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The Blind Faith Hotel
ISBN: 9781416954941
Author: Todd, Pamela
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Published: October 2008
Retail: $16.99    OUR PRICE: $2.99
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Binding Type: Hardcover
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Annotation: Fourteen-year-old Zoe wonders how she'll survive after her family falls apart. A shoplifting episode lands her in a work program at a local nature preserve. The work starts to stabilize Zoe, and when she meets a boy who shares her love of wild things, it seems she might be home after all.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Family problems; Fiction.
Prairies; Fiction.
Nature; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2007043912
Lexile Measure: 780
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Target Grade: 7-9
Grade level: 7-9
Physical Information: 1.25" H x 125.00" L x 6.00" W
Bargain Category: Growing Up, High School, Middle School, Social Issues
Grade level(s): 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
When her family falls apart, fourteen-year-old Zoe feels like her whole world is going to pieces. Zoe's mother takes her kids away from their father, a fisherman who ships out to Alaska, and moves them to a run-down farmhouse she's inherited in the Midwest. Zoe's stuck -- in more ways than one.

Surrounded by strangers and a sea of prairie grass, she loses her bearings. A brush with the law lands Zoe in a work program at a local nature preserve. But the work starts to ground and steady her. When she meets a wild boy who shares her love of untamed places, it seems he might help Zoe find her way. Or is he too lost, too damaged himself?

Funny and poignant, sharp-eyed and real, this is a portrait of a girl looking for her own true self and a place she can call home.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring)
Fourteen-year-old Zoe's mother leaves Zoe's father, moving the family from Seattle to the Midwest to open a bed-and-breakfast. The farmhouse has structural and cosmetic issues, and as renovations progress, so does Zoe's knowledge of the dark secrets people can hide. This touching novel tackles many difficult issues; beautiful imagery and language keep the story vibrant. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2008 December)

Gr 8–10—Zoe, 14, is used to moving, following her father's Alaskan fishing jobs or whatever work her mom can find. This coming move is different, though: her mother, sister, and brother are leaving the Northwest coast for the Midwestern prairie, and their father isn't coming with them. Amid construction on the ramshackle house that her mother has inherited, Zoe feels lost and angry, and blames her mom exclusively for the upheaval. After a minor shoplifting charge, she is sentenced to work for a gruff old man trying desperately to save the prairie he loves. The rippling grass is no substitute for the ocean she left behind, but from pulling out the invasive brush, she begins to understand what Hub says about everything needing space to grow. Gradually, grudgingly, she comes to terms with her new surroundings and finds her place in her family. Zoe's anger is realistic, but readers will lose sympathy for her when it turns to brattiness, and a subplot involving her falling for a boy feels extraneous. Conversations with adults are loaded with metaphors about love, loss, and starting over; they range from poignant to annoyingly forced. Still, though, the novel pushes all the right emotional buttons: family discord, cross-country moves, minor criminal activity, puberty, environmentalism, first love. Despite its flaws, this novel will find an audience with teen girls, particularly those dealing with one (or more) of Zoe's issues.—Brandy Danner, Wilmington Memorial Library, MA

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