Spotlight on The Places We Sleep (Caroline Brooks DuBois), Excerpt, Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)

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 Today we're excited to spotlight The Places We Sleep (Caroline Brooks DuBois).

 Read on for more about Caroline, plus a excerpt & a giveaway!

 

 

 

 

Meet Caroline Brooks DuBois!

Caroline Brooks DuBois is a poet and educator who received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. After teaching English at the middle school, high school, and college level, she was named a Nashville Blue Ribbon Teacher. The Places We Sleep is her debut novel. Caroline lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her family. Visit her online at carolineduboiswrites.com.

  

 Website * Twitter * Instagram

 

 

 

 

Meet The Places We Sleep!

A stunning debut novel in verse about a family divided, a country going to war, and a girl desperate to feel at home.

It's early September 2001, and twelve-year-old Abbey is the new kid at school. Again.

I worry about people speaking to me / and worry just the same / when they don't.

Tennessee is her family's latest stop in a series of moves based on her dad's work in the Army, but this one might be different. Her school is far from Base, and for the first time, Abbey has found a real friend: loyal, courageous, athletic Camille.

And then it's September 11, 2001. The country is under attack, and Abbey's first period arrives.

Like a punch to the gut / like a shove in the girls' room / like a name I won't repeat.

Abbey's family falters in the aftermath of the attacks. With her mother grieving, and her father preparing for active duty, Abbey must cope with the tragedy - and her body's betrayal - on her own.

Written in gorgeous narrative verse, Abbey's coming-of-age story portrays the military family experience during a tumultuous period in American history. Perfect for fans of sensitive, tender-hearted books like The Thing About Jellyfish.

 

 

Amazon * B & N Indiebound

 

 

~ Excerpt ~

 

SEPTEMBER 

1.

It arrives like a punch to the gut

like a shove in the girls’ room

like a name I won’t repeat.

 

It arrives like nobody’s business, staring and glaring me down, singling me out

 

in the un-singular mob that ebbs and flows and swells and grows

in the freshly painted, de-roached hallways of Henley Middle.

 

It arrives like a spotlight,

like an intruder in my bedroom,

like a meteor to my center of gravity.




It arrives.

And my body—

in cahoots—allows it.




Just.





Like.






That.



It arrives

and textbooks, full of themselves, weigh me down.

This backpack holds the tools for my success, yet I’m unprepared for IT:

No change of clothes, no “girl supplies,”

no friend to ask

because Camille is nowhere nearby, no know-how,

no nothing.

 

(Did I mention, it arrives like a double negative?)

 

What was Mom thinking by not thinking

to prepare me for IT?



2.

The bully-of-a-bell taunts me, rings its second warning

to those of us clogging the halls:

 

Follow the arrows, Dummy, on the walls!

Remember your locker’s secret code: 22 06 07




Left,

Right,

 

and then Right again,




as if that cold metal box

holds all I need to survive yet another school.

 

If I could just locate Camille—

the only person I can talk to, the one friend I’ve made

since we moved to town in June—

she might know what to do.

 

But no sight of Camille’s flame-red hair, and I’m pushed through the rush

of arms and legs and sideways scowls. My insides turning black and blue; my sense of direction confused,

just as the other new student—Jiman—breezes by, head up and confident.

I stop to stare at her

before stumbling in to Ms. Dequire’s room.

Late again! And her mouth forms its red-stained frown:

 

“Tardy, Abbey!”



I find my seat, resist the urge to draw, instead head my paper:

 

Abbey Wood

Math



September 11, 2001

3.

 

I sit through that morning hour, a dull ache in my abdomen

blossoming like a gigantic thorned flower, jotting down mathematical formulas

I’m told are the key to my future.

Even with a math teacher for a mother, my focus wavers in and out . . . until

another teacher bursts in and whispers in the ear of our teacher,

who stops teaching to wring her hands.

 

“Something’s happening—in New York and in D.C.,” she informs us.

 

The tension is tangible.

 

“Some planes have crashed!”

 

But we don’t know

the half of it yet.

 

And to my shock,



we are soon released

from school.

 

Whatever’s happening must be terrible. But I can’t curb my relief:

 

Early dismissal!

Set free!

 

Free to trod off,

free to go our separate ways




like it was any

other



September day.





4.

The buses pull up like salvation on wheels, like rays of sunshine to my gloom.

 

And Camille, my single friend in Tennessee, is AWOL, so I sit up front on the bus and sketch.

Up front, with the kids from the elementary school next door. Up front, with my back to kids my own age.

who are talking and shouting

and pushing and shoving



and vibrating with questions about what’s happening. Up front,

where the driver is crying!

 

Crying!

. . . about what’s happening in New York? New York is where Mom’s sister,

my Aunt Rose lives and Uncle Todd,

and my cousins Jackson and Kate!

 

If anyone has cause to cry, it’s me—

but I’m sure they’re okay. New York is huge.

 

It’s not just that—my secret is now announcing itself, and I have nothing to tie around my waist

and I’m wishing I hadn’t worn white.




Maybe a few others have reasons too,

like the kid halfway back so short nobody sees him, or the sixth-grader who sits near the football boys

and tries like mad to make them laugh. Or Jiman, new like me,

who also sits alone

but doesn’t usually seem to care.



