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A heartfelt and moving novel in verse for readers 9+.

who wants a temporary place
to act like a forever one?
Especially when the social services people keep telling you
over and over and over that place
is “safer” than your parents
is a “good” solution
is someone you’re “extremely lucky”
to have offered you a home.

Laura Rodriguez has a plan: No matter what the grown-ups say, she will live with her parents again. Can you blame her? It’s tough to make friends as the new kid at school. And while staying at her aunt’s house is okay, it just isn’t the same.

But that’s all going to change. Because when Laura finds a puppy, it seems like fate. If she can train the puppy to become a therapy dog, then maybe she’ll be allowed to visit her parents. Maybe the dog will help them get better, and things will finally go back to the way they should.

After all, how do you explain to others that you’re technically a foster kid, even when you live with your aunt? Most of all . . . how do you explain that you’re not where you belong, and you just want to go home?

From the winner of the Newbery Honor Award.


Publishers Weekly
In moving, approachable verse, Arango thoughtfully portrays Laura's guilt.
Barbara O’Connor, bestselling author of Wish, New York Times
This book will touch your heart.
Holly Goldberg Sloan, New York Time
Exquisitely written. . . destined to become a classic.
Full of Arango's signature hearttugging verse, a character you just want to hug, and threads of friendship, family, and belonging, Arango's follow-up to her Newbery Honor debut is a triumph.
School Library Journal
So much affirmation, exploration, and positivity for those in similar situations are packed beautifully into these verses.
Arango's writing is a joy to read, combining strong storytelling, compelling characters, and rich language. Beautifully executed.