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A Duet for Home

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From the New York Times bestselling creator of the Vanderbeeker series comes a triumphant tale of friendship, healing, and the power of believing in ourselves told from the perspective of biracial sixth-graders June and Tyrell, two children living in a homeless shelter. As their friendship grows over a shared love of classical music, June and Tyrell confront a new housing From the New York Times bestselling creator of the Vanderbeeker series comes a triumphant tale of friendship, healing, and the power of believing in ourselves told from the perspective of biracial sixth-graders June and Tyrell, two children living in a homeless shelter. As their friendship grows over a shared love of classical music, June and Tyrell confront a new housing policy that puts homeless families in danger. It's June’s first day at Huey House, and as if losing her home weren’t enough, she also can’t bring her cherished viola inside. Before the accident last year, her dad saved tip money for a year to buy her viola, and she’s not about to give it up now. Tyrell has been at Huey House for three years and gives June a glimpse of the good things about living there: friendship, hot meals, and a classical musician next door. Can he and June work together to oppose the government, or will families be forced out of Huey House before they are ready?


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From the New York Times bestselling creator of the Vanderbeeker series comes a triumphant tale of friendship, healing, and the power of believing in ourselves told from the perspective of biracial sixth-graders June and Tyrell, two children living in a homeless shelter. As their friendship grows over a shared love of classical music, June and Tyrell confront a new housing From the New York Times bestselling creator of the Vanderbeeker series comes a triumphant tale of friendship, healing, and the power of believing in ourselves told from the perspective of biracial sixth-graders June and Tyrell, two children living in a homeless shelter. As their friendship grows over a shared love of classical music, June and Tyrell confront a new housing policy that puts homeless families in danger. It's June’s first day at Huey House, and as if losing her home weren’t enough, she also can’t bring her cherished viola inside. Before the accident last year, her dad saved tip money for a year to buy her viola, and she’s not about to give it up now. Tyrell has been at Huey House for three years and gives June a glimpse of the good things about living there: friendship, hot meals, and a classical musician next door. Can he and June work together to oppose the government, or will families be forced out of Huey House before they are ready?

30 review for A Duet for Home

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Fans of the Vanderbeekers can rejoice. There is a new title from Karina Yan Glaser to read in April! You don't have to wait until September for the next Vanerbeekers book. This new release is set in the Bronx and Chinatown. At the center of this narrative is a homeless shelter for families called Huey House. June (short for Juniperi) and her little sister Maybelle arrive there with their mom after being evicted. They are a family in mourning for a father lost in a bicycle delivery accident. June Fans of the Vanderbeekers can rejoice. There is a new title from Karina Yan Glaser to read in April! You don't have to wait until September for the next Vanerbeekers book. This new release is set in the Bronx and Chinatown. At the center of this narrative is a homeless shelter for families called Huey House. June (short for Juniperi) and her little sister Maybelle arrive there with their mom after being evicted. They are a family in mourning for a father lost in a bicycle delivery accident. June's mother is depressed and barely has the energy to speak. June shoulders responsibility well beyond her years and is one of our narrators. The other narrator is a boy named Tyrell who has already been at Huey House for 1,275 days when June arrives. The two become friends and bond over music and a desire to overturn a new housing policy that will adversely affect other families like theirs. Readers will find a window into what it is like to be homeless and learn about ways that unjust policies might be addressed. As with the Vanderbeekers, the story includes pets and strong family connections. The author worked in the New York City shelter system right out of college. She observed the effects of a policy change like the one in the book firsthand. What we can definitely see in this book is that homeless families are not all alike. They have different challenges and cannot all be helped by cookie cutter application of a well-intended policy. We can all be more informed about what our city is doing to help the homeless and vote for candidates who have good ideas. We can also donate money, food, and services to our church Benevolent fund, a local food pantry, and/or a homeless shelter that specializes in family assistance. This book comes out on April 5. It would make an excellent classroom read aloud title. Thank you to Clarion Books and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathie

