Ms. Yingling's Reviews > No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home by Dee Romito
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E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Ever since her mother's death, Kenzie has not had a permanent home. She travels from hotel to hotel with her father, an environmental consultant who home schools her and who has a roster of nannies in every town who can watch her when he is at work. When He gets a posting to Las Vegas for six weeks, he enrolls Kenzie in middle school. She's apprehensive, but thrilled for the opportunity to be a "real" student once again. Even though she knows she will soon be leaving, she tries out for the lead in the play (Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz), irritating Shelby, who wants the role. She also runs for class president against the cute Tate, with her new friend Ashia as her vice president. Of course, she gets the part and a vice presidency, and also joins the book club. She still spends her weekends traveling with her dad, and makes a new friend in D.C., Mayleen. Eventually, she has to tell everyone that she is leaving, and no one is at all happy. The principal even tells her that she should do the open skate anymore, to give her classmates time to get over their trauma. Of course, after she tells everyone she's leaving, her dad lets her know more about his plans. Kenzie has to really think about what she really wants out of life-- more adventure, or a more stable home and school life.
Strengths: Kenzie is an interesting character with a fascinating life, and it's intriguing that she is able to go so easily to the forefront of middle school society. My students love the Aladdin M!X books and would pick this up just for the cover. The writing is great, and the story has realistic middle grade emotions. The way that Kenzie deals with the absence of her mother is very well balanced, which is hard to find in middle grade books.
Weaknesses: This had two very overdone topics-- school elections and school plays. Books with those elements just do not circulate with my students, and I am personally very weary of reading about them. (Oddly, many books cover both topics. Or add bullying into the mix, which is also overdone.)
What I really think: I will buy this one if I have money left over at the end of the year.
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Reading Progress

July 8, 2017 – Shelved
July 8, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
July 9, 2017 – Started Reading
July 10, 2017 – Finished Reading

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