89 pages 2 hours read


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2016

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  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade realistic
  • Originally Published: 2016
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 850L; grades 4-6
  • Structure/Length: 31 chapters; approx. 256 pages; approx. 4 hours, 41 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese wishes daily for her family to be together. But after her father goes to prison and her mother is deemed unable to care for her, Charlie is sent to rural North Carolina where she must live with relatives she doesn’t know in a town that feels like it could never be home.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Imprisoned parent; removal from parent due to neglect; teasing and bullying

Barbara O’Connor, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1958; raised in Greenville, South Carolina; earned a degree in English at the University of South Carolina; lived in California, where a class in children’s literature inspired her desire to write; lived in New England before moving to North Carolina; draws on her southern roots for plot and setting details; conducts school visits and workshops to promote literacy and writing skills in young readers
  • Other Works: How to Steal a Dog (2007); Greetings from Nowhere (2008); Wonderland (2018); Halfway to Harmony (2021)
  • Awards: American Booksellers Association Best Books of the Year (2016); SCBWI Crystal Kite Award (2017); Parents Choice Gold Award; Junior Library Guild Selection

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By Barbara O'Connor