    I am a HUGE fan of the Vanderbeekers series, so I was thrilled to hear that the author has a standalone novel scheduled for April 2022. I requested an eARC from Edelweiss+ as soon as it was available and read it immediately. This wonderful story takes a look at the issue of homelessness in New York City while also focusing on family, community, and advocacy for social justice. The story is told from the perspectives of June and Tyrell, two teens who live at Huey House, which is a family homeless I am a HUGE fan of the Vanderbeekers series, so I was thrilled to hear that the author has a standalone novel scheduled for April 2022. I requested an eARC from Edelweiss+ as soon as it was available and read it immediately. This wonderful story takes a look at the issue of homelessness in New York City while also focusing on family, community, and advocacy for social justice. The story is told from the perspectives of June and Tyrell, two teens who live at Huey House, which is a family homeless shelter. June, her younger sister Maybelle, and their mom arrive at Huey House, unsure about their circumstances after being evicted from their apartment. Their mom is uncommunicative, so June has taken on caring for Maybelle, and she’s distraught when she learns she can’t bring her beloved viola into the shelter as instruments aren’t allowed. Tyrell and his mom have spent almost three years there, and he’s best friends with Jeremiah, who also lives there with his mom, and they attend the same nearby school. Tyrell’s mom has trouble keeping a job, and he’s content to stay at the shelter where he has a network of people who care about him. After a rocky start, June and Tyrell become friends and bond over a shared love of music. But the government is trying to force families out of Huey House and into different (and often unsafe) accommodations to get more homeless people off the street. The pair come up with an idea to draw attention to the government proposal but will anyone listen? What I love most about the author’s books is how community plays such a huge role, and this story is no different. The residents and staff of Huey House support each other, and there are very tight bonds between several of them. The family support worker, Ms. G., is one of my favourite characters as she genuinely cares about the families who live there and wants to see them succeed. Although each family has serious challenges, hope also lives in Huey House, and the government’s plans threaten to destroy it. I love that readers will understand some of the politics behind homelessness, and these characters will also challenge the misconceptions many may have about homeless people. It’s a heartwarming story about a serious topic, where harsh realities aren’t sugar-coated but handled sensitively for a middle-grade audience. I would highly recommend adding this book to your TBR list and pre-ordering it now. *I do feel the recommended age (Gr. 3 to 7) is off as I know extremely few kids who can handle 368 pages in Gr. 3.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Karina Yan Glaser's "A Duet for Home" is a beautifully crafted novel about family and friendships found within the walls of a transitional housing unit called Huey House. The author drew on her experiences as a young woman working with a NYC shelter in the South Bronx to tell this realistic fiction story. The narrator duties are shared in altenating chapters by two extremely compelling characters: June and Tyrell. June has only recently arrived at Huey House with her mother and younger sister. A Karina Yan Glaser's "A Duet for Home" is a beautifully crafted novel about family and friendships found within the walls of a transitional housing unit called Huey House. The author drew on her experiences as a young woman working with a NYC shelter in the South Bronx to tell this realistic fiction story. The narrator duties are shared in altenating chapters by two extremely compelling characters: June and Tyrell. June has only recently arrived at Huey House with her mother and younger sister. After her father's recent death, June's mother has retreated into silence and depression, leaving June on her own to navigate their new home and help her sister Maybelle. Tyrell has been at Huey House for over 3 years. He and his best friend Jeremiah are like brothers, using their knowledge of every corner of the residence to pull off pranks on a grumpy neighbor and the even meaner center director. Tyrell and June form a friendship that at first is centered around their shared love of classical music. Soon however a new political policy threatens the stability and safety that they, and many others, have found at Huey House. Much As Yan Glaser did in her "Vanderbeekers' series" this story contains a multidimensional portrait of a slice of NYC, combining humor and emotion in a compelling tale which also encourages reflection on big topics such as homelessness, poverty, and social welfare programs. . I highly recommend "A Duet for Home" as an addition to elementary school and middle school libraries and classrooms.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus June and her sister Maybelle have been struggling since the death of their father in an auto accident, mainly because their mother has shut down. She stops going to work, and authorities arrive at the family's apartment to evict them. June is given a slip for a homeless shelter, helps pack their belongings, and is soon at Huey House in the Bronx trying to understand what is happening. Her mother's primary language is Cantonese, so June interprets a lot. Family cou E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus June and her sister Maybelle have been struggling since the death of their father in an auto accident, mainly because their mother has shut down. She stops going to work, and authorities arrive at the family's apartment to evict them. June is given a slip for a homeless shelter, helps pack their belongings, and is soon at Huey House in the Bronx trying to understand what is happening. Her mother's primary language is Cantonese, so June interprets a lot. Family counselor Mrs. G. is helpful and kind, but the director of the shelter, Mrs. McMillan, is not. One of the shelter rules is "no musical instruments", but June is determined to hold on to the viola her father gave her. Luckily Marcus, one of the staff, makes sure it is safe and manages to get it to the family's room when Mrs. McMillan isn't looking. We also meet Tyrell and Jeremiah, who have been living in the shelter with their mothers for three years. The two are very close, and often pull pranks on Mrs. McMillan. One of these goes wrong and sprays June and Maybelle with cranberry juice, but the boys feel bad and do apologize. June and Maybelle get transportation back to their school in Chinatown, but must get up at 5:30 a.m. and endure the long bus ride. Their mother is still very remote, but Mrs. G. helps the girls get settled in. The boys help June find a place to practice her viola, and one of the older women in the building managed to get June an audition with a woman who lives next door and teaches strings. Domenika is brusque, but when Maybelle settles down a dog she is pet sitting, she reluctantly agrees to teach June. When Tyrell accompanies her and mentions that he has always wanted to learn to play the violin, he gets instruction as well. The homeless shelter is under a lot of pressure to move residents out of the shelter into more permanent housing, both to make way for other families in need but also to lower the number of homeless residents in the city. Vouchers are being made available, but these are often applicable only in undesirable housing that is substandard or far from public transport. When the children find out that the new city policies are going to affect them, they decide to speak up. Will they be able to make a difference? Strengths: The note at the beginning of the book describing Ms. Yan's early work experience with New York's largest provider of transitional housing was very interesting. "Writing what you know" is always good advice, and A Duet for Home has a lot of good details about June's experiences, having to travel back and forth long hours to school, getting involved with the community at Huey House, and getting help from Mrs. G., as well as information about the politics of homelessness in a big city. The addition of June's love of music, and her continued interest despite her difficulties, adds an interesting layer. Tyrell and Jeremiah are great friends, and it was interesting to see the differences in their experiences at the shelter. Giving the children agency to gather information about the suspicious motivations of the shelter leaders and to complain to public officials will go over well with young readers who are interested in activism. The city setting is well described, and readers of Yan's The Vanderbeekers will enjoy another perspective of New York City. Weaknesses: While it's great to think that public officials would listen to children and change policies, it seemed a bit unlikely. There are a lot of complicated issues at work that aren't so easily resolved in real life. What I really think:It's interesting to see the evolution of books dealing with homelessness. A small sampling includes Bauer's Almost Home (2012), Balliet's Hold Fast (2013), Aust's Shelter (2014), Messner's Exact Location of Home (2017), Stevenson's Lizzie Flying Solo (2019), Pyron's Stay (2019), Svetcov's Parked (2020),and Matheson's Shelter (2021). More recent titles are starting to address the political implications of homelessness and not just the experience of the family. I think we will continue to see more of this in middle grade literature.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mid-Continent Public Library

