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Far from the Tree
Contributor(s): Benway, Robin
ISBN: 0062330624     ISBN-13: 9780062330628
Publisher: Harperteen
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017
Annotation: Feeling incomplete as an adopted child after placing her own baby up for adoption, teen Grace tracks down her biological siblings and finds herself struggling with the dynamics of being a middle child between an embittered older brother and an outspoken younger sister. 60,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Families; Fiction.
Brothers and sisters; Fiction.
Adoption; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2017478606
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 6.00" W x 1.00" (1.00 lbs) 374 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 192417
Reading Level: 5.1   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 13.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q72355
Reading Level: 5.7   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 21.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 August #1)

In an equally heartwarming and heart-wrenching story, three siblings separated in infancy find each other as teens. Grace, who has always known she was adopted, first learns of her brother, Joaquin, and sister, Maya, while unsuccessfully searching for her birth mother during a tumultuous junior year. Her open-minded adoptive parents support a reunion, and the siblings' initial meeting is a success. During subsequent visits, they discover the things they have in common, as well as some painful secrets. Joaquin's childhood has not been as happy as Grace's has been, and his deep-rooted fears are affecting his current relationships. Maya's home life has become chaotic due to fights and alcohol abuse, and Grace knows firsthand how difficult it is to put a baby up for adoption. Writing in a shifting third-person narrative that is both nonjudgmental and deeply empathetic, Benway (Emmy & Oliver) delves into the souls of these characters as they wrestle to overcome feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, and betrayal, gradually coming to understand themselves and each other. Ages 13–up. Agent: Lisa Grubka, Fletcher & Company. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 September)

Gr 8 Up—Only child Grace was adopted at birth; when she finds herself placing her own daughter up for adoption, she begins searching for the bio family she's never known. She quickly discovers that she is a middle child, sandwiched between loudmouth younger sister Maya and older brother Joaquin, who has spent nearly his entire life in the foster care system. As Grace struggles to move forward from the loss of her daughter, she begins to bond with her siblings who have hardships of their own. Maya's adoptive family is not as picture-perfect as they seem, and Joaquin is on the cusp of something wonderful but is afraid it could all end in disaster. The siblings find themselves turning to one another and learning that family comes in many forms. Benway has created three unique and endearing characters who have experienced adoption in very different ways. Grace's story will pull at heartstrings, while Maya is relatable as a teen struggling with her relationships with her family and girlfriend Claire. Joaquin is scared and rough around the edges. With a well-imagined cast of secondary characters who add angst, humor, and depth, Benway adeptly leads readers through a tale of love, loss, and self-discovery. Expect to cry real tears at this one. VERDICT Well-written and accessible, this is a must-purchase for all YA collections.—Erica Deb, Matawan Aberdeen Public Library, NJ

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.