Find your next favorite audiobook

Become a member today and listen free for 30 days
Paper Things

Paper Things

Written by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Narrated by Kate Rudd


Paper Things

Written by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Narrated by Kate Rudd

ratings:
4.5/5 (13 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Released:
Feb 10, 2015
ISBN:
9781501221644
Format:
Audiobook

Description

When forced to choose between staying with her guardian and being with her big brother, Ari chose her big brother. There's just one problem-Gage doesn't actually have a place to live.

When Ari's mother died four years ago, she had two final wishes: that Ari and her older brother, Gage, would stay together always, and that Ari would go to Carter, the middle school for gifted students. So when eigheeen-year-old Gage decided he could no longer live with their bossy guardian, Janna, Ari knew she had to go with him-even though she'd miss baking cookies with Janna and curling up to watch HGTV. What Ari didn't realize was that Gage didn't have an apartment yet.

And now, two months later, he still doesn't.

He and Ari have been "couch surfing," staying with Gage's friend in his tiny apartment, crashing with Gage's girlfriend and two roommates, and if necessary, sneaking into a juvenile shelter to escape the cold Maine nights. But all of this jumping around makes it hard for Ari to keep up with her schoolwork, never mind her friendships, and getting into Carter starts to seem impossible. Will Ari be forced to break one of her promises to Mama?

Told in an open, authentic voice, this nuanced story of hiding in plain sight may have listeners thinking about homelessness in a whole new way.

Released:
Feb 10, 2015
ISBN:
9781501221644
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Jennifer Richard Jacobson grew up in a family of storytellers. “My brothers,” she says, “had the ability to make us laugh until our bellies hurt. I wasn’t as hilarious, but I learned how to take the mishaps in life (especially the embarrassments) and turn them into a dramatic story.” Jennifer is the author of the middle grade novels Paper Things and Small as an Elephant, and the Andy Shane picture book series, among others. She lives in Maine with her husband and Jack Russell terrier. Visit her at JenniferJacobson.com.


Related to Paper Things

Related Audiobooks


Reviews

What people think about Paper Things

4.7
13 ratings / 6 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    A touching story that follows Ari and her brother Gage as they navigate homelessness after leaving their guardians home. Her struggles in continuing her success in school and staying in touch with friends, much less finding a place to sleep, shower & getting clean clothes, are made clear in the narrative. Ari is torn between taking care of herself and keeping promises to her deceased mom. The book is wrapped in a neat package with problems resolved.
  • (3/5)
    Narrated by Kate Rudd. Ari doesn't see herself as homeless as she and big brother Gage couch-surf for several weeks after they leave Janna their guardian. But they are homeless and the lack of structure and stability impacts her schoolwork, hygiene and her friendships. Young readers will see that homelessness isn't limited to panhandlers and people mumbling on the streets, that it can happen to regular kids like themselves. Rudd gives youthful voice to Ari who believes Gage can make things all right, and we feel Gage's frustration simmering under the surface when he can't.
  • (3/5)
    Paper Things is a realist novel about how close homelessness is to each of us.Ari is eleven and has a home with Janna and her brother Gage. Janna is their guardian, but Gage has never gotten along with her. When he's had enough, he tells Janna that he has an apartment and he's taking Ari with him. Ari wants to stay with her brother, yet she doesn't want to leave her home and Janna, whom she has grown to love. Janna agree to take Ari and Gage when their mother died because she had known their parents and would love their children. Gate lied; he doesn't have an apartment, so Ari and Gage float from shelters to friends each night. The novel emphasizes the difficulty of finding a place. One needs references to get an apartment; to get references, one needs to stay in an apartment. It's a catch-22. Also, one must offer first and last months rent. Many people can't get that much money together. Life also complicates things--in this day and age, you need a phone. Ari wants to attend Carter, which is by invitation. She has to have leadership roles and good grades. She's always been a very good student. Things are falling apart, both literally and figuratively. Her shoes are no long sewn together but flop, keeping her toes cold all the time. She often can't get homework done because she moves every night and may not have a computer or room to do her homework in other people's apartments or homes. She's also tired because it's hard to sleep in a different place every night. Her best friend no longer seems interested in being friends and is heard talking about how Ari smells. Showers are no longer always available. One student seems to want to help Ari, Daniel. Daniel doesn't know what's going on, but he likes Ari. He makes a "bucket list" for elementary school and wants Ari help to fulfill it. They reach a compromise. His friendship and one teacher's help keep Ari from completely falling apart.Ari has a great attitude and doesn't take her situation out on others. At some point, she has to analyze the situation and see if there are other choices. This realistic novel is one of those eye-openers as to what can really be going on in someone's life without anyone realizing it. We are all willing to judge with little information and without "putting on someone else's shoes." I do worry that some will find Ari a little childish because she likes to play with her cut-out paper dolls. The purpose of the dolls are to be a metaphor of what a perfect family is supposed to look like in ads and tv. This view is unrealistic and at some point needs to be reexamined for truth.
  • (5/5)
    Thanks, Elana, for recommending this book! What a captivating and authentically captured book about how young teens plod through their lives with the same daily hopes and desires despite what their individual circumstances may be... in this case, being homeless. A must read!
  • (5/5)
    This book is written for a young audience but it is not “dumbed down.” It touches on real issues that the homeless face, especially children.
    Definitely worth the read!
  • (5/5)
    Ari is a fifth-grader who dreams to go to Carter Middle School just like her family did. But Ari’s situation isn’t exactly normal. Her mother died four years ago wishing that Ari and her older brother Gage stay together always. But now that Gage is nineteen, he decides he can no longer live with their guardian, Aunt Janna. Ari decides to leave with Gage, but after two months, Gage still hasn’t found an apartment for the two of them. Instead, they have been staying with whoever is willing to take them in. All of this “couch surfing” is taking its toll on Ari’s schoolwork, cleanliness, and friendships. Can this situation go on forever? Or will Ari be forced to make a tough decision and break her mother’s dying wish?Ari is a strong character who does not even realize she is homeless at first. As Gage and Ari’s situation develops, Ari discovers a strength she never knew she had and opens up to the people around her. In the book PAPER THINGS, Author Jennifer Richard Jacobson reveals a whole new perspective on homelessness. It is not just what we see on the streets of big cities, homelessness is so much more. How many children in our schools are in situations like Ari? Books are mirrors, reflecting our own lives; and windows, showing us the lives of others. PAPER THINGS would be an excellent addition to any classroom/school library.