    Fans of the Vanderbeekers can rejoice. There is a new title from Karina Yan Glaser to read in April! You don't have to wait until September for the next Vanerbeekers book. This new release is set in the Bronx and Chinatown. At the center of this narrative is a homeless shelter for families called Huey House. June (short for Juniperi) and her little sister Maybelle arrive there with their mom after being evicted. They are a family in mourning for a father lost in a bicycle delivery accident. June Fans of the Vanderbeekers can rejoice. There is a new title from Karina Yan Glaser to read in April! You don't have to wait until September for the next Vanerbeekers book. This new release is set in the Bronx and Chinatown. At the center of this narrative is a homeless shelter for families called Huey House. June (short for Juniperi) and her little sister Maybelle arrive there with their mom after being evicted. They are a family in mourning for a father lost in a bicycle delivery accident. June's mother is depressed and barely has the energy to speak. June shoulders responsibility well beyond her years and is one of our narrators. The other narrator is a boy named Tyrell who has already been at Huey House for 1,275 days when June arrives. The two become friends and bond over music and a desire to overturn a new housing policy that will adversely affect other families like theirs. Readers will find a window into what it is like to be homeless and learn about ways that unjust policies might be addressed. As with the Vanderbeekers, the story includes pets and strong family connections. The author worked in the New York City shelter system right out of college. She observed the effects of a policy change like the one in the book firsthand. What we can definitely see in this book is that homeless families are not all alike. They have different challenges and cannot all be helped by cookie cutter application of a well-intended policy. We can all be more informed about what our city is doing to help the homeless and vote for candidates who have good ideas. We can also donate money, food, and services to our church Benevolent fund, a local food pantry, and/or a homeless shelter that specializes in family assistance. This book comes out on April 5. It would make an excellent classroom read aloud title. *Review by Darla from Red Bridge*

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sierra Dertinger

    A story with dual perspective of two kids who live in the Huey House, a family homeless shelter in the Bronx. June’s father was killed in a car accident and her mother stopped caring for her and her little sister. They just move in and she is full of anxious feelings. Tyrell has been at Huey House for over three years. He’s learned how to do so much during his time, like his new love of reading. The two, other kids, and families unite together to fight for what is right. They are NOT invisible. A story with dual perspective of two kids who live in the Huey House, a family homeless shelter in the Bronx. June’s father was killed in a car accident and her mother stopped caring for her and her little sister. They just move in and she is full of anxious feelings. Tyrell has been at Huey House for over three years. He’s learned how to do so much during his time, like his new love of reading. The two, other kids, and families unite together to fight for what is right. They are NOT invisible. They should not be forced out of the shelter to live in unstable housing, all because the shelter can get a cash bonus if they push families out quick. A story of hope, heartbreak, passion, kindness, and compassion. Tears were shed. A touching #mglit read that all should read!

