Twelve-year-old Mel knows hardship all too well; her mother Cecily’s problems with substance abuse and shoplifting, as well as her abusive relationships with men often leave them out on the streets, in-and-out of the soup kitchen, and singing on street corners. When Cecily is sent to prison, Mel is ordered to live with her grandmother. Despite initial tension and mistrust, the stability in her new home enables Mel to find a job, a steady relationship, and build a bond with her grandmother. Canadian author Cyndi Sand-Eveland broaches sensitive topics such as homelessness, substance abuse, and neglect in this story of one young girl’s resilience in the face of complex challenges. In the Grade 6–9 classroom, this novel is suitable for small group discussions, in literature circles, and as a whole-class read-aloud, and allows for students to develop an understanding of the complexities of human interactions and lends itself to conversations about making good choices in life. Log in to read the full review.