Cover Image: The Places We Sleep

The Places We Sleep

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Member Reviews

I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. I wasn't particularly moved by this story but kids in the 8-13 group may.
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The Places We Sleep is a coming of age story about  army “brat” Abbey struggling to find out her identity in the complex world post 9/11. Middle school and puberty are just a few of Abbey’s problems however, the book tackled more difficult subject matter such as racism, war, bullying and grief. I would recommend this  novel as it sends a message of kindness and acceptance.
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The Places We Sleep was a beautiful verse novel that depicts the struggles of a military family. Through the eyes of a young girl named Abbey, we learn about what it is like to have to travel from town-to-town as an every-moving military family.

Life gets even harder for Abbey and her family right after they moved to their latest new town. America was attacked by a terrorist group on September 11, 2001. Now, Abbey's dad must deploy out to Afghanistan. Abbey and her mom are left behind to fear the worst while he head's off to defend their country.
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Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read this book. It's a good one but I dropped it halfway. I feel that it's too heartbreaking for me. I felt pain in my chest that almost made me tear up. I want to continue reading it but I can't handle the weight of emotions this book contains. I like it and I still believe that it's a must read.
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I really didn’t enjoy the writing style and what I read of the book just felt a bit all over the place. I had to DNF it after starting it 3 or 4 times.
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This book tackled some heavy issues like war and 9/11 in the perspective of Abbey, a middle schooler. She also talks about her friends and how her school life is. She is very shy, so she rarely speaks up, which makes it harder for her at school. It's very sentimental and I really liked reading about what's going on in her life.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review 
It is the story of 9/11 and the impact that it had on 12 year old Abbey and her family. While her family are reacting to what is happening around them poor Abbey is not only struggling with being the new kid at school but she also got her period for the first time and her mum was not around because her sister was missing after the planes crashed into the towers. . 
The story is written in verse which I struggled with due to the format of the ARC but was an overall good story that brought back memories of where I was and what my reaction was to 9/11
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A tremendously affecting coming of age story, THE PLACES WE SLEEP (8/25/2020) by Caroline Brooks DuBois deftly explores how a family grapples with the events of the September 11th terrorist attacks and the vast impact on their lives thereafter. Born into a military family, Abbey, 12, has started, once again, at a new school and is trying to navigate major changes and anxious feelings. DuBois’ exquisite free verse is told through Abbey who is struggling with her first period and not being able to consult her mother for guidance as her mom has gone to NY for her aunt. Abbey’s thoughts are raw and relatable as she deals with bullies at school and her father’s imminent deployment. With so much on her mind, I felt for Abbey and admired her kindness, courage, and her art. This poignant novel deals with grief and loss with dignity and grace. It was not uncommon for me to let the sensitive prose “marinate” for a bit before moving onto the next verse with words so profound and touching. Emotional and accessible, THE PLACES WE SLEEP is a necessary addition to my classroom library.
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I took up this book because I was really attracted to the amazing artwork on the cover as well as the book title. But this book turned out to be something completely different from what I had expected. I DNFed this book at 30% because this book just wasn't for me. I will like to appreciate the book layout though.
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I was underwhelmed by this book. I found the pairing of 9/11 and it's aftermath with the protagonist's menstrual cycle to be a strange choice. I understood the intent, but I felt like it never achieved the symbolism that the author was clearly aiming for. I also found the various classmates to be both flat (as many other reviewers noted) and unrealistic (we know the city hosts an army base, how on earth can Abbey's status as "Army brat" be that novel or ire-producing to the students?!). Finally I found myself continually more interested in the stories of Jiman, Camille, and Abbey's cousins, ultimately leaving my annoyed that Abbey was the focus instead of virtually anyone else in the novel.
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Abbey is going through the growing pains of middle school when 9/11 strikes, and her Aunt Rose, who works in the Twin Towers, is declared missing. While her mother leaves to go comfort her sister’s family, her dad prepares to be ready for war in Afghanistan. 

Perhaps I am missing the point of this narrative, but I was a bit dismayed that too much emphasis seemed to revolve around Abbey’s first dealings with menstruation and a clique of girls at her school. Being a second grader during the time of 9/11 in Western New York, I recall a lot more emotion than that which was shared in this narrative, which especially felt disconnected with her dealing of Aunt Rose. I think this would be a good read for my middle school students and I always appreciate verse, but wish there were more substance behind Jiman’s character and Abbey’s emotions. Thank you for the ARC, Netgalley.
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I was so little when any of the events of 9/11 happened that I have no recollection whatsoever plus I'm not from America so all I know from this event I heard from the news. So I went into this book expecting to read form the perspective of a little girl who really doesn't know what is going on, I went into this expecting a lot of confusion and fear. Maybe cause the novel is written in verse, for me, the narration felt really impersonal and I felt that at times Abbey's voice sounded too mature for someone of that age. Overall I liked it but it wasn't my favorite.
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It's September 2001 and Abbey is the new kid in her middle school class. She's used to being new - due to her dad being in the military, the family's moved around a lot - but this year will be different: Abbey is entering puberty just as the nation is shaken by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

I hadn't really encountered a children's/middle-grade novel handling 9/11 before reading this, so that was already pretty interesting in its own right. Overall, "The Places We Sleep" looked at the issue from a variety of angles, perhaps even surprisingly so, given the main character's dad's occupation. No single right or wrong answer was presented, leaving the readers to draw their own conclusions instead.

The novel is written in verse, so it reads quickly, but I did feel that it could have gone more in-depth on a lot of the themes it touched without suffering from being longer. It wants to cover a lot of ground, including 9/11-related storylines and normal middle-school goings-on, and I felt that, especially in the second part of the book, a lot of the plotlines were merely glossed over. I'd have loved the book to focus more on Abbey's friendships with Camille, Jacob and especially Jiman.

