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How to Build a House


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About the Author

Dana Reinhardt lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her two daughters. This is her third novel. She is the author of "A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life "and "Harmless."


Gr 9 Up-Dana Reinhardt's novel (Wendy Lamb Books, 2008) is well suited to the audio format--it's character driven, thoughtful, and rife with both interior monologue and witty repartee among characters. Seventeen-year-old Harper makes a proactive decision when things go wrong in her personal life--her parents' divorce and two important friendships go awry--and joins a summer volunteer program to help rebuild a house destroyed in a Tennessee tornado. As a secular Jewish girl from Los Angeles, Harper has a lot to learn in semi-rural Tennessee even before getting involved with a biracial boyfriend. Reinhardt treats cultural diversity, divorce, and bleded families with grace. Caitlin Greer voices a credible Harper, but some of her Southern accents for other characters are flat or, worse, caricatures. Pacing of both story and reading are good. Harper's issues, including her journey to build a house and rebuild her own life, are accessible to teens and the solutions are realistic.-Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia, Canada Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Starred review, Publishers Weekly, April 7, 2008: "As intimate and intelligently wrought as her previous YA novels . . . this meticulously crafted book illustrates how both homes and relationships can be resurrected through hard work, hope and teamwork."Starred review, School Library Journal, June 2008: "Harper is a sympathetic, believable character whose narrative voice expresses wit and heartbreak, and her emotional journey will have tremendous appeal for mature teen readers."Review, Los Angeles Times Book Review, July 27, 2008: "Written with a light touch that belies the heavy subjects of divorce and blended-family dynamics, [the novel] is also well-paced."

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