  7. 4 out of 5

    LibraryLaur

    Fans of Glaser's Vanderbeekers series are in for a treat. Here Glaser tackles some serious topics (homelessness, of course, but also parental incarceration, depression, neglect, etc.), but in such a hopeful, uplifting way that is perfect for middle-grade readers. *Thanks to Netgalley, Edelweiss, and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review. Fans of Glaser's Vanderbeekers series are in for a treat. Here Glaser tackles some serious topics (homelessness, of course, but also parental incarceration, depression, neglect, etc.), but in such a hopeful, uplifting way that is perfect for middle-grade readers. *Thanks to Netgalley, Edelweiss, and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. Opinions are my own. I've loved all of the Vanderbeekers and was so excited to read the new book by Karina Yan Glaser's newest stand alone novel. I was not disappointed. This book deftly tackles some tough topics-homelessness, death of a parent, an incarcerated parent and mental health. None of these are covered in a heavy-handed way but deals with the emotions and effects of these issues. This book also details the effects that a strong em Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. Opinions are my own. I've loved all of the Vanderbeekers and was so excited to read the new book by Karina Yan Glaser's newest stand alone novel. I was not disappointed. This book deftly tackles some tough topics-homelessness, death of a parent, an incarcerated parent and mental health. None of these are covered in a heavy-handed way but deals with the emotions and effects of these issues. This book also details the effects that a strong emotional support systems gives all of us when dealing with tough times. Whether you've already loved the Vanderbeekers or this is your introduction to Karina, you won't regret this read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    An eye-opening look at homelessness everywhere but especially in NYC. It made me think about how more government involvement/programs aren't usually the answer. Also how to better love my fellow man. Loved the role music played. An eye-opening look at homelessness everywhere but especially in NYC. It made me think about how more government involvement/programs aren't usually the answer. Also how to better love my fellow man. Loved the role music played.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    June and Tyrell don't know it, but they end up becoming fast friends. This is a bit unusual seeing as they met in a homeless shelter called Huey House. Tyrell is there because his mother has trouble holding down a job. June is there because her mother has been out of sorts since June's father died, and won't go to work. Both of them have lost their homes, and thus are in a homeless shelter. The homeless shelter has been there to help people get back on their feet, find jobs, find permanent housi June and Tyrell don't know it, but they end up becoming fast friends. This is a bit unusual seeing as they met in a homeless shelter called Huey House. Tyrell is there because his mother has trouble holding down a job. June is there because her mother has been out of sorts since June's father died, and won't go to work. Both of them have lost their homes, and thus are in a homeless shelter. The homeless shelter has been there to help people get back on their feet, find jobs, find permanent housing, but the current crop of people in the mayor's office want to make it look as though there war less homeless people, so is trying to move everyone out, it doesn't matter where, or if there is public transit, out you go. This will not work for either June or Tyrell. Something must be done. This is a sweet, quick, well written story of what it is like to be in a homeless shelter, and about the bad as well as good times there. The author worked her way through college working in a homeless shelter, and she wrote that she to know many kids, and helped them with their reading, among other things. Lovable characters that you root for, and want to hug when they are at their lowest. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joann Im

    An illuminating and moving story of family and community facing homelessness. We alternate between two protagonists between June and Tyrell, two teenagers residing in Huey House. June, her younger sister Maybelle and her mother move into Huey House, a family homeless shelter after being evicted from their home. June is trying to come to terms with their situation and steps up in caring for her younger sister Maybelle as her mother falls into depression and becomes uncommunicative. Tyrell and his An illuminating and moving story of family and community facing homelessness. We alternate between two protagonists between June and Tyrell, two teenagers residing in Huey House. June, her younger sister Maybelle and her mother move into Huey House, a family homeless shelter after being evicted from their home. June is trying to come to terms with their situation and steps up in caring for her younger sister Maybelle as her mother falls into depression and becomes uncommunicative. Tyrell and his mother have been living in Huey House for three years. He has accepted and is content with life in Huey House due to his relationship with the Huey community. After a rocky meet between Tyrell and June, their bond flourish into a friendship. Their lives are threatened after a housing policy change is implemented aiming to reduce homelessness by moving families out within 90 days upon families arrival to the shelter. Tyrell, June and the community will have to work together to stand up against the government to rescind this unjust policy before the family of Huey House will be forced to move out before they are ready to.  Per the author Karina Yan Glaser's notes, this story materialized from her personal experience working at a homeless shelter and her advocacy in homeless issues and policies. There is rarely much representation in children's/middle grade books on homelessness in children's  perspectives. Most importantly, homelessness issues are represented as the voiceless statistics. Glaser went against this stigma and created vibrant and colorful voices to all of the Huey residents. By providing voice and diverse characterizations, Glaser humanized these individuals. I am grateful to the author for addressing this essential issue and providing voice to the voiceless. The government and we as a society need to change our perspectives in reference to homeless statistics and concerns. We have to remember these are lives we are speaking of. This book resonated so much with me because it is evident that homelessness has always been an issue but the situation is ever growing. There are a lot of talking points from our government on how to tackle homelessness but there is always a disconnect when addressing these individuals. Glaser beautifully stitched a story as a reminder how individuals all hope, dream and pursue happiness alike to us. Stories are a powerful tool that brings forth awareness and empathy but most importantly shapes our perspectives and our way of life. As this story does touch upon some dark, serious topics, there's a hopeful tone that rings through in the entirety of this novel. This book is full of compassion and love but most importantly an eye-opening experience for all ages which is a reminder for individuals deemed to have 'fallen between the cracks' are no longer considered 'invisible' in society. Highly recommended to all. This story is filled with so much heart, warmth and moving sentiments that provided me with many moments of tears and smiles.   Thank you to NetGalley and Clarion Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

