Cover Image: The Places We Sleep

The Places We Sleep

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Member Reviews

This was a DNF. I was confused from the start. The author went straight into the plot like it was a sequel. I was a bit lost as they were mentioning all these characters that I didn't know. Would have been great but unfortunately not for me.
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Abbey is the new kid in school, again.  Abbey's a military brat, and Tennessee is just another stop.  Abbey meets a real friend, Camille.  Camille is loyal and brave.  

Then, September 11 happens.  "The Places We Sleep" focuses on Abbey's maturity through the attack and aftermath of September 11th.

This book is written in narrative verse., with the poems numbered.  It really resonated with me, as I was 13 when the Towers fell and just started high school.  I was going through similar feelings as Abbey.  Abbey's aunt dies in the towers, and her father deploys for Afghanistan soon after the attacks.  The book also focuses on the Islamophobia classmate Jiman experiences.  Middle grade fiction lacks many novels about 9/11, so this is definitely a gem.

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read in exchange for my honest review.
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Imagine being twelve years old, a battle-weary Army brat trying to adjust to yet another new school in Tennessee, just about to get your first period... and it's September 11, 2001. Abbey isn't imagining all this, she's living it.

Written entirely as a free-flowing narrative, the larger story is no surprise. The events of 9/11 are burned into our collective memory. What's new is witnessing Abbey internalizing and trying to understand the constant flood of big and small changes in her life, everything from family loss to school bullying, and a lot more in between.

Twelve is a confusing age for any girl, even when things are going well. And when they aren't? Peer into Abbey's mind, and see if it looks a bit familiar to you. The narrative verse writing style gives us the feeling that we are plucking strands of thought from Abbey's mind—sometimes one strand, often two or three tangled together as they come to light. The effect feels real. This is how brains work. This is how our thoughts sort themselves out. Perhaps after working your way through the jumble of Abbey's mind, you'll look inwardly at your own with a fresh perspective.
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The cover shows a very sweet and loving story. I must admit, it's a great story but I missed some depth. It's emotional and heartbreaking to read.
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I was six years old when 9/11 happened and would've lost my Dad if the plan to hit Chicago went through. I couldn't understand the heaviness around me at the time and it was only a few years later when I was able to comprehend the tragedy that stunned the world.

This is a great story and resource for kids who want to understand the emotional toll behind this tragedy. It encompasses a wide range of topics - xenophobia, paranoia, hatred, loneliness, alienation, etc. - as well as varying points of view and growing pains/puberty.

Unique approach to a hard topic to explain to kids. Excellent coming of age story with an attract cover art.

The prose might be difficult for some readers to follow along with, but other than that it's beautifully written.
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A very thought provoking story of a young girl coming of age at a very difficult time.  It looks at coping with physical and emotional change and also the impact that being a military child can have on friendship and family.  As the mother of sons who were moved around in this way, it really resonated with me.
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Very beautiful cover and i liked that we got insight in how Abby and her familiy felt in the 11.september 01 and after it. It was also some lyrical and that was nice.
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The place we Sleep is a poem about the aftermath of 9/11 in the emotions of a pre-teen girl meant for middle schoolers. The cover attracted me to the story and I got to listen to some very interesting stories told in verses in open mic sessions and wondered how that art went.

The emotions are there, all intertwined between growing up, the unrooted feelings of the hero always following her parents to their new destinations, fitting in, being lonely, or worst having a friend she knows she’ll have to leave, her difficulty grappling with her growing and developing body, the grief of losing loved ones and the uncomprehending fear that followed up 9/11. I was 16 when it happened, I am not American, but I remember the whole world just stopped and held its breath wondering what it all meant. 

This book can plunge the new generation into what it felt like. The verses add emotion and beauty to the text, but might make young readers more distant to the story too. Or they might be able to take quotes from it and sing it out, as it really flows on the tongue. Maybe that could be an interesting text to read allowed (admittedly embarrassing to most teens who probably don’t want to talk about periods).

I really liked that the book addressed the issue of the paranoia and xenophobia that followed the events and the parallel between her, the new kid from the army family verses the new kid from a Muslim family is heart wrenching. The tolerance message is crucial in the world we currently live in.