How will I walk away from this bus, my back

to all these nosy faces,

eyes staring from windows, arms dangling,

mouths jeering?

 

But I do.

 

And Mom’s car is in the drive! The high school must have dismissed, too.



5.

It’s the way she clutches the phone

and that unspeakable expression on her face— her voice attempting to comfort

someone who is NOT me.

She glances, half-smiles out of habit as I walk into our latest house.

But only her mouth smiles. Her eyes are hollow wells of worry. Her eyes miss the BIG change in me.

I need her to hang up and follow me

to the bathroom, to talk to me

through the door,



tell me, “Abbey, I’m here,” but she doesn’t.

I count to ten.

Breathe deeply.

Count again.

 

Is she talking to Aunt Rose? Uncle Todd? Is it about New York?

Her voice quivers and doesn’t sound like her own.

 

What’s going on there?



6.

I soak my underclothes in soapy warmth

and think of the sink in my art teacher’s class, with its every-color splatter, and paint brushes rinsing free of paint.

 

The TV buzzes loud from our den

with news of a magnitude I can’t comprehend.

 

Why can’t Mom hear me

crying for her, needing her, screaming in my head— the kind of screaming

a mother should hear?



7.

She finds me in bed,

sketchbook propped in my lap.

 

“Something’s happened . . .” she whispers.

 

I rise and shadow her

from room

to room,

questions stick in my throat.

 

“My sister!” she chokes, tossing random shirts

and pants toward a suitcase and swiping at her eyes

with a pair of socks.

I pick up clothes where they land, fold them neatly,

place them gently into her bag.

 

“What’s going on—” I begin,

but she’s distracted and tells me, “I have to request a sub,”

replacing my words with hers.



I rearrange the photos of relatives on her dresser and stare at a recent one

of my cousins.

 

Mom pauses packing for a few seconds, looks directly at me and tries to explain

with plain language, straightforward, seemingly simple:

 

Your Aunt Rose is missing.

 

Still, I stare,

my face a fill-in-the blank,

 

my brain shuts down, my words dry up.

 

Missing?

 

Missing from her desk, her office in New York, the towering building in which she worked,

but the building in which she worked, her office, her desk are also missing,

as in—no longer.

 

Missing?

 

How can a building just give up,

be gone? How can people just disappear?



Mom is preparing

to drive to New York—

which is half a map from here— to be with my cousins,

Jackson and Kate,

who are thirteen and eight, and with my Uncle Todd,

 

while Dad and I will be missing her.

 

But not the same kind of missing.

 

My Aunt Rose is missing from the 86th floor of a building that’s smoldering and missing most of itself.

 

I visited her office once, with my cousins and Uncle Todd. See, my Aunt Rose and I,

we see eye to eye. We click.

She gets me. That day, she let me

sit in her chair and pretend to be Boss, so I bossed everyone: Be nice! Make art!

Aunt Rose agreed, “Let’s decree naps, music, candy—and raises for everybody!”



A framed landscape I’d drawn

decorated her office’s white wall, which I guess

is not there anymore.



8.

“All?” I ask.

 

“All planes are grounded,” Mom repeats, her voice gone monotone.

 

“As in, not in the air?” I ask again.

 

She nods, looks out our window to the empty sky. “Who knows what’s coming next!”

 

After planning her route, she hesitates—“Your dad will be home soon”—and then kisses me,

grabs her final necessities, and loads her car.

 

I remind her to wear her seatbelt, to call when she gets there,

then I wave goodbye,

but she’s already in math-teacher

 

 

 

 

  

The Places We Sleep

By: Caroline Brooks DuBois

Publisher: Holiday House

Release Date: August 18th, 2020

 

 

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

One winner will receive a copy of The Places We Sleep (Caroline Brooks DuBois) ~ (US Only)

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

 

 

 

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Comments 11

Already Registered? Login Here
Zachary Snyder on Friday, 28 August 2020 11:36

Look forward to reading this!

0
Look forward to reading this!
Andrea Cerda on Monday, 31 August 2020 13:21

Looks like an interesting read

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Looks like an interesting read
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Amanda on Friday, 04 September 2020 18:08

This is one of my most anticipated fall reads

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This is one of my most anticipated fall reads
Alivia Hartz on Wednesday, 09 September 2020 17:44

This cover is so cute!!! I love the style of it.

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This cover is so cute!!! I love the style of it.
Chiara Jucha on Friday, 11 September 2020 10:34

This looks really interesting, I think my students would like it!

0
This looks really interesting, I think my students would like it!
Brittany on Sunday, 13 September 2020 12:13

This cover looks like a set of postcards I recently bought. Such beautiful artwork!

0
This cover looks like a set of postcards I recently bought. Such beautiful artwork!
Alex Colpitts on Sunday, 13 September 2020 14:41

cover colors are very aesthetically pleasing

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cover colors are very aesthetically pleasing
Danielle Hammelef on Tuesday, 22 September 2020 17:51

The cover is beautiful. I've never read a novel set during this time and it sounds emotional.

0
The cover is beautiful. I've never read a novel set during this time and it sounds emotional.
John Clark on Wednesday, 23 September 2020 19:20

Definitely going on my TBR list

0
Definitely going on my TBR list

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