  12. 5 out of 5

    Almira

    Thank you, Karina, for writing an engaging story regarding the plight of children caught up in the Homelessness situation. Set in current day, NYC, after the death of her father, June, her younger sister and her mother (unable to function in a normal parental role) find themselves at the mercy of social workers, and the state of NY, living in Huey House. June's prized possession - the viola, her father worked so hard to purchase for her before his death - is very nearly taken away by the "manager" Thank you, Karina, for writing an engaging story regarding the plight of children caught up in the Homelessness situation. Set in current day, NYC, after the death of her father, June, her younger sister and her mother (unable to function in a normal parental role) find themselves at the mercy of social workers, and the state of NY, living in Huey House. June's prized possession - the viola, her father worked so hard to purchase for her before his death - is very nearly taken away by the "manager" of Huey House, but kindhearted, Marcus, assures her that he will hide it from Ms. MacMillan (otherwise known by the children in Huey House as Ms. MacVillain!) Their first day at Huey House does not go well, especially when June and her younger sister, Maybelle (a vegetarian since the age of 5) become the mistaken victims of a prank that Tyrell and Jeremiah have set up to get one of the older residents. Tyrell and Jeremiah have been residents of Huey House for over three years; however, the city and the state are making secret plans to start moving residents, out in an effort to assure the citizens of the city and state that the homeless numbers are dwindling! Not so fast! June and Tyrell have one major thing in common, the LOVE of Music! The tie that brings them closer together. As an aside --- our country is experiencing homelessness in growing numbers every day. So many of those in this crisis are not there because they want to be, they are there because they got lost in the cracks of society. Karina did a very compassionate look at the various causes of this problem, and thanks to her, children who read this book, might also come away with a better understanding of this, and how they can help those in need.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Keels

