Okay, Joan Bauer isn't exactly a friend. I mean, she doesn't even know me! But I feel like I know her thanks to an inspiring and encouraging talk she gave at SCBWI several years back. What I remember most about it (besides the dead hamster; long story) was her comment that humor enables us to look at the hurts of life. And her books certainly tackle life's hurts, with large doses of humor.
I have not read her latest, Almost Home, but one look at the cover is enough to make me move it up the to-read pile.
Here's the book's description:
When twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar's mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. With the help of a rescue dog, Shush; a foster family; a supportive teacher; a love of poetry; and her own grace and good humor, Sugar comes to understand that while she can't control the hand life deals her, she can control how she responds.
Cannot wait to read it!