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|Exact location of home|
Author: Messner, Kate
Believing his long-absent father is missing and leaving clues behind through geocaching, Zig, thirteen, relies on his love of electronics, a garage sale GPS unit, and his best friend, Gianna, to search for answers.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.10
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 190578
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.50
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 71884
School Library Journal (+) (07/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 07/01/2017 Gr 5–7—Thirteen-year-old science and electronics enthusiast Zig hasn't had a visit from his father in more than a year. Zig's mother won't explain why, so he begins looking for clues in local geocaches. Meanwhile, Zig's mother fails to pay the rent and they move into a homeless shelter after a short stay with Zig's aunt Becka, who lives with an abusive husband. Messner describes the mundane details of hard realities. The shelter is perfectly safe, but there are no school supplies. Zig shows up for his school's free breakfast and finds out that his friend Ruby regularly attends. His teacher lectures the class about "the less fortunate," as if poverty and homelessness are issues that no child she knows has to handle. The author offers realistic but hopeful resolutions to many of Zig's problems. The geocache trail doesn't locate Zig's father, but it does lead to a job for his mother. Aunt Becka doesn't leave her husband, but she knows that Zig's mother is there for support. There is no question that life will bring problems, but it's just as certain that friends and family can help. Vivid characters and situations, along with clear, simple writing and plotting, make this an accessible and enlightening read. VERDICT A gentle but truthful look at poverty and homelessness for fans of realistic middle grade novels, such as Gary Schmidt's Okay for Now and Messner's The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., in which Zig is a secondary character.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 08/01/2017 Learning that Dad has (once again) canceled his plans to visit isn’t exactly a surprise to 13-year-old Zig. But after a year without seeing his father, it’s a major disappointment. Zig spends his free time geocaching with friends. Soon, with little money for food and none for rent, he and his mother move into a homeless shelter. He avoids telling even his best friend, Gianna, about their situation. When his teacher schedules a class visit to the shelter, Zig dreads discovery, but more painful is his mother’s eventual revelation that his father is in prison. Messner creates a sympathetic character in Zig, whose narration reflects his believable unwillingness to take his father off a pedestal throughout most of the novel. Within the story, Messner gently overturns some stereotypes about homeless shelters and their residents. The narrative flows well and sweeps readers along, though the conclusion ties up loose ends too quickly and neatly. Still, readers hoping for a happy ending will not be disappointed. A companion book to The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z (2009). - Copyright 2017 Booklist.