    Given that you could round this book up to 400 pages, it isn't the shortest middle grade novel I've ever read. There wasn't any point during the reading where I found myself disliking it, but it didn't fully pull me in until more than halfway through. It was then that I really got a sense of community at Huey House, so the impermanence of it hit me. The thought of kids who can lose their housemate friends at any time. The climax was exciting. And even if it did begin to feel more perfect than some Given that you could round this book up to 400 pages, it isn't the shortest middle grade novel I've ever read. There wasn't any point during the reading where I found myself disliking it, but it didn't fully pull me in until more than halfway through. It was then that I really got a sense of community at Huey House, so the impermanence of it hit me. The thought of kids who can lose their housemate friends at any time. The climax was exciting. And even if it did begin to feel more perfect than something like it might play out in real life, I appreciate stories that show kids being proactive about what concerns them. Yes, children do have limits, but even they can do more than just let life happen to them. I had a little comedown right after the climax as the story ended faster than I'd anticipated. I wanted a little more for one of the main characters. But, hey. I think the kids will be okay anyway.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser Pub Date 05 Apr 2022 | Clarion Books (formerly HMH Children's Books), Clarion Books Children's Fiction I am reviewing a copy of A Duet For Home through Clarion Books and NetGalley: June must face the first day at Huey House, without her cherished Viola, as if loosing her home had not been bad enough. She refuses to give up the Viola though, her Dad had saved up his tip money for a year to buy her viola, before the accident. Tyrell has been at the Huey house for t A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser Pub Date 05 Apr 2022 | Clarion Books (formerly HMH Children's Books), Clarion Books Children's Fiction I am reviewing a copy of A Duet For Home through Clarion Books and NetGalley: June must face the first day at Huey House, without her cherished Viola, as if loosing her home had not been bad enough. She refuses to give up the Viola though, her Dad had saved up his tip money for a year to buy her viola, before the accident. Tyrell has been at the Huey house for three years and shows June what’s good about living at the Huey House, things like friendship, hot meals and a classical musician next door. Can he and June work together to oppose the government, or will families be forced out of Huey House before they are ready? I give A Duet For Home five out of five stars! Happy Reading!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Curled up for hours today with Karina Yan Glaser's April 2022 middle grade release A Duet for Home. The perfect Author’s Note followed by a story full of heart, music, & home has me thinking differently about homelessness, and feeling extra grateful for everyday heroes like Mrs. G. #mglit This was truly the perfect book to kickoff a year full of intention & gratitude. ---- A bonus review, over two weeks later; I wrote an email to the lovely author of this book today, because I truly cannot stop th Curled up for hours today with Karina Yan Glaser's April 2022 middle grade release A Duet for Home. The perfect Author’s Note followed by a story full of heart, music, & home has me thinking differently about homelessness, and feeling extra grateful for everyday heroes like Mrs. G. #mglit This was truly the perfect book to kickoff a year full of intention & gratitude. ---- A bonus review, over two weeks later; I wrote an email to the lovely author of this book today, because I truly cannot stop thinking about it. Here is what I sent to her: Dear Karina, I cannot stop thinking about A Duet for Home and I wanted to write to you about its impact on me. I've been teaching for sixteen years and always had empathy for kids who've entered our schools and do not have traditional homes/family situations. I have never, ever - though - thought about how quickly a family can go from living a comfortable "normal" life to a life of poverty, loss, fear, and homelessness. I finished the ARC of your book on New Year's Day and truly have thought about it every, single day. I lost my dad suddenly to a brain aneurysm a few years ago, and a few moments in the book (i.e. “Your dad was so happy that you were his daughter.”) just wrecked me, in a beautiful way. I wrote down a few of my favorite quotes (I'll paste them below) - and I will post a raving review on Goodreads, but I also wanted to personally reach out to you to say thank you for pouring your heart into this beautiful book. Kids AND grown-ups ALL need to read this book for a new perspective and understanding. Grateful that you've shared your creativity and heart with the world. - - - - - - - “The shelter has become a place where my family can… become whole again… It’s been a place to get strong and get the help we need.” “At that moment it was as if the three friends shared one beating heart, the road before them belonging only to them – and filled with possibility.” “(She) responded by shutting the door, her heart beating against the armor she had built around it.” “Home was a funny thing. You thought it meant one thing, only to discover that it meant something else entirely.” PS - I noticed that the list of songs at the end of the book says "Music in a Song Called Home" - was that the old title?! One of my fave things about ARCS - those little details not yet changed!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This is a beautiful story. Young June, her little sister and mother are evicted from their apartment in Chinatown and end up in a homeless shelter in the Bronx. June's mother has lost touch with the world after the death of her husband, June's father. The shelter, though strange and uncomfortable at first, quickly becomes more welcoming. Then new city policies, in an election year, force changes to the shelter and residents are being rushed out of their safe environment into unsuitable houses. J This is a beautiful story. Young June, her little sister and mother are evicted from their apartment in Chinatown and end up in a homeless shelter in the Bronx. June's mother has lost touch with the world after the death of her husband, June's father. The shelter, though strange and uncomfortable at first, quickly becomes more welcoming. Then new city policies, in an election year, force changes to the shelter and residents are being rushed out of their safe environment into unsuitable houses. June learns valuable lessons about life, family, and friendship in this beautiful story written for young readers. The many faceted, diverse characters are not perfect but are relatable, accepting yet flawed and human in their quest for understanding and trying to create better lives for themselves.

  17. 5 out of 5

    acorn

    Important, impactful, inspiring 🦋 Music loving June moves into Huey House with a sour attitude for the shelter. Tyrell has lived at Huey House for 3+ years and knows every nook and cranny. Together, they share a friendship that helps the community and makes them see a new version of “home.” Karina Yan Glaser is such a brilliant author ❤️ Her characters are so real and I get connected with them quickly. This story made me feel it all and was such an eye opener. Lovely book!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    This is quite the departure from the Vanderbeekers, and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the author's note about her experience working in a homeless shelter, and any kids experiencing homelessness will feel seen here. I think this will be an important book, even if the ending was very quick and tidy, and not really realistic. Change starts with action and using your voice, and that was demonstrated well. This is quite the departure from the Vanderbeekers, and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the author's note about her experience working in a homeless shelter, and any kids experiencing homelessness will feel seen here. I think this will be an important book, even if the ending was very quick and tidy, and not really realistic. Change starts with action and using your voice, and that was demonstrated well.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    EARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Outstanding! Teachers-preorder this now. It will make both a great read aloud and student book club choice. The story tackles a tough subject- life in transitional housing/a homeless shelter as friendships are formed and families go through difficult times. It will definitely provide “food for thought” as readers consider life circumstances they may not have personally encountered. And, it gives readers ideas to consider should they want to advocate for changes wi EARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Outstanding! Teachers-preorder this now. It will make both a great read aloud and student book club choice. The story tackles a tough subject- life in transitional housing/a homeless shelter as friendships are formed and families go through difficult times. It will definitely provide “food for thought” as readers consider life circumstances they may not have personally encountered. And, it gives readers ideas to consider should they want to advocate for changes within their local government.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erin Isgett

    At least 4 stars. Such a wonderful MG book about homelessness, family, loss, friendship, music, and the power of community. We'll be including this in our Middle Grade Book Club this fall for sure. "Home was a funny thing. You thought it meant one thing, only to discover that it meant something else entirely." At least 4 stars. Such a wonderful MG book about homelessness, family, loss, friendship, music, and the power of community. We'll be including this in our Middle Grade Book Club this fall for sure. "Home was a funny thing. You thought it meant one thing, only to discover that it meant something else entirely."

