Stealing Our Way Home
Everything changed after Pippa and Jack's mother died last spring. Pippa stopped speaking, Jack started picking fights, and their father's struggling business began to fail. Now, with school starting again, Pippa doesn't know how she'll manage a class presentation on Spartan warriors when she can't even find the words to tell her father that she wishes he were home more. And Jack is struggling to understand his feelings for the mysterious girl next door.
But when Jack and Pippa realize that their dad is getting so desperate for cash to keep the family afloat that he might be going to extreme -- and illegal -- lengths to make ends meet, they are faced with the biggest decision of their lives. How far are they willing to go to keep their family together?
Stealing Our Way Home is a poignant, deeply affecting novel about falling apart, finding your voice, and the power of letting go.
Grief is a complicated matter
After their mother's death from cancer, 4th grader Pippa refuses to speak, and her brother, 7th grader Jack, feels responsible. Their father is struggling as well. The family's water and electricity are turned off, their credit card is declined when the children go to buy new school clothes, and when Jack and Pippa visit their father's car dealership, they realizes that he has had to close it. Luckily, they have a neighbor, Nibs, who is there to help them. Nibs alerts Pippa's teachers to her problem, and watches out for the children. Jack is not getting along too well with his friend Ben, and he's glad to meet a new girl in their neighborhood, Shelby, who is also very kind to Pippa. Jack is very worried when his father tells him that he has a plan for making the family finances right again, and doesn't want to be involved. Still, he doesn't want to lose the family's house by the lake, so he goes along with his father. Eventually, Pippa finds out about the plan, and insists on going with her father and Jack the next time they go out. Will the family ever be right again?
More interesting than the discussion of grief is the idea that not everyone is law abiding, and the thought that some people will try to solve their problems through criminal means. I think we will be seeing more of this kind of novel in the near future, but it was rather an innovative topic.