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Forever, or a Long, Long Time Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Eleven-year-old Flora and her younger brother, Julian, have lived in so many foster homes that they have no memories of growing up and no history. They believe not only that they were never babies but also that they were never even born. This startling notion hooks readers from the first chapter: What happened to the siblings before they were adopted by Emily (whom Flora refers to as "Person")? Carter (My Life with the Liars) delicately draws readers into the lives of a group of people overcoming obstacles as they learn how to become a family. Through Flora's skittish, yearning voice, Carter explains the siblings' reluctance to accept that they have found their forever home: "We can't help preparing for the fall." The family's fragile progress is tested when Emily and her husband reveal they're having a baby and Flora fights with Elena, teen daughter of Emily's husband. To help Flora and Julian embrace their future, Emily takes them on a journey into the past, visiting their former foster homes and caregivers. During the trip, Carter truly shows her skill, observing simple moments of the tenuous yet growing bond between mother and children while painting an unflinching portrait of the tragic shortcomings of the foster care system. Strong secondary characters flesh out the narrative, but the novel's heart belongs to the relationship among Emily, Flora, and Julian as they learn how to trust and to meet one another's needs. VERDICT Addressing contemporary family issues and a child's timeless desire for self-knowledge, this title is a first purchase for middle grade collections.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY
Carter’s sophomore novel gently weaves the heartache and confusion of abandonment with the struggle for love and acceptance. Poetic and meditative, this emotionally enthralling novel undresses assumptions with purpose and hope. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
Carter delicately draws readers into the lives of a group of people overcoming obstacles as they learn how to become a family. The novel’s heart belongs to the relationship among Emily, Flora, and Julian as they learn how to trust and to meet one another’s needs. (School Library Journal (starred review))
This stunning portrayal of the circuitous path of trauma and healing teems with compassion, empathy, and the triumph of resilience (Booklist (starred review))
“Complex and well-rounded characters. Authentic.” (The Horn Book)
“This nuanced novel highlights the struggle to trust an adoptive family after a traumatic history in foster care.Carter’s layered narrative doesn’t shy from pain as it testifies to resilience and the expansive power of love.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Flora’s narration is deftly turned. The portrayal of kids whose lives have genuinely impaired them has grit and honesty as well as warmth, and it will open many readers’ eyes to the impact of trauma.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
Top customer reviews
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I adored Emily, the mother. Just loved her and really the whole family, too. The family wasn't perfect but it was still amazing. I thought the family dynamics were so well done and I hope to read more by Caela Carter soon.
living in an institutional setting because they have been removed from their homes or foster home, typically because they have been abused. The children present as normal to me and I never know their stories, but this book offered great insight into the experiences they may have been through and the defenses they may have developed to survive. It is a terrific read- a real page turner. I really enjoyed the book and learned a great deal from it as well.
It drew me in right away. The characters are very lovable. Flora's point of view is very interesting.
I also loved how casually inclusive it was about race, sexual orientation, etc.
It did, however, feel quite one-track. I think if it had been shorter, it would have been less repetitive and thus even more powerful.
People may hate me for this, or misunderstand what I'm about to say, and I'm not arguing that the children's pasts weren't extremely difficult and didn't cause many problems and heartache for them, but it kept talking about trauma, trauma, trauma, and these kids thought of so little else...yet they had one really excellent foster home, one not so bad home, and one pretty bad home, but bad in the no-affection, very firm discipline, no fun, not quite enough food way—which is bad, very bad. And when you can't remember your parents or why they left you, that's very, very difficult, with wide-reaching consequences. But there are kids out there who have experienced much, much more severe trauma: one parent murdering the other in front of their eyes, physical abuse, sexual abuse, vicious verbal abuse, absolutely unsanitary conditions, homelessness, living in war, in famine, parents who are constantly high or drunk, who leave them alone for days with no food, And I just hope that all this talk of Flora and Julian's trauma doesn't lessen the impact of the word.
That said, it's a very good book. I would more by Caela Carter.
Most recent customer reviews
The story is about a sister and brother who have been in the foster system and...Read more