aladdin. An Imprint of Simon & Schuster. 2023
Katie Van Heidrich, the oldest of three, tries to navigate her broken family in this coming-of-age memoir told in verse.
Middle schooler, Katie, for one semester, is finding life difficult after her parents divorce. Her mother is unable to keep a job, causing them to often go without food. At one point, their financial situation is so dire they must live in an extended-stay motel, all sharing the same room. A good student, Katie struggles with how her peers could view her if they knew by a situation that is not her fault.
For example, the motel they are forced to live in is out of the school district, so Katie fears if anyone finds out she will not be able to attend her school.
Yet, throughout, Katie uses her talent for writing to find some normalcy during this time of being in-between.
“This is the way it’s always been,
and though it’s always been
hard to do, we somehow
always figure it out,
knowing we’ve made
ways out of no ways before -“
The book includes some family photos.
A powerful read for middle school students.