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Here in the Real World

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  27 reviews
From the author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestselling novel Pax comes a gorgeous and moving middle grade novel that is an ode to introverts, dreamers, and misfits everywhere.

Ware can’t wait to spend summer “off in his own world”—dreaming of knights in the Middle Ages and generally being left alone. But then his parents sign him up for dreaded Rec camp, where
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Balzer + Bray (first published 2020)
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  • Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker
    Here in the Real World
    Release date: Feb 04, 2020
    Enter for a chance to win a copy of HERE IN THE REAL WORLD by the New York Times bestselling author of Pax, Sara Pennypacker! An ode to introverts, ...more

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    Giveaway dates: Feb 05 - Feb 27, 2020

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    Average rating 4.11  · 
    Rating details
     ·  95 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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    Bonnie Grover
    Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: student
    “Thou shalt be always the champion of the Right and the Good, against Injustice.” But what if in the real world, bad things happen? Ware is a misfit introvert who enjoys being alone. But when his parents sign him up for summer rec and try to normalize him, he meets Joleen. Together they begin transforming an abandoned church and lot into a magical medieval world. Somehow this refuge will become the center of their rebirth. What a great summer adventure! I would have loved to have lived out this ...more
    Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: feb-2020
    This author also wrote the book- Pax, which is now one of our family favorites, so I looked forward to reading this new novel.
    Ware is a boy that tries to please his parents by agreeing to what they call "Meaningful Social Interaction" and being normal at a day camp for the Summer. It hadn't started that way, and he has looked forward to spending his Summer in his world of imagination while staying with his Grandma. When she fell/needed surgery/rehab, they went to plan B, with all those "normal"
    Melanie Dulaney
    Pennypacker’s newest work is not the heart-wrenching awesome-ness of Pax, but I truly enjoyed this tale of 11 year old Wade as he tries to either become what he thinks his parents want or find a way to make them proud of what he is. Ware does not like sports, he does not seek out friends and he has no desire to hang with the popular crowd. He does like to disappear into his room or the swimming pool at his grandmother’s retirement center and he does see wrongs that need to be righted. Enter ...more
    Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: books-i-own
    This is such a good book. This is the kind of book you want every middle school student to read. It's a story about what it feels like to feel unaccepted for who you are and what it's like to feel lonely,...but it's also about understanding that sometimes we may find we want to be alone and what makes us happy isn't always what others may call "normal" and that's okay. It's about an unusual summer adventure and helping others and making friends in unlikely places. Let's put it this way, there's ...more
    Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
    I loved pax so gave this a go, just not for me...
    I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

    While there are definitely some poignant moments throughout the story, I don't see this book having a lot of appeal for its target audience. I liked the overall theme of accepting that it's okay to not be like everyone else, but it was presented in a way that seemed to miss the mark somehow. It's a quick read, and certainly not intolerable by any means, but I did not find it overly memorable.
    Ms. Yingling
    Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

    This reminded me too much of Vrabel's Caleb and Kit, which I loved but which has failed to circulate well. Will pass on purchasing.
    Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Well I thought it was pretty darling. It’s been a spell since I read a middle grade book, but there’s a lot I liked.

    I really really loved every scene in the bar. Yeah, there’s a bar.
    Ms Pennypacker has packed a lot in the middle grade book. This is a story of friendships, justice, community, imaginative play, habitat, economy and the role of mentors in our lives.

    Ware is a quirky, dreamy kid with with lots of integrity and a desire to have Just One Friend who gets him. This is especially vital because his parents Don't get him and make no real effort to. They want him to conform to their hopes. Dad want a jock and Mom wants a social butterfly. As an introverted wimp this
    Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Eleven-year-old Ware is just fine with living in his own little world and is looking forward to doing just that as he spends the summer at Big Deal’s (his grandma) retirement community. Then Big Deal has an accident that lands her in the hospital and Ware finds himself signed up for Rec camp, where his mom hopes he has Meaningful Social Interactions. But an empty lot next to the Rec center, that is home to a demolished church, and a mysterious girl named Jolene, provide Ware with an unexpected ...more
    Mary Judy
    Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Here In The Real World is a song dedicated to those who live life with a different point of view; to the introverts, the individuals. Ware is a bit of a mystery and a frustration to all those around him; misunderstood and frequently discounted as someone who just doesn't fit in; filled with a dreamy, artistic nature. Jolene is quite different; skeptical, tough and secretive. While the two clash, the find that they develop an unlikely bond and support system, accepting each other into their lives ...more
    Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Thanks to The Children’s Book Review and HarperCollins for the advanced copy!

