Cover Image: The Places We Sleep

The Places We Sleep

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this novel. This did not affect my review. This book is out now. 

This was a good book in verse about a girl and the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Abbey is at school when the attacks happen. She is shocked when she hears the news and is worried for her aunt, who worked in the North tower. She is taken home and finds out that her aunt is missing and will not be found. Among her grief, her father is being deployed to Afghanistan. This book is all about the change she goes through. 

Grades 4+
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Caroline Brooks DuBois’s The Places We Sleep is an evocative middle grade book written in verse. Abbey is, once again, the new girl. This time, her family isn’t living on base. As she adjusts to a new house, a new school, and new potential friends, her world is rocked by the September 11, 2001 attacks. With her father in the military and family in New York, Abbey feels the reverberation of this event deeply.

Written in verse, this novel captures the feeling of the days leading up to and following the 9/11 terrorist attacks well. The evocative emotional descriptions will hit home for anyone who was alive that day, and accurately portrays the depth of emotion for those born after. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for books to introduce children to the event. Abbey’s connections to the military and New York have a big impact on her experience. I also appreciate how the author included an Islamic family, and that these characters were not treated as villains, but that their plight was just as hard as Abbey’s.

DuBois strikes a keen balance between regular daily life for a preteen in the early 2000s and living through moments that end up in history books. The characters are well-developed, further encouraging empathy in the reader. From the bullies on the bus to struggling to find your voice, Abbey’s daily life is relatable. The trio of girls, dubbed The Trio, that influence her fate were almost too relatable, sending me rocketing backwards in time to my middle school’s equivalent trio. I’m not sure whether to be relieved or concerned that a trio of powerful preteen girls manipulating a middle school is a universal theme.

I recommend the hard copy of this book, as my Kindle had formatting issues that made the beautiful text at times difficult to read; other reviewers have mentioned similar issues, so a paper copy is the safest bet. Even with the technical difficulties, this novel transported me through time. At times, it was difficult to read, especially around the twenty-year memorial of the attack. I, too, was in middle school in 2001, and viscerally remember that fateful Tuesday.

The Places We Sleep is now available. Thank you to Ms. DuBois, Net Galley, and Holiday House Books for an advanced copy such that I could write this honest review.
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Loved this one! Great book -- highly recommend for readers of all ages. Lovely, heartfelt characters and beautiful verse throughout!
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From the title itself, The Places We Sleep is a lyrical, manifesting story of a girl Abbey and her family. The point of view of the story as it centers to 9/11 attack is very accurate and timely. It portrays a deep meaning about family and very well oriented and played in verse. I totally recommend this book!
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I read half of this novel on my Kindle as an eARC from NetGalley.  Unfortunately, the formatting did not transfer well on my Kindle.  I will read it all when it comes out in print because I think my middle school students would be interested to read a story that starts on 9/11/01, especially as the 20th anniversary happens this September.
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A raw, emotional read with many different themes to leave you deep in thought. I wasn’t sure about the style of writing at first but it works well within this story, helping the reader to really understand each character.
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I was enthralled from the first page. So many stories about 9/11 are happening in children's literature right now, and seeing this new historical fiction emerge is such a treat. DuBois writes authentically of a 7th grader figuring out what life will now be like post-terrorist attacks. Her father is preparing for war, her body is moving into adolescence, and her Aunt Rose has gone missing from the 86th floor of the tower where she works in New York. Abbey is an artistic voice, slowly learning how to be okay with being alone, being the new girl, and being herself.

ARC courtesy of NetGalley
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I was not prepared for the Places We Sleep. In the voice of young girl who just received her period, the narrative almost sounds like poetry. This book deals with heavy loss around  the terrorist attacks of 911. This book should only be for older children who can digest the heavy subject matter.
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Gorgeous poetry writing about the tragedy of 9/11 and the roller coaster of emotions of having an Army dad while also not wanting violence. All while being a girl in middle school growing into womanhood.

Triggers include grief, trauma, bullying
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It was interesting to read a book in verse about such a solemn topic like 9/11. Surprisingly, I think it was effective. I really liked how characters were introduced and how diverse they were. I'm not the biggest fan of poetry/verse/narrative writing (but that's just my opinion). I loved the title and the cover, and overall, just an interesting read.
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I think this book could be really better as a story but it's a useful resource to talk about grief and traumatic situations
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"The Places We Sleep" me atraiu por duas razões: a (devo dizer, belíssima) capa, e a temática infanto-juvenil em um contexto dos acontecimentos de 11 de setembro de 2001. Poder-se-ia somar também o fato de ser um romance em verso (uma narrativa que acho interessante, se bem usada e com um propósito). No final, acabou sendo uma decepção.

