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Pavi Sharma's Guide to Going Home

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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  42 reviews
The Fosters meets The Great Gilly Hopkins in this moving novel of a young girl who as sets off on an important mission to save a fellow foster kid from the home that still haunts her nightmares.

Twelve-year-old Pavi Sharma is an expert at the Front Door Face: the perfect mix of puppy dog eyes and a lemonade smile, the exact combination to put foster parents at e
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 15th 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 17th 2019)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  184 ratings  ·  42 reviews


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Jessa Franco
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rarely find foster care in fiction and was pleasantly surprised by this one.
Ms. Yingling
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus



Pavi has been in several foster homes, as well as the Crossroads group home, ever since her mother became unable to care for her. Her foster mother is now Marjorie, a teacher, whose son Hamilton is Pavi's age and a good friend to her. Pavi has a "business" where she counsels other foster kids and does research on their families and new schools in exchange for school supplies. She is working with Santos, a new 8th grader. When she stops by Crossroads to try to get
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Bonnie
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cbr11
This was a tender and insightful book with a delightful array of characters. Pavi is a scrappy heroine, and Hamilton is an awesome sidekick. I've long been passionate about adoption, but I've never taken much time to consider the foster care system from the perspective of kids who do not expect to be adopted but hope against hope to be reunited with their families. This book fleshes such a perspective out, and does not give false hope or a cheesy ending, but rather a sense of hope for the curren ...more
Autumn
Pretty disappointed in this one. It really thinks it's doing the right thing by focusing on a tough foster kid, but I was really turned off by the facile ending, the adorable little black girl used as a plot device, and the superheroic white foster mom with her Jane Austen bobblehead and Aretha Franklin music. Also, I found the focus on scary scary Rottweilers to be a little classist, honestly. All the hot Cheetos references and Youtube tutorial talk gave me hope for this one, but turns out it's ...more
Maura
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. CW: child neglect, dogfighting
I grabbed this old ARC for #APICelebrAsian and #MiddleGradeMay (I think this is a thing...) and only realized once I started reading it that it wasn't an OwnVoices book. Racial issues aren't really addressed in the story, so I didn't have a problem with it in this case, but I wanted to make that clear since I had intended to read it for AAPI Heritage month.

I have trouble reviewing middle grade fiction sometimes because I don't read a lot of it and I don't
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Jennybeast
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lucy
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in one sitting. It's a well-written and pretty riveting middle grade book about an entrepreneurial girl named Pavi who has spent years in the foster system and shares her acquired wisdom with other foster kids who are facing a transition- in exchange for snacks and brand name school supplies. She is currently in a comfortable foster home and doing good business, when she finds out a very little girl that she barely knows is going to a placement that still gives her nightmares.

T
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Andrew Eder
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a warm and easy to read book. I really felt the love from the characters and their relationships with one another, which is a challenge as a writer to convey to readers.

I loved Pavi’s attitude and work ethic. She was such a strong character that was really trying to fill the hole in her life by helping others, something we’ve all tried to do before.

Hamilton and Santos were awesome characters, too, completing their Motley Crew of investigators.

My favorite character was Marjorie. She was s
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Jennifer Heise
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Foster kid story, where the main character is basically the opposite of Gilly Hopkins. She's smart, she's figured out how to work the system, and now that she's in a good placement herself, she runs a little business helping other foster kids be prepared to handle their placements, by doing research on foster parents, schools, and systems, and coaching them to make the best impression.
On the other hand, underneath her got-it-togetherness, she's got some bad memories of a former placement: and w
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Diane
“What is home for us foster kids?”

Pavi Sharma has a mission. She wants to ensure that every foster kids who leaves the Crossroads shelter is taken in by a good foster family, so she follows up with all the kids that she can, interviewing them about their placement.

She’s been in the system a long time herself. Her current foster situation isn’t bad: Margery, her foster mom is strict, but fair, and Hamilton, her foster brother is a good friend. But she hasn’t always been that lucky. There was the
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Chrysa Keenon
I received a free ARC copy of this book at Book Expo, so all opinions are my own!

I was super excited to pick this book up because the foster care system has interested me in a while, and the idea of having a story set in it was a great premise! "Pavi Sharma's Guide" is a charming story about a girl who was traumatized by a family in the system and tries anything to prevent one of her friends, a younger girl, being put in the same situation.

I loved the concept and a few of the characters shined
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Beth Mendelsohn
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-s
I received a copy of this book at Book Expo America 2019. All opinions are my own.

Pavi Sharma, a 12 year old foster child, is happy with her latest placement. She runs a “business” helping other foster children get ready for their new families with techniques to help put them and their new foster families at ease. When five year old Meridee comes to the shelter, of course Pavi wants to help her. Pavi finds out that Meridee is going to Pavi’s first and most horrendous foster home and hatches a pl
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Alexa Hamilton
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tween
Pavi is a foster kid who is running a small business helping other foster kids do better in their placements. She has a great foster mother and brother, and eventually, has to let them in to what she is doing, even though she is trying to be strong. And she is strong! And really smart, and aware. But sometimes, her emotions based on her past experiences are too big, even for her.

