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A ghost saved twelve-year-old Maddie's life when she was an infant, her Granny Lane claims, so Maddie must always remember that she is special. But it's hard to feel special when you've spent your life being shuttled from one foster home to another. And now that she's at the East Tennessee Children's Home, Maddie feels, well, less than ordinary. Six-year-old Ricky Ray, who came to the Home after his parents failed to come back from a party, thinks Maddie's the cat's meow. But what does a little boy like that know?
Maddie can't stop looking for a place to call home or for people who feel like home. She even makes a "book of houses," where she glues pictures of places in which she yearns to live. Then one day, a new girl, Murphy, shows up at the Home armed with tales about exotic travels, being able to fly, and boys who recite poetry to wild horses. Maddie is enchanted....Maybe, just maybe, she's found someone who feels like home and she lets her guard down. She shows Murphy her beloved scrapbook, never anticipating that this one gesture will challenge her very ideas of what home, and family, are all about.
With her astonishing ability to create characters who linger with you long after you turn the last page, Frances O'Roark Dowell explores the many definitions, both heartbreaking and awe-inspiring, of home and family.
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