Cover Image: The Places We Sleep

The Places We Sleep

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Member Reviews

The story and the layout of this book is something that a  lot of children would really enjoy. 
The child that I babysit really enjoyed it and wanted me to give it 5 stars.
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"The Places We Sleep" makes an enticing first impression. I found myself pondering the title as I admired the abstract and perhaps symbolic cover picturing a girl going to bed among the clouds and stars. From this onset, from the relevant, not revealing cover, one of the book's strengths shines: It draws you in with simplicity. This strength resonates and recurs through the book in effective and powerful ways. For instance, the presentation of the story in the form of short poems, I feel, really helps to draw the reader in, and invites them to consider events and moments as stand-alone works of art. Though written in verse, I would call it “serviceable” verse, in that it never seems overly formal, nor does it get in the way of the narrative; it’s a servant, not a centerpiece. Occasionally, readers will catch a rhyme here and there. Other times, they can just imbibe the story.
      I am not sure whether it says more about the times or about my changing tastes and selections as a reader, but I don’t think I would have found such a book when I was in middle school. As a male, I’m not sure how I would’ve reacted almost two decades ago to reading a book that opens on its first page with a girl getting her first period, let alone on 9/11. However, reading Abbey’s story now, I am astonished at how similar my middle-school self and her are. I find her very relatable, because I was very art-focused and introverted as a middle-schooler; I was also in middle school when 9/11 happened. 
      Abbey begins her story as an insecure middle-schooler who has been dragged around the country as part of a military family, always leaving friends and places she slept behind. On the fateful day the novel opens, she learns that she is having her first period, planes have crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, and that a dear relative of hers is among the missing. From this security-shattering prelude, Abbey must find a way to cope with her bodily change into womanhood, the possibility of not being able to say her final goodbyes to a loved one, and the difficulties of being the “new kid” at yet another school. I am impressed by the novel’s treatment of Abbey’s reactions to these traumas, because the absurdity and sense of disconnection and isolation she experiences is, I feel, represented and honored. Though this story does not center around a Muslim-American, we do get a brief but sensitive glimpse, through the eyes and heart of Abbey, into what Muslim-Americans had to endure at that time (and still do to this day). 
      This story is realistic, so it is a bit heavy. It is also optimistic, and even triumphal, which is why I can strongly recommend it. Ultimately, Abbey proves to herself and the reader that with the support of even one friend and the vital creative outlet of art, one can survive the tumultuous modern world and emerge with a unique sense of identity, grounded in one’s friends and family and expressed and embodied through one’s voice. 
      While recommendations are easier, and I would recommend this book almost universally, ratings are much harder. I am marking four stars here, but this is not due to any deficiency that I can detect in the work. My personal rating would be more like a nine out of ten, or four point five stars. I enjoyed stepping into Abbey’s world and sharing her pains and victories, because they provided an opportunity to remember and reflect on my own. After all, we are all shaped by the people, events, and locations in our lives, from basketball-playing best friends to blabbering bullies, from national tragedies to personal puberty, and from distant countries family members are stationed to the places we sleep.
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The Places We Sleep was my first jump into reading narrative verse and I truly enjoyed it, I enjoyed how at key moments in the text, the layout of the words, reflected the feeling and the action. 

The subject matter of this text Is so important for our students, I remember 9/11 and this narrative ensures that students can grasp a real sense of the time, The big issues explored in this narrative  include coming of age, pro/anti war, racism and loss.
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Thank you to Holiday House Books and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this book in exchange for a review. "The Places We Sleep" is a middle-grade novel that describes how a middle schooler named Abbey deals with 9/11. The book is written in beautiful poetry and really captures Abbey's raw and emotional thoughts and feelings. Reading this book felt like you were on a personal journey with Abbey as she navigates puberty, the shocking aftermath of 9/11, and how to find yourself in the midst of tragedy. Caroline Brooks DuBois did a fabulous job at creating a moving book that I think will help middle schoolers today realize the impact of 9/11 on America. #ThePlacesWeSleep #NetGalley
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I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

This is a moving and beautifully written poetic story about a young girl on her journey to womanhood who is from a military family who move around a lot. This is about the 9/11 attack on the twin towers in America and how it affected the world and how it touched her life in particular. Its also about friendship and finding out who you are and finding your voice about what you believe in. 