This is an interesting book for its format, and the topic is very well treated despite the obvious limitations of verse text. I recommend this book to poetry inclined young readers.
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I really enjoyed this one!

I was provided an advanced digital copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley for review purposes, all opinions are my own.
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This is a beautiful story for kids to use to try to grasp the emotional toll that 9/11 took on Americans. This book covers so many different perspectives of that day and the time that followed. We get a military perspective, a child's perspective, and then a mother who is missing her daughter's perspective. The book also touched on how prejudice was rampantly spread in the following days, and how this affected the children of that time. 

My only hang up is that this book is written in verse, and I have a hard time getting my 5th graders to enjoy books written this way. 


I received an advance copy. All thoughts are my own.
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An interesting story about a young girl navigating being the new girl in middle school in the aftermath of 9-11.  She also has to face the loss of her aunt and her father going off to war.
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I was a 10-year-old army brat when 9/11 happened. The Places We Sleep perfectly encapsulates so many of my experiences in the immediate aftermath of the event. The initial confusion when still at school as the teachers kept us in the dark as to what had happened; the shock when we got home and finally saw the news; the constant reruns of the initial impacts and final collapse of the Twin Towers; the ramped up patriotism and letters to soldiers written in class; the increased racism and Islamophobia; the increasingly absent father even when he was still at home; the constant low-level anxiety when he was downrange: reading Abbey's experiences brought back all of my own memories. I particularly appreciated the way that Abbey starting her period and learning to deal with it every month underscored the unreality of the enormity of the change 9/11 brought. The whole world changed, to a certain extent, and yet life also continues to go on as normal. People with a uterus still got their period and had to deal with the mess each month. It really captures the feeling of being a child during this time, where the big world events mostly felt unfathomable unless they tied directly to your life and the relatively little things like going through puberty felt like the whole world.
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this was really cute! loved the cover and the premise. Loved the writing style. i look forward to more from this author.
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I didn’t think I was going to like the verse format of this book but I actually liked it. Everything flowed smoothly and it made the story more interesting. I was really young on September 11, 2001, and I lived in the NYC area at the time, so it was interesting to read a faraway perspective.
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Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.

I really like the way this novel goes over the event of 9/11 and how it changed America through a child’s perspective. Children these days don’t quite understand how impactful it was, since they weren’t alive yet. The coming of age story combined is a great read for middle grade readers. The verse style is also a great way to help kids dip into that writing style.
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This was an authentic look at the aftermath of 9/11. The love, the hate, the sadness, and the looming war. I was truly impacted by this novel written in verse. Abby, the main character, came to life before my eyes and I was able to put myself in her shoes. Although I wasn't an artist in middle school, I was that theatre nerd. 

This story was just so impactful from the loss that Abby and her family feel after 9/11 to Abby growing up and getting her period. Abby goes through the emotions of growing up in a world that makes her feel invisible but also makes her feel like she is under a microscope. She is awkward but eventually finds a voice. Abby is definitely someone I hope young readers look up to because she is absolutely incredible.
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I didn’t realize exactly what this book was until I started reading it. The verse was certainly a unique approach. I have mixed feelings about the subject since I lived in Manhattan during 9/11, but I did appreciate the coming of age aspect of the story.
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The Places We Sleep written by Caroline Brooks DuBois will make you laugh and cry as you follow twelve-year-old Abbey navigating the many changes in her world.  A new school and the challenges of forging new friendships is just the start. Then, when puberty hits and Abbey needs her mum, she finds herself alone as her Mum has to travel to New York in the aftermath of the September bombings. I recommend this book for grades 5-7.
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I tend to shy away from novels written in verse, but I made an exception for The Places We Sleep based on the description -- and I'm glad I did! Ms. DuBois did a wonderful job bringing Abbey's coming-of-age story to life in post 9/11-America. I remember how hard middle school was: making new friends after a move, dealing with puberty, hormones, and "mean girls." I think both of my daughters will enjoy this one!
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Today, being 9/11, and the 19th anniversary of the attacks, I was happy to find a book that describes the events of that horrible day so well. The novel is in verse, so it is easy to follow. The story is told from a perspective of a girl whose aunt was in the towers, and then her father gets deployed.  I have found it difficult to explain the emotions of that day to my 9 year old daughter. This book is something that she can read to gain perspective and understanding.
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