Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett

Hold FastI'm not going to give an "official" rating for this book, since I'm on the panel to choose finalists for the 2013 Cybils book award in middle grade fiction. Early's father, Dash, works on the sixth floor of a large Chicago library, and he's taught his family to love words and rhythms. They dream of moving from their apartment into their dream house. Dash takes on a side job to inventory old books, but it's done late at night and no one can say anything about it. He's also hiding away large amounts of cash received in plain envelopes. Then, Dash disappears, and the family's whole world falls apart. The police suspect Dash was doing something illegal, and the family loses the apartment after thieves break down the door and trash the place. Early, along with her mom and little brother, move into a homeless shelter where they'll stay unless they can solve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Dash.

The plot was interesting and kind of read like a mystery. It shared the lives of people who were forced from their homes and ended up in public shelters. The most confusing part of the book was Dash's love of rhythms and patterns. He seemed to be sharing clues in cryptic messages about them, but it was pretty abstract for casual readers to understand. The book had a nice message about maintaining hope.

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