Monday, November 5, 2018

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

Benway, Robin. Far from the Tree. HarperTeen, 2017. 978-0-062-33062-8. 374p. $17.99. Gr. 9 and up.

From the Publisher: 

A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

My Review: 


After giving up her baby for adoption, 16 year old Grace, who was adopted at birth, learns she is actually a middle child. Her older brother Joaquin and younger sister Maya even live relatively close, considering Grace never has known about them. When the three agree to meet and get to know each other, they still guard some secrets about themselves, their lives, or their family. Through multiple narratives, they get to know and trust each other and heal wounds both old and fresh. Beautifully written, Far from the Tree tackles many tough topics like teen pregnancy, adoption and the foster care system, homosexuality, alcoholism, and family dynamics. 

THOUGHTS: Initially drawn in by the cover and the premise of this book, I loved Far from the Tree. Readers will love and root for each character who experiences his or her own heartache in this compelling story. 

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