Sunday, July 19, 2015

Where I Belong by Mary Downing Hahn

I found this interesting realistic fiction book while browsing at my public library. This is a touching story about 12-year-old Brendan, who is always bullied. Even his teacher and foster mother are mean to him. Brendan is very smart, but his heart is in reading and drawing. Since he would rather draw and daydream than pay attention, he fails 6th grade, and everyone thinks he is stupid. Brendan's problem is not that he is always drawing and his lack of attention, it is really his lack of self-esteem.

He has a great imagination, and meets a man in the woods that he believes is the magical guardian spirit of the forest, "Green Man." The only place where Brendan feels safe is the woods, and with his tree house. In summer school, he finally makes a friend, Shea.

I feel bad for Brendan. Nobody should have to go through what he goes through every day. I love how even though he is so down on himself, he believes the magic of the world. If the book did not have the magical element of it, it would be too sad. I think that Brendan grew stronger with a friend, and Shea is such a special person. 

There is a huge turning point with the bullying. When it gets too much to handle, he has his friends with him the whole time. It gets very emotional at times, but the elements of friendship and family really show through, and they help when things grow out of hand.

I recommend this book for anyone who likes a good inspirational realistic fiction read.

Title: Where I Belong
Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pages: 240 pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

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