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shomeret

    So this book focused on the POVs of a couple of teens at a homeless shelter, the realities of homelessness, and the consequences of a homeless policy that finds them homes, but no stable employment to pay the rent. Obviously, that would land them back in a homeless shelter or even on the street. I'd never read a book that focused on homeless characters before and I was impressed by the characterization. I added a homelessness shelf because I thought it was a significant theme that should be used So this book focused on the POVs of a couple of teens at a homeless shelter, the realities of homelessness, and the consequences of a homeless policy that finds them homes, but no stable employment to pay the rent. Obviously, that would land them back in a homeless shelter or even on the street. I'd never read a book that focused on homeless characters before and I was impressed by the characterization. I added a homelessness shelf because I thought it was a significant theme that should be used to categorize books on Goodreads.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Mangler

    I really loved June and Tyrell and I was sad to leave them when the book was over. I very much want to know what happens to them next. Karina Yan Glaser makes you care about everyone at Huey House and helps the reader understand the difficulties you face when you're unhoused. I really loved June and Tyrell and I was sad to leave them when the book was over. I very much want to know what happens to them next. Karina Yan Glaser makes you care about everyone at Huey House and helps the reader understand the difficulties you face when you're unhoused.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura Hook

    What a hopeful story with real, multilayered characters. I was cheering and hoping for June,Tyrell, and Jeremiah all the way. Love the message that "family" and 'home" can be many different things. What a hopeful story with real, multilayered characters. I was cheering and hoping for June,Tyrell, and Jeremiah all the way. Love the message that "family" and 'home" can be many different things.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary Louise

    4.5 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    haley ⊹

    3.5. I liked this. I started skimming a bit toward the end but it could just be my attention span.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pam Page

    Set in the Bronx and a bit in Chinatown, this story will tug at your heartstrings and find yourself attached to the amazing characters Karina Yan Glaser has created. Karina's experience of tutoring at a homeless shelter led to this book and it is hard to put down as you root for June and her family to succeed despite so many odds. I hope that kids living in shelters can get their hands on this book to offer characters that are like them but also to offer hope! Set in the Bronx and a bit in Chinatown, this story will tug at your heartstrings and find yourself attached to the amazing characters Karina Yan Glaser has created. Karina's experience of tutoring at a homeless shelter led to this book and it is hard to put down as you root for June and her family to succeed despite so many odds. I hope that kids living in shelters can get their hands on this book to offer characters that are like them but also to offer hope!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Meg GlitteryOtters