    From Sara Pennypacker, writer of the beloved "Pax", comes a story of introverted, only-child Ware, whose parents want only for him to have friends, lots of them! They're working double shifts to gain enough money to buy their home so Ware, again, is expected to give up his dreams of a summer on his own and go daily to the 'rec center' where mobs of kids only show Ware how alone he is. Despite his parents' expectations,
    Lonna Pierce
    Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Ware often lives in a world of his own, content to dream and contemplate quietly alone. His parents think he’s abnormal, and sign him up for a hated summer Rec Program so they can work double shifts in an effort to buy the house they currently rent. He secretly spends his days in the ruins of a church instead, trying to reclaim it in the style of a medieval castle. Only problem is Jolene thinks she owns the place since she started a garden from seeds repurposed from rotten fruits. They create an ...more
    Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Ware is a quiet kid, a thinker, a ponderer. At 11, he thinks he's too old to go to summer Rec, but his mother insists so he can get some social interaction with other kids. Ware has a different idea though and instead spends his days at the lot next door where's there's a torn apart church and a girl named Jolene who wants to turn the lot into a garden. All summer the two haul dirt and cinder blocks, planting papayas and turning the church into a medieval style castle and Ware films the entire ...more
    Lisa Cobb Sabatini
    Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I won an Advance Reader's Edition of Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker from Goodreads.

    Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker is a book about hopes and dreams, about trying to make something more of yourself, and about understanding the limitations and possibilities of the real world. This story about how an eleven year old boy named Ware spends his summer encourages young readers to be true to themselves and inspires them to work toward their goals. Ware and Jolene's struggle to
    Jennifer Hill
    Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
    11 year old Ware is staying with his grandmother for the summer while his parents are working extra so that they can buy a house, but his grandmother falls and breaks both hips. His summer has now turned into a nightmare of having to go to Rec camp. He HATES Rec camp, but he doesn’t want to cause any trouble for his parents. He overheard them talking about him and how they wish he was normal. As his summer at the Rec starts he finds a dilapidated church next door where a girl, Jolene, is ...more
    Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Non-neurotypical Ware—who’s just overheard his mother wishing for a more “normal” kid—meets mostly-neglected Jolene at a crumbling foreclosed church across from the dreaded Rec, where his parents send him every summer day. Jolene’s claimed the yard for a coffee-can garden, which is fine with Ware: castle-obsessed, he gets busy transforming the building into a castle, while convincing his parents he’s spending his days at Rec. The year’s first Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise/Kate ...more
    Lately I don't usually choose to read slive of life realistic middle grade fiction like this, but I had to review this. It's very sweet ! Not a page turner, by any means, but a good read. And one that shines light on underrepresetned personalities in MG fiction --- introverts and misfits.

    Good for fans of Pennypacker's Pax and Summer of the Gypsy Moths, both of which I liked but felt really traumatized by!
    Destiny Simpson
    Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This book was great. It was all about a kid who wants to be Nobel, like a knight for a girl he is friends with and to save pomegranate plants for this girl. This book has many good virtues, including kindness, love, and caring for someone other than yourself. It is a great book to read and I think it would be a great book for those just looking for a book based mainly on sacrifice and love.
    Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
    A wonderful middle grade level novel that brought me back to my childhood. Nearly 12 years old, feeling out of place, a day-dreamer, 'different', wishing I could be 'like everyone else', just like the protagonist of this terrific book. Highly recommend.
    Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This one gave me all the feels. Great characters!
    Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Perfection. Review to come.
    Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I found this book incredibly sweet and a great story of childhood and about the battles of balancing who we are told we should be and who we dream of being. Perfect for kids in elementary school.
    Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: middle-grade
    I cannot love this book enough. For all the introverts and people that this "loud" world just doesn't understand, this book is for you.
    Great Books
    Feb 05, 2020 is currently reading it
    Reviewer #16
    Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I loved this author's Pax, and so I was a little cautious when starting this...but I was not disappointed. Preorder now to put in the hands of readers who are introverts, artists, and dreamers.
    Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2019t
    Book Review

    Here in the Real World is good. Real good!

    Eleven-year-old Ware's parents enroll him in summer day camp, which he despises. He circumvents their plans by pretending to enter the camp, but instead sneaking into the abandoned, partially demolished church behind the recreation center, where day camp is held. There, he meets an abrasive Jolene, who is intent on gardening in part of the church's parking lot. As the story proceeds, the two form a tentative alliance of secrecy. Neither will
    rated it it was amazing
    Feb 09, 2020
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