Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel
Evangeline is having a hard time seeing the charm since her mother died. Her dad doesn't keep the place up like he could (in fact, he spends more time drinking with his buddy than anything else). She doesn't have any friends at school until Farrell comes to live next door with her Pa's drinking buddy. It's an uneasy friendship at first, since neither of them seems to know exactly how to behave.
A new teacher at school is a pleasant surprise for Evangeline. Instead of the dreaded Mrs. Thornton, she has the young and pretty Miss Rose. But Miss Rose is planning on scheduling home visits and that scares both Evangeline and Farrell. They know that their home life isn't all it's cracked up to be and Evangeline in particular is both embarrassed and ashamed.
Things come to a head when Evangeline and Farrell both fear that Social Services are coming to take them away. (There are quite a few other things going on in this story, but I don't want to give away every detail) In the end, they both discover that family is what you make of it.
This is a nicely written story about the importance of friendship, family, and being true to yourself. I recommend this book for readers aged 10 and up.