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A Duet for Home

Tekijä: Karina Yan Glaser

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
10111270,375 (4.14)2
Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. HTML:

From the New York Times best-selling creator of the Vanderbeekers series comes a triumphant tale of friendship, healing, and the power of believing in ourselves told from the perspective of biracial sixth-graders June and Tyrell, two children living in a homeless shelter. As their friendship grows over a shared love of classical music, June and Tyrell confront a new housing policy that puts homeless families in danger.

It's June's first day at Huey House, and as if losing her home weren't enough, she also can't bring her cherished viola inside. Before the accident last year, her dad saved tip money for a year to buy her viola, and she's not about to give it up now. Tyrell has been at Huey House for three years and gives June a glimpse of the good things about living there: friendship, hot meals, and a classical musician next door. Can he and June work together to oppose the government, or will families be forced out of Huey House before they are ready?

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… (lisätietoja)
Viimeisimmät tallentajatvictorylibrary, marenp2003, Jaime_B, ewyatt, yksityinen kirjasto, Artur-Bobinski, ParkDay6th, lwhritenour
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 10) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
June and Tyrell serve as alternating narrators as they meet and grow a friendship at Huey House, a transitional housing facility in Brooklyn. When the kids find out about some new policies that are going to push residents out after 90 days, they tray to take action. There is a strong community at Huey House and both kids struggle with their relationships with their mom. They bond over their love of music. As I listened to the book, I could picture the place and the characters. It was touching. ( )
  ewyatt | Apr 25, 2024 |
As an adult reader, this felt very didactic to me. Like when Tyrell overheard the "slick voice" man talking about his dastardly plans to move families out of the shelter faster (p. 99) I rolled my eyes so hard they almost fell out of my head. It was like a scene from Scooby-Doo. I also didn't like that Tyrell's mom seemed like a stereotype of a lazy welfare mom. I read another review that pointed out that this book has attractive virtuous characters and unattractive evil characters (e.g. Ms. G = attractive/good; MacVillain = unattractive/bad) which again plays into stereotypes.

But I think many young readers will learn something new about homelessness from this book and be drawn into the injustice/activism angle (though it does take a while for the plot to get going). I liked that the characters had more going on than just being homeless (a shared love of classical music). The audiobook had dual narrators for June and Tyrell and both were good.

If you're looking for other books for middle-grade readers about homelessness, I suggest [b:Paper Things|22747802|Paper Things|Jennifer Richard Jacobson|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1415586683l/22747802._SX50_.jpg|42292738] and [b:Crenshaw|23310699|Crenshaw|Katherine Applegate|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1475972698l/23310699._SX50_.jpg|42864821] and [b:No Fixed Address|37683441|No Fixed Address|Susin Nielsen|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1518441561l/37683441._SY75_.jpg|59311826]. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
Karina takes what I love most about the Vanderbeeker's, their tact for hard topics to the next level in this book. Lots of great characters and a great message. ( )
  hellokirsti | Jan 3, 2024 |
Duet for Home presents the story of homeless people and those who actually help them.

After June's father passed away, June has had to take care of everything because her mother descends into severe depression. Her mother becomes a mere object in the novel; she sits like a statue, failing to go to work and hardly speaking. June finds herself packing up what they have into three garbage bags and moving into Huey House. She discovers it's a place for homeless people. She's mortified and then ends up the butt of a joke that wasn't meant for her on the first night! It's not a great beginning. She quickly discovers this home provides a bridge to returning to independence. The social worker meets with everyone weekly and really cares for the people and provides special gifts for everyone. She gets training for people in skills, cooks for the people, gets their favorite foods, and finds safe places the families can actually move to and succeed. June meets the perpetrators of the jokesters and immediately becomes friends with both of them. June's sister, Maybelle, adapts very quickly. She makes friends and there is an animal that needs her love. In other words, Huey House is a family.

Maybelle: loves animals and wants Nana, a dog who lives in a shelter by their old home.
Tyrell: lives at Huey house for 1,275 days when June arrives. He loves pulling pranks with his best friend, Jeremiah. His mom cares only for herself and can't hold down a job.
Jeremiah: lives with his mom and is Tyrell's best friend; they plan on getting an apartment together when they "age out" at 18. He makes sure he and Tyrell get their homework done.
Lulu: lives with her mother and grandmother, helping out anytime she's needed. She's very good with kids.
Ms. Gonzalez: works at Huey House as the family services director. She listens and cares for the residents.
Marcus: works at Huey House as security, making everyone feel safe and seen. He protects people from the director, Ms. MacMillan, who has very strict rules, esp. regarding music.

