Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Pavi Sharma's Guide to Going Home

Farr, Bridget. Pavi Sharma's Guide to Going Home
September 17th 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Reader
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Pavi has been in several foster homes, as well as the Crossroads group home, ever since her mother became unable to care for her. Her foster mother is now Marjorie, a teacher, whose son Hamilton is Pavi's age and a good friend to her. Pavi has a "business" where she counsels other foster kids and does research on their families and new schools in exchange for school supplies. She is working with Santos, a new 8th grader. When she stops by Crossroads to try to get information from Lenny, one of the Crossroads workers, she sees a little girl, Meridee, and finds out that she is going to live with the Nickersons soon. That family was one of Pavi's placements, and she not only received inadequate care there, but she also saw dog fighting and lost a puppy in one of the fights. She takes it upon herself to try to get another placement for Meridee, having Santos (who has a deeper voice) call Child Protective Services, and coaching Meridee how to fake appendicitis when her case worker is taking her to the Nickersons. There's also her regular life to deal with-- school projects, dealing with Piper, Hamilton's friend, and keeping her grades up. Hamilton and Piper are working together on a series of makeup videos that are very popular, and this gives Pavi the idea to film the Nickersons and use the tape to keep Meridee out of their home. This is an elaborate project, but one that doesn't work. Luckily, things end fairly well both Santos, Meridee and even Pavi herself.
Strengths: With the growing number of children in foster care due to the opioid epidemic, it's not surprising that we are finally starting to see foster children as main characters in books. Pavi's story is interesting because she has such a good rapport with her foster brother, and she has regular contact with other foster children, especially at the group home. She has some keep insights on how to get along with families, making good impressions, and dealing with people who don't know what to say when they find out she is in foster care. Her concern for Santos and Meridee is touching.
Weaknesses: I had trouble believing that she would be able to conduct her business, and it made the story slightly less believable to me. The ending with the Nickersons was nice, but a little too convenient. I also wish we had just been told why Pavi's mother couldn't take care of her at the beginning of the book; I think this is a big concern for readers unfamiliar with foster care, as they might not readily grasp the concept of why children are placed into the system.
What I really think: This was an engaging story with likable characters, so I will probably purchase, but am concerned that some readers might be a little confused by some aspect of the story telling. I did appreciate that the author tried to work more humor into the story, which will definitely gain it more readers.
This washable L.L. Bean dress feels sort of like wearing a nightgown to work, but it's fine with a Petite Sophisticate jacket over it, right? I've had these both for years, and the necklace was a Christmas present from my mom about ten years ago.

A dress with a jacket is definitely my go to look for back to school. Comfortable, inexpensive, and I can fold the jacket up in my pack back if it's too warm to wear on the walk home.
Ms. Yingling

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