school to school, and she doesn't seem to as ...more
Swipe for the back!
This slim middle grade novel packs a serious punch. Cora is trying to hold it all together for her family, but she's struggling in school and she just wants security and stability. I appreciate how realistic JUST UNDER THE CLOUDS is -- don't expect a neat, perfect ending here. Cora's family will contin ...more
Cora's mother has struggled to keep a roof over Cora and her sister Adare's head ever since the death of their father six years ago. This can be a challenge in New York City, even though the mother has given up her artwork and is working in a store. Cora does fairly well in school, although has been moved around so much that she struggles to make friends. Adare had a lack of oxygen at birth and has a host of unspecified challenges, mainly characterized by not focusing on the ...more
Sitting here, looking up at the huge sky, I want to tell her what I know: that the world is too big and you have to find your piece of it if you want to survive.
Cora is 12, and since shortly after her father died, she, her mama, and her sister Adare have been homeless. She feels like her life is upheaval-- like she doesn't have a place in the world. She's stil ...more
Cora lives in Brooklyn and loves to climb trees. She was taught by the best, her father. Now with her father gone, her family is struggling and basically homeless, shuttling from one unsafe shelter to another. A middle schooler, Cora is responsible for looking after her younger sister, Adare, while her mother works. Adare is “special:" she was deprived of oxygen when she was born and communicates and sees the world differently. When they discover that their room at the current shelter was vandal...more
It’s gorgeously written. Sweet. I loved their family unit together. I loved the sisterly bond between Cora and Adare. I am also amazed at the level of detail captured — not only in the trees, but also about living as a homeless family in NYC. I haven’t ever read that before in children’s literature, and I think it’s a much deserved perspective. It also made me miss Brooklyn.
#young readers (ages 8-12)
Writing: 4.5 Characters: 5 Plot: 4.5
This is one of those books that opens your eyes to a completely fresh perspective. Cora is a 12-year-old girl who is technically homeless. Along with her mother and sister, she moves from placement to placement in South Brooklyn. Some placements are better than others, and ...more
This weekend, I had the immense pleasure of reading a soon-to-be-released book. One of my favorite things about book blogging is getting to read amazing books before they come out, and Sarno’s Just Under the Clouds is exactly that.
Always think in threes and you’ll never fall, Cora’s father told her when she was a little girl. Two feet, one hand. Two hands, one foot. That was all Cora needed to know to climb the trees of Brooklyn.
But now Cora is a m ...more
Just Under the Clouds is a heartwarming and sweet middle grade novel that instills the message of home being wherever your family is. This is one of those books that I think would be amazing for all middle graders to read, because it's such a relatable story that I think is easy to connect to, especially for people in that age range. I'm an adult and I found this book to be charming, a ...more
Cora, her little sister, Adare, and her mother are living in a shelter for the first time. It’s not safe enough for the girls to go home after school, so they always wait in the park until their mother gets off work. Cora has gotten to the point that she doesn’t try to make friends because they always move on in a short period of time. So it just doesn’t seem like a good idea to get attached.
Twelve-year-old Cora knows a lot about the trees classified in her father’s field journal, now her Tree Book since he passed away six years ago. “It holds the secret for all growing things,” her mother said. Every tree Cora comes across is jotted down. With the constant moving, it helps Cora define where she is.
Cora loves climbing trees and drawing pictures on her hand to share with her mother. Her ten-year-old sister, “Adare sees things a different way,” and always looking to the sky. She also ...more
All Cora wanted was a permanent home, a place that was safe, a place that she could be proud of, a place where she could make friends. Cora and her sister Adare were escorted home by their mother as their apartment was not safe to enter alon ...more