Home, and Other Big Fat Lies by Jill Wolfson;
Henry Holt and Company: New York, 2006;
This story begins when the great and mighty “Termite” gets sent to her twelfth foster home. People call Whitney Termite because she is hyper and small for her age. Whitney has always lived in the city, but this time she is off to go live in the woods. Whitney can tell you a lot about foster parents, but not much about trees. She thinks she will never find a place where she belongs, or a family who loves her. As a reader, at this point I was trying to imagine what it would be like, as an eleven-year-old, to have no mom, dad or even a home. When I read this section of the book, it made me feel bad for Whitney, because she always had to move from foster home to foster home. She was constantly experiencing different things and a lot of changes. This would be very hard for any eleven-year- old, especially for someone who doesn’t have a family to love her.
When Whitney gets to her destination, a place in the middle of nowhere called Forest Glen, she soon discovers all the wonderful animals and trees. When she arrives at her new house there is a boy a little older than she is. Whitney wants to talk to the boy, but when she tries to get to know him he seems very shy. He won’t talk to her very much. Soon, Whitney finds out that the boy goes to her school and that his name is Striker. Reading this part of the book, I thought that something special was going to happen between Striker and Whitney.
When Whitney goes to her new school for the first time, she meets her science teacher, Mr. Cantor. Mr. Cantor is really nice to Whitney Whitney realizes she doesn’t know much about the woods. She asks Mr. Cantor about them. Mr. Cantor thinks it would be fun and educational to have a club about nature for kids like Whitney When the club meets, all the kids decide that they want to do a year-round project. Mr. Cantor thinks it would be a great idea to adopt a highway When Whitney and all her friends picked up the highway it inspired me and made me feel happy to know other kids feel the way I feel about pollution and littering. My sister and I always pick up the side of our road when people litter too much. We come back with wagons full to the brim with litter. It makes me feel bad to think about littering because the people who are littering are risking the lives of all different kinds of plants and animals.
My favorite part of the book is the part where Whitney goes into the woods for the first time one day after school. She is amazed at what she sees. She is especially surprised by a really big tree that has all sorts of voodooist things around it, like candles and wind chimes. Whitney wonders who could have done this. She ends up finding out this is Striker’s favorite tree, which he climbs often and spends lots of time in. I can relate to a person who would put voodoo things around a tree and love being in a tree. I live on a farm in the woods, and when I’m in the woods I feel relaxed.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who knows someone who is a foster child, someone who loves nature like me or anyone who likes a story about love (in this case love for family and nature). This book taught me that foster kids aren’t different from other kids and that nature is really important to everyone.