Esse livro tem 260 páginas, e o que posso dizer é: as 30 primeiras e as 30 últimas páginas são muito boas e valem a pena. As 200 páginas entre esses segmentos.... eu realmente não consegui me importar com eles. O enredo fica parado, os personagens se tornam desinteressantes e nem um pouco carismáticos. Tirando um fato relevante que acontece nesse meio-termo, a evolução dos personagens emocionalmente falando (pensando que eles foram sim afetados de certa forma pela queda das Torres Gêmeas) é nula. A autora subdivide o livro em meses, e apesar de entender que o luto e o trauma não são coisas fáceis e rápidas de se resolverem, ver o mesmo patamar emocional por 9 meses seguidos e uma melhora repentina nas 15 últimas páginas... não sei.

Além disso, a estrutura de romance em verso não calha bem aqui. Devo dizer que, nas 30 primeiras páginas, o artifício foi bem utilizado, conseguindo dar ênfase em momentos específicos e brincando com a disposição do texto na página para algumas alusões (como, por exemplo, deixar a estrofe em um formato de ponto de interrogação durante uma das reflexões da protagonista que se questionava o porque de tal situação estar ocorrendo). Fora isso, me pareceu que a autora perdeu o interesse, escreveu o texto em prosa e foi apertando 'enter' onde lhe dava vontade e ,*tcharam*, a coisa está feita. Não colou.
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I enjoyed reading this book. I’m liking books written in verse more and more. The author did a really good job portraying the characters, mainly a military family living in Tennessee at the time of 9/11. They are impacted when a family member is missing in NYC after the attacks and the father is called up for active duty in Afghanistan. Emotions are reeling in this family, because they don’t want to lose and grieve anymore than they already have. 

Another character in the book is a Muslim, and she has to deal with the aftermath of the attacks. She proves that Muslims are good people even though one group chose to be the bad villains. 

Overall, this was a good read. I give three stars due to the strange formatting of the ebook. Sometimes it was hard to follow and parts of a sentence ended up in a different paragraph.
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Twelve year old Abbey gets her period on the day of September 11th, 2001. Abbey's Aunt Rose is missing so her mother leaves to go to New York to find her. This leaves Abbey alone and having to navigate her own feelings of loneliness, reaching adulthood, and dealing with her own grievances from the attack. This book did an excellent job detailing the different reactions from the attacks such as racism, fear, grief, and loss. It is written in verse and makes for a quick read that packs a punch. Though it is targeted for children, young adults and above can read this as well.
This is a novel in verse so the entire book was written in poetry. As a whole, I thought the poems were well done.
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A raw, moving and powerful book that left me emotional.

Told in verse, this coming-of-age story is told from the perspective of a 12-year-old girl in middle school. The story begins with her getting her first period. But what should have been an important milestone to go through with her mother by her side is eclipsed by the 9/11 attack in New York, which she loses her aunt to.

As her father is in the army, the protagonist moves frequently and is known as an "army brat" (used as a derogatory term by the bullies in her school). It's not long before her father is deployed to Afghanistan and her family is split even further.

The book dives into the effect that 9/11 has on a city outside of New York, grief and loss, bullying and racism, friendship and courage, and standing up for your loved ones and what is right, as well as the often confusing phase that is growing up.

What a beautiful book both inside and out!
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The Places We Sleep was Caroline Brooks DuBois’ debut novel and she nailed it out of the park. Reminiscent of Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X, The Places We Sleep was a middle grade book written in verse. The reader follows Abbey, a quiet, artsy 7th grader trying to find home within herself when the attacks on 9/11 leave her aunt missing from the devastating wreckage, her mother distraught over her missing sister, her military father on the verge of deployment to Afghanistan, and Abbey herself experiencing her first period alone. Abbey struggles to be seen when her parent’s become distracted with the events of the terrorist attack, and struggles to find the balance between fitting in as the new girl in class and avoiding unwanted attention from classmates.

The story always circles back to the attacks on 9/11 but it is a coming of age story that captures the insecurities that come with growing up, and the importance of speaking up against bullying and racism. 

I devoured this book from cover to cover in one day and loved every single page. I found my younger self in Abbey's story and the feelings of nostalgia were enveloping that I only wish I could take this book back to 2001 and gift it to my grade six self. 

The Places We Sleep by Caroline Brooks DuBois

Rating 5/5
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I love a novel in verse especially if it is done right and this one was done right!  Set around a military family and the tragic event of Sept.11, the young girl, Abbey, in this book is perfectly written and I thought it was wonderful. It was heart felt and had a ring of truth about it that gave us a glimse of real America.
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The Places We Sleep is a breathtaking story from the perspective of a young girl trying to navigate the changes of not only middle school, but of the 9/11 disaster. Caroline Brooks DuBois does a phenomenal job showcasing the uncertain emotions and the struggles to understand everything that followed the devastating event. 

As an adult, I can recall back to when the twin towers fell. Abbey’s story pulled me right back to those feelings, not knowing how to process the grief of those around me, or my own, of how to move past it all, but eventually gaining the strength and healing needed.
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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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