Not having experienced any of this myself, I did think the way Pavi described her feelings of kinship with other foste
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Terry Maguire
Pavi Sharma is an enterprising middle schooler who tries to help fellow foster kids by researching their potential family placements. When Parvi learns that a child from her former group home is going to be placed with one of her own former foster families, the Nickersons, with whom she had terrible experiences, she springs into action with the help of her current foster brother, Hamilton, and a friend from school, Santos. This is a suspenseful book from the start because the reader is wondering ...more
Carol M
Foster child Pavi Sharma has been in the system for awhile and has learned some survival skills along the way. For a fee of junk food and school supplies she helps other foster kids transition to new schools, get used to new families and perfect their “front door” face. She still has connections at the group home where she stayed for awhile and uses it as a source of information and new clients. While helping new client Santos, Pavi meets a young girl, Meridee and learns that Meridee is going to ...more
Carola
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is geared for readers 8-12 years old. It was recommended to me at my local library because the librarian in the children's section knows that I volunteer as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for children in the foster care system. It realistically presents a number of the challenges for children in "the system" without getting bogged down in the serious trauma that some of these children experience. The librarian said it has been criticized in some reviews because Pavi is portr ...more
Jennifer Hill
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Pavi Sharma is a foster kid and has been for a while. The house she is in now is a single mom and son. It is great! But it wasn't always that way. Pavi has a "business" of helping foster kids with their new placements. She researches the family they're going to and if they are going to a new school, etc. She meets Meridee at the community center for fosters and decides she is going to help her because she finds out Meridee is going to one of Pavi's previous placement homes and ...more
caitlin e.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss.

I liked this book a lot. Perfect for students with unconventional families. Pavi is a foster kid who has lived with many families, but as the story begins she has turned her knowledge into a business where she gives insight and advice to foster newbies. That enough was an intriguing premise, but then the story continues as Pavi fears another newbie girl is being sent to an evil family, and tries to stop this, pulling in her foster brother and one of her clients
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Tracy Smith
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good insight into the emotions and issues that children in foster care deal with. I was a bit confused as to how the dogs were not noticed in the original inspections of the foster family, but I do understand that foster families are too often not ideal placements. I loved Pavi's business of helping other children navigate foster care, but again I felt that in the real world she would have had more difficulty getting all the information she passed along.

All in all a positive story about a very s
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Wendy Thomas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna
A great addition to the foster care category of middle-grade books. Pavi seems like she has it all together. So much so that she's helping other foster kids navigate their journey. But her can-do attitude is layered on past pain and she works to confront and combat. (view spoiler) ...more
Jaymie
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a great foster care story (Touch Blue, A List of Cages) and this is a great one. I especially loved Pavi and the business she develops helping other foster kids to have successful placements and transitions. I expected a bigger punch/reveal at the climax of this, but in retrospect that would probably have moved the book to YA. The characters ultimately made this book for me - they are fantastic. Lots of good material for book group or class discussion.
Jamie
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, b-b, 2019
Wow, there is a lot going on here. I almost started crying in public. Pavi's first-person narration is really compelling and entertaining. The storyline is incredibly poignant in many places, but never saccharine. There are a couple of plot holes (don't social workers visit houses before foster parents are certified?) but I think the strength of Pavi's voice outweighs them. References to pregnancy or infant loss and the death of a dog--for more mature kids. ...more
Heather Moore
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
3.5 stars. At first, this story felt juvenile and soft but as the story continues, so do the layers deepen. The kids crackpot schemes may seem like poor choices but make perfect sense through the lens of a kid whose been jerked around by the system. This is definitely on the glossy side of real, but would serve as a gentle introduction to the foster care system for kids who aren’t ready to go deeper.
Anna
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of MG with spunky main characters
Pavi Sharma's Guide to Going Home was interesting but didn't quite live up to my expectations. The pacing was kind of weird in places and the characters could have been better developed. However, the portrayal of the foster-care system seemed well-researched and did a good job avoiding many of the cliches seen in other works about the system. ...more
Melinda
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick and compelling story of a middle schooler who tries to use her own history of foster care trauma to help other foster kids. I liked Pavi and her foster brother a lot. While I appreciate that Pavi's poor but well-intentioned choices are kind of the point, I do wish that there had been more serious consequences assigned to the actual medical danger Pavi put multiple children into. ...more
Heather Jennings
This would be best for grades 4-6. It is the story of a young foster care girl who is with a stable family but wants to help a younger girl about to be placed in a questionable environment. It is not overwhelmingly sentimental about the treatment of foster care but there are some elements that I question in terms of believability. This text does not make placement agencies or CPS look good!
Cara
There were parts of this that were really hard to read (content wise) for me. However, it was interesting to read a book where the foster home is actually working out. I liked that the main character was trying to help kids in her same situation. There were a couple of characters that I would've liked to see fleshed out a bit more. Santos seems like he could have his own book. ...more
Sandra L'Abbe
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this!! A very well written story involving foster care, culture, family, friends, adventure, and humor! I loved Pavi and Hamilton’s relationship and would love to learn about more of their adventures and other kids they help along the way. If you’re looking for a sweet story to share with a foster care child in your classroom, home, or life - give this a try!
Andréa
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
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Love an inside scoop? So do we! That's why we're big fans of BookExpo America, the largest annual book trade fair in the United States, where...
52 likes · 38 comments
“She's going to be okay, Pav. You need to just let the adults take care of it.'
Adults have caused all the problems I've ever had.”
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“Kids like Hamilton and Piper, who have only lived in one type of neighborhood, often judge people living in other ones. My favorite family before Marjorie lived with five kids and their abuela in the 'bad' part of town. my second-to-worst family had a pool in their backyard and a woman to clean their house every Monday. Money doesn't make a good family. Love does that.” 0 likes
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