Conversely, "The Trio" and the jocks bullying everyone around them got old very quickly. Legit question: do people like this actually exist outside of books and TV shows? I've never gone to an American school, I legit don't know.

One more consequence of the novel being written in verse, as well as in the first person singular, was that Abbey read somewhat too mature for her age a lot of the time. I got into the rhythm of the writing style eventually, but it did take me a while.

(Also, apparently this counts as historical fiction and I feel ancient for knowing that.)
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The book follows our protagonist,a 11-year old during the times of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 in America.The book which deals with grief ,loneliness,longing and friendship is sure to stay with you for a long time.I especially loved the way of narration as it was narrated in such a unique way.I have no doubt that this book is going to be a smashing hit.It has an amazing in-depth meaning which drew me to this book. It has the power to move hearts and provoke thoughts.However,though the genre is said to be Middle Grade,I wouldn't really recommend the book for kids between 8-12 years as I find think they would find it kind of hard to understand.I would surely recommend it to all my book-loving friends.
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This book does a good job of conveying the confusion and worry as the events of September 11th, 2001 unfolded to a school aged child. I was a little older than the main character (high school), and I remember feeling a lot of the same emotions, only with a little deeper understanding of the world and the gravity of what was happening. I think that as a middle schooler, the author hit the nail on the head of what would be going through a character that age's mind. Adding in the aunt who lives in the New York, the father who is an active military man, and the classmate and her family who are Muslim, this book stirred up a lot of what was going on at the time and conveyed it in an approachable and conversation inducing way. I really felt for the characters. Some of the lines were so beautifully worded and true that they made you pause and highlight, for they were not only relevant in the aftermath of 9/11, but are equally relevant in 2020 with all that's going on right now.  Additionally, the aspects of the story relating to the character getting her first period give another significant insight into what it might be like to be a middle schooler in the midst of both worldly uncertainty as well as all the uncertainty that comes with puberty and hormones.
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Abbey always feels the awkwardness of starting a new school. She knows all about being the new kid at school, the new kid in town. But when she begins a new school term and then suddenly her mother leaves for New York, Abbey is faced with a sense of loneliness and grief that she doesn't know how to explain. Tennessee seems a long way from the events of 9/11 but not when your aunt is one of the people missing after the attacks. No-one can take the place of her vivacious aunt and Abbey doesn't know what to say to her cousins and uncle when they visit later that year.  Perhaps seeing her uncle break down and cry is the cementing of this new reality - she is growing up and this world is not as certain as it used to be.
Written in prose, Caroline DuBois captures the turmoil of grief and change as a nation reels from tragedy and as Abbey's family is directly affected. World events seem to coincide with Abbey saying goodbye to her childhood and realising that she is entering a new phase of her life.

I think this was a good coming of age story, honest about grief and being the new person, the challenge of making friends and big things happening but not having people to share it with.
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"I'm in Mom's arms, / like when I was little, / and as I drift off, / I whisper
in my head / or maybe out loud / to 2001 / and tick off the year's life-changing events:
the year we moved to Tennessee,
the year of the terrorist attacks,
the year my period arrived,
the year Aunt Rose died,
and the year Dad left for Afghanistan.
When I wake, / Mom and the magic of the night / are gone."

This was such an impactful and beautifully written novel in verse. This story is told through the POV of a girl going through these personal life-changing events while the whole world goes through these huge events and tragedies and it is a really interesting way for a coming of age journey. I really liked Abbey's point of view and how she processed what was happening to her and her family in the way that you could really see her youthfulness beginning to develop into maturity.

The struggle she went through when it came to her father fighting in the war that she was seeing people she knew protest was another interesting aspect of this book. I could feel her anxiety and conflict with her dad and it was a really emotional experience to read the letters and phone calls between them, in addition to the silence that eventually occurred.

Everything with Abbey's mother and Aunt Rose was also heartbreaking. I was only 5 years old when 9/11 occurred, so I don't really remember much from when it actually happened, but I've been to the memorial and of course seen shows about it on TV. I can't imagine what it would have been like for the families who had people missing/killed/deployed because of and during all of this.

I loved the ending and the overall sense of hopefulness that Abbey will be able to continue to figure out who she is and become the confident girl that she wants to be, while the world around her slowly heals as well.
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I love a good novel in verse; especially one that cover so many themes to discuss in my classroom. I even more love the premise of the story being set around 9/11. As much as that day is so vivid in my mind, my students have no idea. This story is a great way to explain the emotions of those students who didn’t leave in or near NYC, but how it effected us all then and how it still is today. There are so many great talking points in the story that all students experience whether it’s a catastrophic, tragic national event, or a day in middle school - it will be relative to everyone. Well done.
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I somehow added this on and didn't realize, but that's okay. I normally wouldn't have chosen a book at this topic since it's meant for younger ages, but it was still a cutish, heavy read that deals with a lot of controversy. From 9/11, to Islamophobia, to military families to becoming an adult and also friendships all in between.

It was a quick read and I think is important for the younger years to read because it focuses on a lot of issues that they could relate to. Would I normally read this? No, because it’s not meant for an adult, but I think teens would enjoy this a lot.
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This book is about Abby, a girl on the cusp of womanhood on the day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Her aunt dies in NYC, causing her mom to leave to help take care of her sister’s family. Her dad is in the Army and deploys shortly after 9/11 for Afghanistan. Abby struggles with her changing body, crushes, her art, grief and the absence of her dad physically, as well as her mom emotionally. This book attacks a lot of themes such as Islamophobia after a turbulent time in our nation’s history and it’s a verse novel, which will be an instant favorite with many students. Thanks Netgalley for an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.
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