HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE
New York : Wendy Lamb Books, 2008
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
Building -- Fiction.
Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
Divorce -- Fiction.
Stepfamilies -- Fiction.
Voluntarism -- Fiction.
Tennessee -- Fiction.