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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Anna Casey's Place in the World....She deserves a special place.

Anna Casey's Place in the World by Adrian Fogelin is a soft and gentle story about a subject that is often times not a soft and gently subject---foster care and the reasons for the need for it. This book is not harsh, does not point fingers. It simply tells a lovely story that is sometimes funny, sometimes sad.

The two main characters, unrelated, have been placed in the foster care of a first time foster mother. A recipe for disaster? No, here it becomes a recipe for caring and sharing and helping each other and the new foster mother through the steps of parenting.

Ed is ten, a frightened little boy who tries without much success to hide his feelings through faked toughness and indifference. Anna Casey is an adventurous, inquisitive twelve-year-old who desperately wants a place to belong. Anna has lived with many different family members, until at last, she has run out of relatives. Ed has lived with his very irresponsible mother and whoever the current boyfriend might be. Ms. Dupree, a third character, is a new 'parent' whose heart is in the right place but who has very little idea how to be a 'mother' or even a friend to these two, but she tries. She runs a business from her home--matching lonely hearts. Her's, perhaps, is one of the loneliest.

Through adventures and misadventures the two  youngsters are thrown together and become unlikely allies. They meet and befriend a homeless veteran and an eccentric neighbor who has a pet spider, all types of specimens, and a penchant for picking up neighborhood trash. She is also very likable, someone you might want in your neighborhood. They also meet the neighborhood kids, among them Jemmie and Cass, the main characters from Fogelin's wonderful Crossing Jordan, for Eb and Anna are lucky enough to have landed in their neighborhood.  The two girls, along with the boys from the neighborhood, help Eb and Anna start to feel somewhat 'at home'.

Then, of course, change comes along. It is all around as wishes seem to be coming true for all, but will they be for the best? We hope so, we can mentally write it that way for ourselves, but I guess we will have to read the next book from this neighborhood and see if we can find the answer. I don't know!

I have purchased this book for one of my ten-year-old granddaughters for Christmas, along with  Crossing Jordan, for the other 10-year-old granddaughter. I hope they like Eb and Anna and Cass and Jemmie as much as I do.

From Peachtree Publishing, available at book stores and on line through

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