Almost Home is Almost Perfection


     All Sugar wants is a normal life with a normal family.

     All Sugar wants is a normal life with a normal family. But when her father disappears on a gambling trip and her mother, Reba, gets caught up in her bills, she knows that that will never happen.

     After losing her house, she and her mom move to Chicago to find a job and a home so they can start a new life. However, a twist in the plot doesn’t allow that to happen.

     Almost Home, by Joan Bauer, is the heartwarming, realistic fiction story of how Sugar Mae Cole and her dog Shush learn to lead a good life, even though it’s far from normal.

     This book, a nominee for the Colorado Children’s Book Award (CCBA), is an amazing tale. Although it is a well-written, truthful story, it’s pretty intense: there are mentions of violence, gambling, alcohol, drugs, depression, death, and homelessness. However, the story only lightly touches on those things, so it’s still appropriate for ages 10 and over.

     On the plus side, this book has many funny characters and places. It also includes many letters, emails, notes, and poems in the writing, which adds to the richness of the story. Overall, Joan Bauer’s book is a feel-good tale that anyone would love.