This book is such a beautiful read .
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Abbey is a shy twelve-year-old who moved with her military father and mom to Tennessee in 2001. As she navigates the challenges of being at a new school she must also confront obstacles she never thought about before. Small one’s like bullies, friends, and periods. Big ones like the September 11th terrorist attacks, her Aunt missing from the twin towers, and her father being sent to Afghanistan. This can be all too much for a pre-teen to handle but she has her new friends Camille and Jacob to help her navigate as well as her love for drawing. In the end, Abbey understands this new place where she sleeps and cherishes the importance of family, friends, and standing up for what you believe is right. 
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The life of an adolescent during the time of the September 11th attacks. Many of us remember that moment in history and how it impacted the world around us. While the attacks are not the whole reason for the story I do believe that this incident (being the backdrop) really provides a unique perspective of a pre-teen army brat who is navigating her own life during this time. I do feel that this book should be read with a parent as some context might be needed as well as understanding of the significance of the September 11th attacks.
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Two important topics that don’t get in books often enough. Well written and perfect for grades 5 & up.
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The Places We Sleep
Caroline Brooks DuBois
4 out of 5 stars

What I loved:
-	The verse was absolutely beautiful, and I lived for the lines that hit you out of the blue like a punch to the gut
-	The tension created between the tragedy of 9/11 and Abbey getting her period for the first time occurring on the same day was really interesting. It mirrored struggling with greater tragedies alongside personal, everyday wars and the terrors of growing up.
-	The variety of Abbey’s relationships both with family and friends, and how they take different forms. She interacts with different people very differently, and I immensely enjoyed this.

What I didn’t love:
-	I think the one thing that bothered me most about this book is that the Trio, the three “popular girls”, felt very flat and stereotypical. This is challenged a bit when we find out that Angela’s brother is deployed, but overall they weren’t very unique as far as antagonist characters go.

What I wanted more of:
-	JIMAN. Her character was fantastic, and seeing her deal with Islamophobia in the wake of the terrorist attacks was impactful and made the story multi-dimensional. However, I wish we had seen more of her. Abbey doesn’t start talking to her until the very end of the book, and I really wanted more to happen between the two of them, given how much they have in common.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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Man who doesn't love books in verse? They cut through all the BS and give you only the guts and meat and meaning and leave you to fashion your truth with it.  Such is the case with Caroline Brooks DuBois' The Places We Sleep.  She gives us the story of Abbey, a young girl learning how to be comfortable with herself, how to make friends and how to navigate young womanhood in the aftermath of September 11th.  Not only does Abbey's family have to deal with personal loss from 9/11 but they also have to deal with being a military family and deal with being a one parent household during a deployment.  

I greatly enjoyed DuBois' work.  I feel as though a lot of my students will be able to identify with Abbey's struggles to make/maintain friendships. I can think of a few students in particular that would identify with Abbey being better able to express herself through her art than her words.  I especially like how the relationship between Abbey and Jiman unfolded.
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WOWI opened this book and the words themselves just flowed like a river. It read so fluidly into my mind and pressed deep in my heart. It was an honour to read about Abbey's life and weighed heavy as I read about the terrorist attacks of 9-11.
This is Abbey's story, a fictional one but a story non the less of where she was when 9-11 happened. I was very young in primary school I remember watching the news and hearing of the horror. It was not in my country but I remember for days seeing how in shock the people around me were. Abbeys story depicts the search for her aunt who worked at the world trade center. It also deals with normal middle school problems Abbey has to deal with like her first period. Her father is also away on deployment in Afghanistan.

This was a novel written in verse and was magnificent to read and would highly recommend to people of all ages.
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This book was beautiful and everything I hoped it would be when I requested it. 
The writing is so well written. I loved learning about the life of Abbey and the 9/11 attacks affected her life and those around her.
This was a quick read that I would recommend to anyone, not just young adults.

Thanks to Netgalley for my advanced ebook copy.
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First sentence: It arrives like a punch to the gut like a shove in the girls’ room like a name I won’t repeat. It arrives like nobody’s business, staring and glaring me down, singling me out in the un-singular mob that ebbs and flows and swells and grows in the freshly painted, de-roached hallways of Henley Middle.