The homeless become real people, not an amorphous group labeled, "homeless" who need to be hidden. June continues to attend her former school in China town, but she doesn't want anyone to know what is going on with her and her family. She and her sister get on the bus each morning at 5:30 a.m. for a two-hour bus ride to school. Then, it's a two-hour ride home. That's a lot of travel time. She takes complete responsibility for raising her sister, as their mother doesn't seem to realize they exist. She wakes her sister up at 5:00, gets them both ready and on the bus. Lulu greets them the first morning to make sure they are doing well. Eventually, they settle into this routine. Upon returning home, June finds dinner in the cafeteria enjoyable (although not particularly edible), becoming friends with Tyrell and Jeremiah. Marcus helps her hide her viola, as instruments are not allowed. Tyrell helps her find a place to practice, as June wants to join the orchestra at school. Little does June know, but Tyrell listens to classical music from someone who plays the violin nightly at 8:00. He sits in a window and listens. It's because of the people at Huey House that June finds a new viola teacher and finds her voice as a person and a musician.

These people support and care for each other until the city wants to intrude. People believe there are way too many "homeless" taking tax payer's money, so they need to get them into homes and jobs. These places to help them cost too much. Underneath the stresses of being homeless and trying to find a way out, looms this new threat. Rumors have it that in 90 days everyone must move on. They would lose the support system, especially Ms. Gonzalez. Rumor also has it that the relocations are terrible. There might not be water or there's a long walk to the subway, making getting a job harder. It's a step down, not a step up. How do you fight back when you are down? June and Tyrell find a strong friendship, people they can depend on when they can't depend on their biological families. You see resilience in this novel. You see people who truly care and actually help people to work themselves out of homelessness. It's an uplifting book about humanity. ( )
  acargile | Jul 18, 2023 |
Ooph! This book! For about the first 100 pages, I wasn't sure I could keep reading. Not because it wasn't good - it was great. But also just so overwhelming. The story is told in alternating chapters by two tweens.
Tyrell is a biracial twelve year old that lives in a New York City homeless shelter with his mom - who is completely indifferent to Tyrell. Your heart will ache repeatedly for Tyrell. And also cheer him on as he finds ways to deal with his anger.
June finds herself somewhat unknowingly settled into the homeless shelter with her mom and 6 year old little sister. They are Chinese - her mom does not speak or understand a lot of English so June translates everything and fills out paperwork. The whole family is dealing with grief from the death of June's dad six months ago - but her mom is almost catatonic. So June is left to deal with taking care of her little sister and their eviction from their apartment all by herself. It took me a while to accept that the system would let June and her sister slip through the cracks but then I realized that allowing a child to act as translator is probably a fairly common thing so - people either did not notice or did not care.
Both of these kids are complex characters that are carrying so much weight - but with the help of a couple of great adults (Ms. G and Marcus) they manage to not just survive but excel.
The home where they live - and the entire homelessness "problem" in NYC - has been targeted by the mayor because she is up for re-election and it is a major issue. The proposed solution is to move families out of the shelters more quickly into "permanent" housing with vouchers and thus free up space to move in more people off the street. It doesn't matter to City Hall that the "permanent" housing is not only sub-standard but also remote - without access to transportation and in dangerous neighborhoods. It is basically a putting lipstick on a pig solution.
The person that runs the shelter where Tyrell and June live does not care about the people in the shelter - she just wants her money and possible incentives from the housing agency. But Marcus, the security guard, and Ms. G - a social worker - do care about the people.
Although June and Tyrell get off to a rocky start, they soon become friends. And they bond over music. June plays viola. And Tyrell loves classical music. A mysterious neighbor who lives in a brownstone next to their shelter plays beautiful music every night. And Tyrell is always there to listen. This mystery musician ends up being a somewhat unexpected lifesaver for the kids.
When the kids and families learn about the plan to kick them out of the shelter and fire Ms. G, they rally together and march on City Hall to demand a voice in what is being foisted on them. But will it be enough?
The book does end on a hopeful note and I am glad I kept reading - so much happens to June and Tyrell in the few months covered in the story but ultimately it has a positive resolution. The author did work in the NYC system for several years. It is a huge, complicated, messy situation and it is often easy to forget that it is made up of individual people who each have their own hopes and dreams and stories. ( )
  robenc | Jan 4, 2023 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 10) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. HTML:

From the New York Times best-selling creator of the Vanderbeekers series comes a triumphant tale of friendship, healing, and the power of believing in ourselves told from the perspective of biracial sixth-graders June and Tyrell, two children living in a homeless shelter. As their friendship grows over a shared love of classical music, June and Tyrell confront a new housing policy that puts homeless families in danger.

It's June's first day at Huey House, and as if losing her home weren't enough, she also can't bring her cherished viola inside. Before the accident last year, her dad saved tip money for a year to buy her viola, and she's not about to give it up now. Tyrell has been at Huey House for three years and gives June a glimpse of the good things about living there: friendship, hot meals, and a classical musician next door. Can he and June work together to oppose the government, or will families be forced out of Huey House before they are ready?

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