Almost Home by Joan Bauer
What is it like to have no home to go to at the end of the day? Sugar’s learning. Her grandfather just died and her father, who is a gambler, just left again, leaving Sugar and her mom with no way to pay the rent. Her mother has always been a Southern gentlewoman who didn’t work. They are kicked out of their home and leave Missouri hoping a friend has come through with a job offer in Chicago. When they arrive to find no job waiting, it’s up to Sugar to pick up the pieces when her mother falls apart. She manages to find them a homeless shelter, but her mom’s sensitive nature makes it difficult for them to stay there. Complicating things is the stray dog Sugar refuses to let go of, that’s really against the rules. It’s not long before the administration at the shelter start to question Sugar’s mom, and then she is sent to live with a foster family. Sugar’s lucky that her dog is welcome there. She’s also lucky enough that they are people who can help Sugar sort through all her own confusion, allow her to just be a girl, and help get her mom back on her feet.
Legend by Marie LuThis is my pick to be the next Hunger Games. In this dystopian North America, there is a constant civil war raging between the republic and the colonies. June represents the republic, as an exceptionally talented student in military school. Representing the resistance is a boy named Day who is on the run due to his status as public enemy # 1. June is given a special assignment as her first- a sort of tset. She is to bring in the criminal Day. She decides to go undercover to do it. He ends up saving her life, and in the few days she “runs” with him, she sees a very different view of the world. After having him arrested, she doubts what she was told about him- that he was the man responsible for her brother’s death. What if it’s been the Republic that’s been lying to her?