Hold Fast

Featured
 
4.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
2312 0
Hold Fast
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
11+
Release Date
March 01, 2013
ISBN
9780545299886
Buy This Book
      
From NYT bestselling author Blue Balliett, the story of a girl who falls into Chicago's shelter system, and from there must solve the mystery of her father's strange disappearance.

Where is Early's father? He's not the kind of father who would disappear. But he's gone . . . and he's left a whole lot of trouble behind.

As danger closes in, Early, her mom, and her brother have to flee their apartment. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to move into a city shelter. Once there, Early starts asking questions and looking for answers. Because her father hasn't disappeared without a trace. There are patterns and rhythms to what's happened, and Early might be the only one who can use them to track him down and make her way out of a very tough place.

With her signature, singular love of language and sense of mystery, Blue Balliett weaves a story that takes readers from the cold, snowy Chicago streets to the darkest corner of the public library, on an unforgettable hunt for deep truths and a reunited family.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Hold Fast and Hold Tight
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
It has been a long time since I have read a book and completely fallen in love with the characters. All that changed when I picked up Hold Fast. I didn't want to finish the book - I didn't want to leave the characters- I just wanted to keep on reading. Early, Sum, Dash, and Jubie are characters you want to hold on to. I wanted to know how things ended but didn't want to say goodbye.

Reading is important to the Pearl family and Early's father reads to his children constantly. The Pearls dream of owning a home in a nice neighborhood. So to earn extra money, the father starts a side job delivering old books. But this job lands him in serious trouble. Early's father just disappears!

Balliett demonstrates her own love of words throughout this novel. She writes poetically about the city of Chicago and the power of family. Her use of wordplay through Early's voice allows the reader to see the magic and power of words. Being a self-proclaimed word nerd myself, Hold Fast illustrates all the wonder I see in language.

The characters in this book are well developed and believable. Early is persistent, clever and true to her family. The story line is intriguing as Balliett takes readers on a variety of twists and turns. What happened o Early's father? Will the family ever be together again? Was Early's dad the man they thought he was?

Hold Fast also introduces younger readers to the poetry of Langston Hughes. One of his books is at the center of the main mystery of the book. The poems ring true to Early and touch deep into the heart of the family and Early starts to see his words as clues. As Hughes reflects on the importance of dreams, Early has dreams of her own.

Students who like a bit of mystery and a story of persistence will enjoy this book. Hold Fast is great as a read aloud and for adults as well. The book doesn't stay long on my classroom bookshelf and has gotten rave reviews from my class.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Mystery with social importance.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Early Pearl's parents Dash and Summer, are having a hard time of it-- Early was born when they were still in high school, they don't have Early's grandparents around to help, and Dash, the father, works hard at the Chicago Public library to make ends meet. The family lives in a small but cozy apartment, reading lots of books and playing together. One day, Dash is apparently hit by a truck and disappears. Summer knows that Dash isn't the kind of father to run off on his family, but all of the police and social workers look at the family's socioeconomic status and decide that he is. Things go from bad to worse without Dash's income, and after the family's apartment is trashed by masked robbers looking for something in the family's book, the Pearls end up in a homeless shelter. Early is especially upset by this (her brother Jubilation is too young to understand their plight fully) and is determined to find out what has happened to her father so the family can get back to their dream of owning their own home. She spends time at the library where her father worked, interviewing those who knew him and trying to figure out why he was selling books out of their apartment, and finds her father's former teacher, Mr. Waive, who has fallen on hard times himself but does all he can to assist Early. How are the books tied in to her father's disappearance? What does the largest diamond heist have to do with the masked robbers? Will Dash return to the family before things become even more dire?
Good Points
A strong sense of place, as well as excellent details about what it is like to be homeless, add a lot to this mystery. Lyrical language and the use of Langston Hughes' poetry will make this one teachers love to use as a class read aloud. The social aspects of Early's homelessness and her desire to help other families in her situation is a good touch as well. I found this a more intriguing read than Chasing Vermeer and the books in that series.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Mall
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political...
The Claires
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.But each is...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo,...
What He Hides
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
She wants the truth... or does she? They say...
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King,...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"more forgetting time. more midnight dances with yourself."...
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
It’s been years since eighteen-year-old Becca Hart believed in...
More Than His Best Friend
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
She’s got a strict rule against dating. Could her...
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Members of the secret mermaid community have learned to trust...

Latest Member Reviews

TBH, This is SO Awkward
 
4.0
"'TBH, This is SO Awkward: A Novel in Text' by Lisa Greenwald is quite interesting in that it is written..."
 
4.0
"POEMS TO LIVE YOUR LIFE BY is a collection in which each poem has been hand-picked by Chris Riddell, for..."
 
5.0
"This was an adventure from start to finish. I love Polly and her determination to not give up. Gorgeous setting..."
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
"SALTY, BITTER, SWEET is a book about family, forgiveness, grief, and following your passion. Isabella dreams of being a world-class..."
The N Word
 
5.0
"'Dating the Boy Next Door' by Michelle MacQueen and Ann Maree Craven is a wonderful sequel to the first book..."
My Name is Erin, and My Mom's an Addict
 
4.8
"Erin Whitaker's father is dead and her mother is a drug addict. When she is very young her mother..."
Spoken
 
4.5
"Roman has his life turned upside down when, amidst a scandal, his mom decides to leave LA. Roman must learn..."
 
4.0
"break your glass slippers is the first book in the poetry series, “you are your own fairy tale,” by award-winning..."
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
"THE UPSIDE OF FALLING is a YA contemporary romance by Wattpad author Alex Light. The story follows Becca Hart, an..."
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
"THE WINTER DUKE is a thrilling YA fantasy that takes place in a world where magic is controlled by a..."
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
"MOST LIKELY is a fantastic YA contemporary about friendship. The book starts with a woman becoming president and reflecting back..."
Fire (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #2)
 
N/A
"Advice to save your marriage and get your Ex Boyfriend/girlfriend back ,contact assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com for Urgent effective love Spell to get..."
Spark (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #1)
 
5.0
"Advice to save your marriage and get your Ex Boyfriend/girlfriend back ,contact assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com for Urgent effective love Spell to get..."
Ashes (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #3)
 
5.0
"Advice to save your marriage and get your Ex Boyfriend/girlfriend back ,contact assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com for Urgent effective love Spell to get..."
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
"I often hear it said that writers are bred, and sure you can breed some decent writers with whatever amount..."
 
4.8
"This is a beautiful book—both in how it is designed and how it is written. The prose is lyrical, yet..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"After our mindbending landing on the moon back in 1969, we’ve faltered in our quest to explore space. Mars seems..."
The Twin
 
3.7
"Ivy and her twin sister Iris parents divorced when they were ten. Ivy got to live with their father and..."
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
"Sarah Goldstein, alias Ursulla Haller, is living right under Nazi rule in 1940 Germany. She's the Shirley Temple of the..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"Naomi can't help but wonder if there was an ulterior motive behind the decision to kick Leo out of the..."