I did get some time to read "real" books, too. Cynthia Lord, one of our own LJers, has a new book from Scholastic in August. In TOUCH BLUE, Lord's main character Tess references two of her favorite books about foster kids: BUD NOT BUDDY and THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS. Tess expects perhaps her family's experience with a foster child will be somehow like one of those in the books she loves. But when Aaron arrives on her Maine island, it is nothing like the stories she has read. Aaron jad been removed from his mother's care and then placed with his grandmother. When she died, Aaron had been sent to foster families. Nothing seems to have worked out for him. He arrives on the island resentful and, well, difficult. However, Tess is determined to show Aaron that her island is a grand place to live, and that being on the lobster boat with her father is the best place in the world. Tess is superstitious: each chapter begins with one of her superstitions including the fact that is lucky to "touch blue" (because touching bluw can make your wish come true). What Tess learns is that luck is not embedded in objects or actions: luck comes from family and friends and taking risks.
As she proved so aptly in RULES, Lord knows how to create characters who are complex and faceted. She also provides another wonderfully healing dose of wam humor (reminiscent a bit of Joan Bauer and also the wonderful authors Tess loves: Christopher Paul Curtis and Katherine Paterson). The island seems to live and breathe, a character as essential to this story as any other. TOUCH BLUE, make a wish. If you wish for a wonderfully fulfilling read, it most definitely will come true.