From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8–Cassie's world started falling apart even before her brother left for Iraq, her family fragile and a friendship broken, but the seventh grader finds some healing in correspondence with a young female Iraqi blogger whose world has been destroyed in much more devastating ways.α(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"The complexity of war is a challenge in a book for middle-schoolers, but Sullivan gets it right. Cassie's family, honest and hurting, behaves in ways disjointed, unpredictable, and also occasionally heroic. . . . Just as in war, Cassie finds there are no easy answers."
(The Horn Book )
"Effectively captures the messiness of life in a loving family, when outside-world events intervene. Through it all, Cassie discovers her own strengths and rallies everyone around her. . . . A compassionate portrait of a family struggling with painful changes."
(Kirkus Reviews )
"Effectively sketches Cassie's growing confusion as she learns more and cultivates a more balanced view of the war. . . . Doesn't sugarcoat how hard things are for Cassie's family on the home front, yet captures the resilience and hope that keeps them going."
(Publishers Weekly )
“Absorbing. . . . Shows how being forced to face the deadly realities of war can deepen a teenager’s understanding of life. . . . Cassie discovers both a dark truth about the world and a way to appreciate her own life.”
(The New York Times Book Review )
“Both timely and timeless. . . . The struggles that Cassie goes through are applicable to any era. Sullivan’s prose allows us to feel the bittersweet acceptance and love each family member has for the others, and we leave feeling the same for Cassie as she must feel for her brother: hope for her future well-being and the joy of living in the present.”
“Sullivan’s first novel for younger readers bears her trademark spare delivery, a good choice for Cassie’s tension-filled life. Fully dimensional characterizations bring depth to the story as Cassie matures and begins to understand the hard truths.”
“Works on many levels. . . . Cassie is strong and level-headed. . . . Hand this to readers who are interested in family dynamics and who understand what it’s like to send a loved one to war.”
(Library Media Connection )