From the list on hard family circumstances for middle-grade readers.
Who am I?
For decades I have volunteered in different capacities, helping the hurting and those living on the margins by tutoring and teaching literacy to the formally incarcerated or homeless, teaching parenting in a maximum-security jail, and teaching ESL to resettled immigrants. Because my own suburban father fell into homelessness at the end of his life due to depression, job losses, divorce, and more, I feel tremendous compassion for anyone in this situation. And as the mother of four grown sons, we filled our home with books—especially books that taught compassion so our sons would grow into men with big hearts towards others. I believe we succeeded.
Linda's book list on hard family circumstances for middle-grade readers
Why did Linda love this book?
I love anything written by Katherine Paterson. This book introduces Giladriel Hopkins (Gilly), a young girl waiting for her mom to come and rescue her from foster care.
Gilly’s horrendously disrespectful behavior is hard to take sometimes, and yet because we know her living situation, we quietly read along, offering her our sympathy. Paterson highlights a child’s ability to mentally clean up their parents and offer them undeserved trust, despite the fact they have neglected or abandoned their children.
Gilly’s plight increased my awareness about the constant pains some kids live with daily. Her longing for a mother’s love would resonate even with adults who longed for their own mother’s love.