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Parents' Corner > "How to Build a House" by Dana Reinhardt

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message 1: by Laura (last edited Jul 05, 2010 11:43AM) (new)

Laura (apenandzen) How to Build a House How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt by Dana Reinhardt

Wow, this was a very good book! Don't judge a book by its cover, you'll miss out.

In order to deal with her dad's divorce, Harper decides to spend her summer off from school rebuilding the home of a Tennessee family whose house was destroyed by a tornado. In the process, she finds love and friendship, and learns a lot about herself and her family. The story is interspersed with a series of flashbacks, so that the readers learn the backstory of her last relationship and what happened to cause her parents to split.

There's a fair amount of sexual content here, although not explicit, but it's pretty much all through the book. Cussing too, although I don't think it was overdone, it had its place in the story. There's also alcohol & drugs at parties the main characters go to.

Lots of things that could come up for discussion in this one, including divorce and stepfamilies, including stepsiblings, biracial marriage, prejudice, infidelity, environmental issues/global warming, charitable volunteer work, casual sex and the consequences, what it means to love someone, I'm sure I'm probably missing tons more. I think mature teens could get a lot out of this book. I'm really glad I read it.


message 2: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 183 comments Title and cover both would have made me overlook this book, but your review intrigued me. I'll add it to my to read list and share it with my kids when they are a bit older.


message 3: by Laura (last edited Jul 05, 2010 01:49PM) (new)

Laura (apenandzen) You won't be sorry Rita! If my library didn't have this on its audio shelf, I'd have probably never picked it up. I'm glad I took a chance and did.


message 4: by Heather (last edited Jul 05, 2010 02:48PM) (new)

Heather Bree (blackdotbug) Cussing is part and parcel for any of the rural Tennessee areas. Wouldn't be an accurate representation without it, imo. Spent my first 21 years in rural NE TN. It's just another form of punctuation, I swear. (Or "I swan" as my grandmother used to say, since it's not ladylike to swear.)

Edit: I looked up Bailey, TN and it's close enough to present day Memphis to be more suburban than rural. But still.


message 5: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) I've yet to read a YA book without cussing (I think), I just include it in my reviews in case it matters to a parent reading it. Personally I can do without the f word, and most cuss words actually, in literature, but I don't mind them when they make sense in the story. I swear too much myself, so I wouldn't have much room to talk ;).


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