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Reinhardt, Dana.
New York : Wendy Lamb Books, 2008
ISBN 0375844538 
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Volunteering, community service, and mission trips are important in many teenager’s lives. Some high schools or high school organizations require some form of community service. This information may also tip the scale toward acceptance on college applications. Harper Evans of Los Angeles, California joins a volunteer program to build a house over the summer. She and a number of other high school students from all over the country will spend twelve weeks with “Homes from the Heart” building a home for the Wright family in Bailey, Tennessee, to replace the one destroyed in a tornado. The family consists of Mom, a nurse; Dad, the high school football coach and English teacher; Teddy, a recent high school graduate; and 9 year old twin sisters. With this organization, a family member is required to work on the building as well - that would be Teddy, since his parents are working in the community. Harper is completely unfamiliar with the steps required to build a house. She and the others learn to work as teams, doing a variety of jobs from digging the footers for the foundation to putting on the roof. She even becomes concerned when she learns about some of the shortcuts that were taken to cut costs. For instance, instead of digging a basement, the organization purchased a prefabricated tornado room to keep the family safe in case of another tornado. By summer’s end, Harper and her new friends have learned a lot about building, not just houses, but friendships, dreams and plans for the future.
Prepared by: Eleene Levander, School Librarian, Retired for South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees, 2010-2011
SUBJECTS:     Building -- Fiction.        
                        Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
                        Divorce -- Fiction.
                        Stepfamilies -- Fiction.
                        Voluntarism -- Fiction.
                        Tennessee -- Fiction.

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