Home, and Other Big, Fat Lies
Whitney has been in so many foster homes that she can give a complete rundown on the most common varieties of foster parents--from the look-on-the-bright-side types to those unfortunate examples of pure evil. But one thing she doesn't know much about is trees. This means heading for Foster Home #12 (which is all the way at the top of the map of California, where there looks to be nothing but trees) has Whitney feeling a little nervous. She is pretty sure that the middle of nowhere is going to be just one more place where a hyper, loud-mouthed kid who is messy and small for her age won't be welcome for long.
Jill Wolfson has woven together the stories of an irrepressible foster child and a deeply divided small town with incredible humor and compassion.
I loved this book with a capital L!!! A couple of months ago I read Jill Wolfson's first book, What I Call Life, loved that one, and Becky from Becky's Book Reviews suggested I read this one as well. What a great suggestion it was! I enjoyed this book so much more than the first and that was a hard feat to accomplish!
Home, and Other Big, Fat Lies follows Whitney, a supporting character in What I Call Life, as she heads off to her 12th foster home, way up in Northern California. As usual, Whitney begins life with this new family and school, as an outsider, but for once, doesn't remain that way for long. She discovers that she is one of a large number of foster children in the small community, mainly due to the bad economic times the logger families are experiencing. Fosters bring in money and therefore, the kids all think that as soon as the logging picks up again, they'll be shipped off somewhere else. They band together and form incredibly unique friendships based on this sad truth.
The other main focus of this short and often hysterically funny novel is the interest Whitney takes in nature. Her older foster brother teaches her all about the redwood forest and Whitney learns to think of it as home. She is devastated to learn that when the logging does in fact get back underway that their beloved part of the forest is the first part to be cut down. Whitney and her new brother, Striker, together with Whitney's friends, take a stand like no one in Forest Glen has ever done before, risking relationships, money, and family.
Whitney is probably one of the best characters ever created in literature. My opinion only, I know, but I loved her. She is so funny and hyperactive and asks the silliest questions, just making her more lovable. I laughed out loud more times than I can count and would truly recommend you all reading this book. Thanks again Becky!