Book Review: A Finders-Keepers Place

A Finders-Keepers Place by Ann Haywood Leal. 2010.

When Esther Page wakes up with a prickly feeling, she knows something is wrong. Again. When your mom has as many “notions” as Esther’s mom, you learn to figure things out on your own pretty quickly. Eleven-year-old Esther has been cleaning up her mother’s messes and taking care of her 8-year-old sister Ruth for years. But the girls have a plan. They are going to find their long-lost father. Ezekiel will keep Valley focused and make them a family again.

I love books about strong young girls, and Esther is certainly in this category. She is a dreamer (she loves to collect unusual items and she has a fabulous imagination), but she is practical because she has to be. She has to figure out where she’ll get dinner for herself and her little sister. She has to get them to school and deal with whatever comes up there. She’s on her own. Much like the main character in Leal’s debut Also Known as Harper, Esther remains hopeful in a desperate situation. You can’t help but root for her.

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