|What I carry|
Author: Longo, Jennifer
In her final year in foster care, seventeen-year-old Muir tries to survive her senior year before aging out of the system.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 510216
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2019 Gr 7 Up—Soon-to-be 18-year-old Muiriel (Muir) has been in Seattle's foster care system since infancy. Moving to her final foster house before aging out, she knows exactly what to do: keep her head down, don't get attached, and pack only what she can carry. When Muir's new housing situation starts to feel like a real home, she must figure out if some things she carries are okay to let go. This novel begins as the story of a teen girl in the foster care system that blossoms into a book full of diverse stories on tough topics. Muir's experience in lifelong foster care has led to attachment issues, but other characters have their own baggage to share. Her best friend, Kira (who is of Japanese descent), is bullied in school and is healing from her family's history of being prisoners in internment camps. Zola, Muir's former foster sister, is moved back and forth from foster homes to her family and faces prejudice as a black child in foster care, which is highlighted alongside Muir's experience as white child. An author's note provides more resources on the foster system and how the author's experience inspired this story. VERDICT Well-researched and thoughtful, this novel packs a lot into its emotional yet humorous story. Add to collections for fans of Emery Lord and Sara Zarr.—Anna Taylor, Darien Library, CT - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2020 Found in a hospital lobby as an infant, Muiriel has only ever known life in the foster system. Soon, she’ll be 18 and free from Child Protective Services, but her habit of moving from foster family to foster family could sabotage her. This time, she’s determined to stay, but to do so, she’ll have to learn to trust others and let them in. The narrative is solidly written and contains a series of anecdotes about items Muiriel has taken from each of her foster homes, which helps to illustrate her character. Further character development is interestingly tied to lessons on famed mountaineer John Muir, whose life acts as a foil to Muiriel’s. Some elements of the novel, including bully antagonists and an incident with the foster family dog, are formulaic and tropey, but the strength of the plot and prose overall make these shortcomings easy to dismiss. Longo’s (Up to This Pointe, 2016) novel is a rare and conscientious look into one experience of foster care that will linger with readers. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.