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.
"A gritty portrait of teens and children living on the street...[and] a complex survival story."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Ryan tackles some serious issues—including homelessness, abuse, and child abandonment...[Her] simple prose and interesting storyline should attract readers (especially reluctant ones)."
– Quill & Quire
"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."
– The Book Babe blog
"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."
"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."
– CM Magazine
"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."
– Resource Links
"A gritty, realistic look at teen homelessness."
– School Library Journal
"With characters and conflicts that are sure to interest young adult readers, this book is a good choice for the high school library."
– TriState YA Book Review Committee
CCBC Best Books starred selection | 2013 | Commended
SLJ's Best Books for Teens Living in the ‘Margins’ list | 2014 | Commended