Where I'd Like To Be by Frances Dowell is written for ages 10-14. This is the story of 12 year old Maddie who lives in a children's home. The story is told in 1st person, beginning with the the appearance of the new girl, Murphy, who is exciting with an exotic past- someone Maddie is hopeful will be her new friend. Murphy tells Maddie right off that Murphy is not her real name, along with stories of traveling with her parents before they were killed in an accident. Maddie is intrigued with the new girl and wants to believe her wonderful stories, even though part of her knows she shouldn't.
Maddie, Murphy and several other unlikely friends with different backgrounds/ different stories come together to build a playhouse- a real life extension of the dream homes they each carry in their hearts.
This story was sweet, innocent and a really great introduction to some of life's hard truths...that some kids do not have families, some kids are abandoned, some kids have parents that cannot care for them, all these kids hide hurts and hopes in their hearts. This story is a gentle look into these hard truths, without being brutal- shows the shadows and hurts without bruising the soul.
Where I'd like to be is a worthwhile read for this age group, a good first step into more mature themes. I firmly believe that even though there is much evil and ugliness in this world, that we do not need to bury our young children in it at a young age. This book told an interesting story without ugliness, the characters range of emotions are believable and change as the story unfolds, and best of all, hope and friendship are woven throughout.
a good read, I enjoyed it and your children will enjoy it also.