Canadian author Jean Little introduces us to Min, abandoned as a toddler at the fairground, knowing only her name and that the man called Bruno will hit when he gets angry. Can you imagine being bounced from foster home to foster home the way that she has? And to be ‘returned’ to Social Services just before Christmas, like a wrong-size sweater! It’s no wonder that Min bottles up her feelings and rarely speaks, not willing to be hurt any further.
As we watch Min tentatively reach out to her newest foster mother and actually talk enough at her new school to make friends, let’s remember that most kiddos are in foster care through circumstances beyond their control and that every childhood deserves happiness. Saluting foster families and the agencies that serve these children during National Foster Care Month.
My Book Talk: As she waits for her foster mom, Min keeps a toddler from running into traffic. Why can’t someone rescue Min from the endless round of foster homes, from not knowing why she was abandoned as a toddler, from not knowing her own birthday? And being returned to Miss Willis’s office right before Christmas! Twelve year-old Min feels abandoned all over again.
Suddenly, Dr. Jess Hart is there, as she was when Min was in the hospital with pneumonia, and Dr. Jess says that Min is going home with her for the holidays! Her nephew Toby turns out to be the toddler’s big brother and helps Min settle in for a real Christmas.
As they are sledding one day, Min and Toby find a mistreated dog and insist that Jess take the badly injured animal to the vet. Is it a stray pet? An escapee from the suspected puppy mill near their friend’s country house?
The new year brings new worries. Will the kids at her new school make fun of Min because of her unknown past? Does Jess really want Min to stay with her? Can the little dog survive to come live with them? Has Toby’s dad survived the tsunami where he was working? How can the schoolkids help the disaster victims so far away?
The Canadian winter seems a bit warmer as Min gets to know Jess and Toby better in this hopeful story. (one of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.