Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 240
Themes: homelessness, abuse, family
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/Sep/2012
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Maddie is living on the streets, trying to protect herself and make enough money to get a place to stay and find a way to go back to school. When she meets Q, she is wary but welcomes his friendship. And then she meets Dylan, a six-year-old boy, living on the streets with his family. When Dylan's father asks Maddie to watch the boy for a while, she is happy to help. But Dylan's parents don't come back; and Maddie and Q are left looking after him. Trying to make a life together and care for her makeshift family, Maddie finds that maybe she has to ask for help.

Kirkus Reviews
"A gritty portrait of teens and children living on the street...[and] a complex survival story."
Quill & Quire
"Ryan tackles some serious issues—including homelessness, abuse, and child abandonment...[Her] simple prose and interesting storyline should attract readers (especially reluctant ones)."
The Book Babe blog
"I was immediately hooked into the story. I couldn't stop. This book was so entirely captivating, so real, that I just couldn't put it down. It was physically impossible for me to leave this book for very long, and I'm kind of happy about that, because it's just what I needed...It captivated every little piece of my heart."
"Homelessness, domestic abuse, and parental abandonment are indisputably weighty topics. Yet in this story of a makeshift family, they seem surprisingly surmountable...Ryan has created a thought-provoking portrait of young people living...on the fringes of society."
CM Magazine
"Ryan's exceptionally well-written novel presents issues of homelessness, abuse and poverty, as well as society’s over-consumption and waste. Characters are clearly written, multi-dimensional, strong and believable...A heart-rending and heart-warming glimpse into the journey of a handful of these people, what they need to deal with daily to survive, and how they succeed. And sometimes fail...Highly Recommended."
Resource Links
"An impressively managed text. It presents realistic and richly detailed explorations of a difficult topic without being hopeless...Pieces of Me is a strong book with much to offer YA readers."
School Library Journal
"A gritty, realistic look at teen homelessness."
TriState YA Book Review Committee
"With characters and conflicts that are sure to interest young adult readers, this book is a good choice for the high school library."


CCBC Best Books starred selection  | 2013 | Commended
SLJ's Best Books for Teens Living in the ‘Margins’ list  | 2014 | Commended