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Frost, Helen.
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003.
ISBN 0374340641

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

It's really Joe's house.  It was left to him with the instructions that he should use it to help others.  But everyone thinks of it as Keesha's house.  She's the one who finds the kids who need help. She's the one to figure out what they need and assign rooms.  She's the one to offer advice and friendship.  Sometimes it's hard to believe that she's just a kid herself.  A kid in need of a place to live so she can finish school and make something of herself.  Other teens find themselves at Keesha's house.  Some for just a few nights.  Some for longer.  But one thing is for sure.  They are safe here.

Booktalk #2

Aunt Annie provided a home for Joe when he really needed someone to take him in. When Annie dies, the house becomes Joes. In gratitude, he continues to make the house a safe place where troubled teens can feel accepted. Keesha is one of those teens who finds the house Joe provides. She takes on the responsibility of looking after the teens who find their way to the house, creating a family atmosphere of love and support. Keesha’s mother is dead. When he drinks he gets mean and Keesha needs a place to go. Stephie is pregnant and her boyfriend does not want their baby because he fears it will spoil their future. She is afraid to tell anyone else about the baby. Dontay is in foster care because his parents are in prison. Carmen is facing a judge because she was caught driving under the influence. Harris is gay and his parents have thrown him out of the house. Katie’s stepfather is abusive and tries to molest her yet her mother sides with the stepfather. The stories the teens share are in a poem format. Other characters that help explain the complicated lives of the teens are a boyfriend, parents, school personnel, a judge, and a caseworker  Oklahoma Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award nominee, 2005-2006

Booktalk #3
Introduce the characters featured by reading a few of the poems from the novel.  (Prepared by: Michelle Williams, SCASL Young Adult Book Awards)

SUBJECTS:     Teenagers -- Fiction.
                        Home -- Fiction.
                        Family problems -- Fiction.
                        Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
                        Poetry -- Fiction.


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