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Forever, or a Long, Long Time
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Forever, or a Long, Long Time
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3 starred reviews • A Kirkus Best Book of 2017 • A New York Public Library Top Ten Books for Kids pick • An ALA Notable Book • 2018 NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor BookFrom rising...
3 starred reviews • A Kirkus Best Book of 2017 • A New York Public Library Top Ten Books for Kids pick • An ALA Notable Book • 2018 NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor BookFrom rising...
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Description-

  • 3 starred reviews • A Kirkus Best Book of 2017 • A New York Public Library Top Ten Books for Kids pick • An ALA Notable Book • 2018 NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor Book

    From rising star Caela Carter, author of My Life with the Liars, comes a captivating and heartfelt story about siblings who learn that love can never be divided, only multiplied.

    Flora and her brother, Julian, don't believe they were born. They've lived in so many foster homes, they can't remember where they came from. And even now that they've been adopted, Flora still struggles to believe that they've found their forever home.

    So along with their new mother, Flora and Julian begin a journey to go back and discover their past—for only then can they really begin to build their future.

    Perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me, Kathryn Erskine's Mockingbird, and Ali Benjamin's The Thing About Jellyfish

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Caela Carter is a writer and an educator. She is a graduate of the New School's MFA program in writing for children. She has written three books for middle grade readers: One Speck of Truth, My Life with the Liars, and Forever, or a Long, Long Time, which received three starred reviews, among other accolades. Caela lives in Brooklyn with her family. You can visit her online at www.caelacarter.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 6, 2017
    This nuanced novel highlights the struggle to trust an adoptive family after a traumatic history in foster care. Even as 11-year-old narrator Flora and her younger brother settle into a comfortable life with adoptive parents, they think of themselves as the “Onlys”: “Julian and me, the only steady things in the constantly shifting universe.” Both siblings are dealing with the aftereffects of trauma, with Julian hoarding food and Flora struggling to pass fourth grade. The relationship between Flora and her “Person” (how she thinks of her adoptive mother) is especially compelling, and Carter (My Life with the Liars) believably illustrates that although the term “Person” sounds detached, it actually denotes a special status among Flora’s many foster mothers. Flora’s theories about her true origins, which appear between chapters, poignantly underscore her difficulty wrangling with a fractured history (“We came from the chaos, my brother and me. We were born out of the screams of other kids”). Carter’s layered narrative—which also touches on divorce, stepfamilies, and welcoming a new baby—doesn’t shy from pain as it testifies to resilience and the expansive power of love. Ages 8–12. Agent: Kate McKean, Howard Morhaim Literary.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from December 1, 2016
    Flora and Julian are a team. They have to be: after moving from foster home to foster home, the only permanence is in each other. Both brown-skinned and with textured hair, the children were born, seemingly out of thin air, and left to imagine why they were never given a family. Now living with their new mom and dad, Flora struggles to accept that forever can happen to them. When Julian sneaks food or Flora forgets her words, she wonders if they will be sent to another home. Struggling to pass fourth grade and accepting changes in her family, Flora must learn to believe in forever and herself. Carter's sophomore novel gently weaves the heartache and confusion of abandonment with the struggle for love and acceptance. Flora gently narrates, sifting through the blank spaces in her memories as readers stumble upon her discoveries. Flora's observations about her family add dimension to each character and reveal her own layered persona. Carter folds in casual, profound musings that only children can produce, establishing Flora's bittersweet sincerity and quest for answers. The book highlights the cracks in the foster-care system without dictating a solution. Instead it focuses on the complex effects of an unstable environment on young children. Poetic and meditative, this emotionally enthralling novel undresses assumptions with purpose and hope. (Fiction 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from December 1, 2016

    Gr 5-7-Eleven-year-old Flora and her younger brother, Julian, have lived in so many foster homes that they have no memories of growing up and no history. They believe not only that they were never babies but also that they were never even born. This startling notion hooks readers from the first chapter: What happened to the siblings before they were adopted by Emily (whom Flora refers to as "Person")? Carter (My Life with the Liars) delicately draws readers into the lives of a group of people overcoming obstacles as they learn how to become a family. Through Flora's skittish, yearning voice, Carter explains the siblings' reluctance to accept that they have found their forever home: "We can't help preparing for the fall." The family's fragile progress is tested when Emily and her husband reveal they're having a baby and Flora fights with Elena, teen daughter of Emily's husband. To help Flora and Julian embrace their future, Emily takes them on a journey into the past, visiting their former foster homes and caregivers. During the trip, Carter truly shows her skill, observing simple moments of the tenuous yet growing bond between mother and children while painting an unflinching portrait of the tragic shortcomings of the foster care system. Strong secondary characters flesh out the narrative, but the novel's heart belongs to the relationship among Emily, Flora, and Julian as they learn how to trust and to meet one another's needs. VERDICT Addressing contemporary family issues and a child's timeless desire for self-knowledge, this title is a first purchase for middle grade collections.-Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist (starred review) ★ "This stunning portrayal of the circuitous path of trauma and healing teems with compassion, empathy, and the triumph of resilience."
  • School Library Journal (starred review) ★ "Carter delicately draws readers into the lives of a group of people overcoming obstacles as they learn how to become a family. The novel's heart belongs to the relationship among Emily, Flora, and Julian as they learn how to trust and to meet one another's needs."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) ★ "Carter's sophomore novel gently weaves the heartache and confusion of abandonment with the struggle for love and acceptance. Poetic and meditative, this emotionally enthralling novel undresses assumptions with purpose and hope."
  • The Horn Book "Complex and well-rounded characters. Authentic."
  • Publishers Weekly "This nuanced novel highlights the struggle to trust an adoptive family after a traumatic history in foster care.Carter's layered narrative doesn't shy from pain as it testifies to resilience and the expansive power of love."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books "Flora's narration is deftly turned. The portrayal of kids whose lives have genuinely impaired them has grit and honesty as well as warmth, and it will open many readers' eyes to the impact of trauma."

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