    4.5 stars

  28. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I picked up this book with high hopes. After all, I love the Vanderbeeker stories, and I recommend them whole-heartedly! Why wouldn't I love Karina Yan Glaser's new book? However, this book did not meet my expectations, and I didn't make it very far before putting the book down. There were a few reasons for this. Firstly, the wholesome, regular family aspect of the Vanderbeekers was entirely lost in this story. The story centers around a girl who comes to live at a homeless shelter with her litt I picked up this book with high hopes. After all, I love the Vanderbeeker stories, and I recommend them whole-heartedly! Why wouldn't I love Karina Yan Glaser's new book? However, this book did not meet my expectations, and I didn't make it very far before putting the book down. There were a few reasons for this. Firstly, the wholesome, regular family aspect of the Vanderbeekers was entirely lost in this story. The story centers around a girl who comes to live at a homeless shelter with her little sister and her mother, who hasn't talked since their father died in a tragic accident. While this is an important subject to introduce to middle grade readers, it's not the low-key kind of story that I was hoping for after reading Karina Yan Glaser's Vanderbeeker series. Secondly, we kept discussing luck, and if something was lucky or unlucky. This was annoying, and when one of the characters mentioned that she believed in karma, I was done. As I said, I didn't read very much of this book, but I definitely wasn't enjoying it, so I put it down. I'm still excited for the author's upcoming book, which is another Vanderbeeker story, and I hope that one's good. This one just wasn't really for me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    I was thrilled to hear that Karina Yan Glauser was writing a new book! I have loved following the adventures of the Vanderbeeker siblings and was intrigued to read a new, stand alone novel from Karina! The first thing that sticks out to me is how masterful she creates her settings. I was transported once again to New York City and experienced all the sites and sounds of the city. Karina creates settings that feel both comfortable and engaging. I felt at home at Huey House surrounded by the many d I was thrilled to hear that Karina Yan Glauser was writing a new book! I have loved following the adventures of the Vanderbeeker siblings and was intrigued to read a new, stand alone novel from Karina! The first thing that sticks out to me is how masterful she creates her settings. I was transported once again to New York City and experienced all the sites and sounds of the city. Karina creates settings that feel both comfortable and engaging. I felt at home at Huey House surrounded by the many different people that become family. I could see the painted hallways, smell the cafeteria food, and hear the music from next door. I was transported to Chinatown and felt drawn to June's former home. Even Tyrell's visit to a dark spot in his past felt so real and I felt his pain as he felt trapped by what had happened there. New York is a huge city yet Karina makes it feel cozy and familiar. Karina is a master at creating characters that are easy to cheer for and impossible to forget. I loved June from the first moment we meet her. She is trying to keep her family together and build a new life after the tragic death of her father. I admired her passion for music, her determination to make things better for her family, and her tender love for her sister Maybelle. Unlike an average kid, June has to deal with some hard things. I admire how she takes those experiences and makes herself stronger. Tyrell is a fascinating and complex character. I was a little intimidated by him at first, but in a good way. He seemed so cool! At first, it seems like he has everything together. He has lived at Huey House for years, has a best friend there, does well in school, and pulls pranks without much backlash. But as the story progresses, we learn so much more about him. I was drawn to his journey to be his own man and overcome his family's past and racial stereotypes. His experiences at the end of the book are so satisfying. As always, Karina's storytelling is vibrant and engaging while tackling tough themes. The stories flow from the page and capture readers attention until the end. I always read her books quickly because they are so engaging. This is a book about two kids that are homeless. That is a hard topic to read about especially when it focuses on kids. Yet, this story is so hopeful and engaging. From the first page, I was invested in June and Tyrell's stories. I wanted them to succeed and I was surprised to see how well they fit into the Huey House family. Before reading this book, I had very little knowledge about homelessness. I appreciated the author's note at the beginning of this book and how she brings her experiences in this field to the story. Homelessness isn't just about numbers and moving people out of shelters. These people have stories, relationships, and dreams that can be relit as they connect with others and are given opportunities to improve. I loved this new novel from Karina Yan Glauser. The characters are relatable new friends. The setting is vibrant as it comes alive on the page. And the storytelling is as engaging as ever. Flowing through the story is a beautiful musical journey as June develops her viola skills and Tyrell's world shifts as he discovers musical talent of his own. These protagonists show us that there is hope in dark times, hard work can bring change, and friendship can overcome even the toughest of barriers. I couldn't put this one down! I received an ARC from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marion

    Karina Yan Glaser does a commendable job of looking at homelessness from a variety of angles, humanizing those who live in shelters. A Duet for Home is a book I would have wanted in my sixth grade classroom. It's important for students in upper elementary and middle school grades to appreciate that some of their friends may be experiencing homelessness or home insecurity. “Home was a funny thing. You thought it meant one thing, only to discover that it meant something else entirely.” June has just Karina Yan Glaser does a commendable job of looking at homelessness from a variety of angles, humanizing those who live in shelters. A Duet for Home is a book I would have wanted in my sixth grade classroom. It's important for students in upper elementary and middle school grades to appreciate that some of their friends may be experiencing homelessness or home insecurity. “Home was a funny thing. You thought it meant one thing, only to discover that it meant something else entirely.” June has just moved into Huey House, a temporary shelter, with her mom and younger sister. After her father was unexpectedly killed in a car accident, her mom shut down, eventually losing her job and their apartment. It was up to June to pack them up and move here. Tyrell has lived in Huey House for more than three years and he knows enough about everyone who lives and works there that he can plan escapades behind the eyes of the shelter's director, Mrs. McMillan. I appreciate how Yan Glaser makes Tyrell multi-dimensional, demonstrated through his love of classical music. It is that interest in music that brings June and Tyrell together, each helping the other out, June helping to teach and practice on the viola with Tyrell, and he helping June hide her viola and practicing from Mrs. McMillan. That's another aspect of this book that I appreciated. There was a sense of community among the families that lived at Huey House. It wasn't all rosy, with everyone getting along and working together. There was rage, neglect, and depression. But there were also adults who understood and occasionally stepped in to help out. Just like in real life. Beyond their own experiences, June and Tyrell learn about plans for Huey House that mean don't make sense to them. And so they try to do what they can to change them. While not entirely realistic to my adult mind, I would never want to take away any opportunity for a child to believe, having read this book, that they could make a difference! This book would make for an interesting and thoughtful read-aloud!

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