Where the Heart Is
author: Jo Knowles
It’s the first day of summer and Rachel's thirteenth birthday. She can't wait to head to the lake with her best friend, Micah. But as summer unfolds, every day seems to get more complicated. Her “fun” new job taking care of the neighbors’ farm animals quickly becomes a challenge. And at home, her parents’ arguments over bills intensify. Fortunately, Rachel can count on Micah to help her cope with all the stress. But Micah seems to want their relationship to go beyond friendship. And though Rachel almost wishes for that as well, she can’t force herself to feel “that way” about him. In fact, she isn’t sure she can feel that way about any boy—or what that means. Compassion and humor infuse this story of a girl who must discover where her heart is—and what that means for her family, her identity, and her future.
“One of those rare novels that feels less like a constructed story and more like a momentary glimpse into a real young life—genuine, stirring, and raw.” —The Horn Book (starred review)