Premise/plot: The Places We Sleep is a coming-of-age novel set during the school year 2011/2012 starring a young girl named Abbey. The novel opens with a few surprises--she gets her first period AND the terrorists attack the Twin Towers in New York City. Her mom rushes away to be with her family. Abbey's Aunt Rose works at the World Trade Center, she has two kids and a husband. They will need all the support they can get as the search begins...and ends...BUT Abbey needs her mom too. The novel is told in VERSE and it covers September through May as the nation--and Abbey--undergo some big changes.

My thoughts: Every one has a story of where they were when they first heard the news, this is Abbey's story. (It is fictional). It chronicles Abbey's life as she processes and absorbs this new world all while balancing the typical changes that come from growing up. It tackles friends, bullies, school, home, discovering yourself, etc.

I was not in middle school when 9/11 happened. I was in college, but I very much remember how shocking and disturbing the news was. Also how it continued to impact lives even months, years later. I would recommend this one.
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I just finished this beautiful novel in verse. One line that I’m lingering on is, “I question a world where doing the right thing means giving up the things you love.”  Caroline’s author’s note really resonated with me too, “I now recognize that bringing a human being into the world is a courageous act of hope.” I could not agree more. In this novel, Abbey is faced with all the normal trials of middle school, living in a new town, searching for an aunt who worked in the twin towers, & a father who is deployed to Afghanistan. Middle school students will appreciate this novel, and it will be a glimpse into life during 9/11.
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Unbelievably magnificent in every way. This novel was positively honest and truthful; perfect for a middle grade read as well as raising awareness towards young readers regarding the truth of reality, radiating messages of bravery and fearlessness.
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A really great story, written in verse, about how 9/11 affected people across the US! It is a heartfelt story about growing up, surviving middle school, grief, guilt, and fear of losing someone you love. I did not expect to like this as much as I did, and the way the text is built really helps to display Abbey's feelings and thoughts, as well as bring more depth to the story. I especially liked how grief was handled and displayed in this!
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I find it hard to rate, as a Brazilian person, a book that is so deeply about 9/11. I was even younger than Abbie when it happened and even now it seems like there's so much behind it it's hard to talk about.
I loved the prose and how Abbie coming of age happens through the story. If this one is translated to Portuguese one day, I may buy it for the army kids I know. It's very beautfiul.
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'The places we sleep' is about twelve-year-old Abbey and how the 9/11 events affected her life and her family. The fact that this book is written in verse, makes it stand out among the rest. From the eyes of an innocent child, this book subtly mocks at the futility of the wars and shows how destructive they can be. It was such a beautiful read. It made me cry. I definitely recommend this book to all.
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This books is just so beautiful. The writing was beautiful,written in verse, getting to live through a couple of years of the life of Abbey and how the 9/11 attacks affected her life and those around her. I would recommend this book highly. It was also a quick read.
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The Places we Sleep is author Caroline Brooks DuBois debut novel in verse, centring around 12 year old Abbey after the events of 9/11. Following Abbeys family life, her fathers journey with the army, her mothers confrontation with grief, and her observations on racism within school, this book was very touching and sentimental, and gave a new perspective on the events of 9/11 through the eyes of a child. The writing for this book was poetic and very symbolic, not confronting the brutality of 9/11, but enough so for readers to draw conclusions. A beautiful story of friendship, family, grief, first loves and the racism that emerged in full form toward Muslim families during that time, I wish for only this book to be longer. Nonetheless, a great read that only takes a couple of hours to get through.
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The Places We Sleep by Caroline Brooks Dubois

Read: May 29th, 2020


"I have a captive audience and i've forgotten how to speak. And the sound of my own voice out loud in the classroom is terrifying."

What i liked: The prose was beautiful. The story line and the hard aspects of racism and military was really unique in a children's book that i haven't really seen before. Having a children's book set during the world of 9/11 and having this child have her first period while also trying to process what has happened in her world was really interesting.

I think the only thing i didn't like about this book was how short it was. I wanted there to be a snippet of her family grieving and processing what happened to her Aunt. I saw the ribbon tree as Abbey's way of doing that but i would have liked to also see her mom's way of coping. I mean, she lost her sister. I wanted to know what she was doing to cope with that while also coping with her husband off at war as well.

Overall, i liked the writing style. I just wish it would have been a bit longer page wise.
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