My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sheila Kelly Welch's realistic fiction book will definitely interest middle schoolers, high school students, and adult readers. Welch does a great job of sinking the reader into the chaotic lives of TJ and his sister, Angela, in the Now/Then format employed in this thin, gripping read. As TJ waits in the emergency room of a hospital, waiting to find out if Angela will live; we visit the Then part of TJ's life which is a horror to say the least. TJ and Angela love their mother but she is not a good mother. She leaves TJ in charge when she goes out and many nights does not return home. TJ and Angela live very tumultuous lives with their mother and later in various foster homes. It is when they are adopted and living with Dan and Marlene that TJ continues to struggle with his life day to day. Still afraid to hope and move on, TJ vacillates between anxiety and his horrendous past as he remembers, while perusing the Life Book he created for his new life with Dan and Marlene. Your heart aches for these two children and you root for this brother and sister to find happiness and peace in their forever home. Compelling, with realistic writing that pulls you in; you will enjoy TJ and Angela's saga.
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