Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner

How I Heard About It:  This ARC came to me via my #bookexpedition Twitter group.  I was thrilled to receive it because I absolutely love everything Kate writes.  

What It Is About:  Kirby, "Zig" Zigonski, Gianna, and Ruby are the best of friends.  Zig is into science, electronics, and putting "stuff" together.  The girls not so much; but they do support their friend.  When Zig "inherits" a GPS device to use for "geocaching", these three youngsters begin a wild adventure.  They use the GPS to follow clues to different locations around town that will hopefully lead Zig to his "missing" father.  He hasn't seen him in over a year.  The more he asks his mother about where is father is, the more secrets she seems to be keeping from him.  As Zig finds clues from other "cachers", he believes some of them are coming from his father.  All the information in these notes, seem to point to his dad and the two of them reuniting.  Zig spends most of his time on this venture, but then his life is turned upside down with his mother and he must turn his attention to a life-altering event.  The anger he has toward his mother about where his father is and the difficult situation she put them in, leads Zig to face some adult decisions and outcomes.  

What I Thought Of It:  Today I literally participated in #bookaday.  I started the story this afternoon and finished it a few hours later.  I could not put it down.  That seems to be a trend with a Kate Messner novel.  This story has so much to it:  friendship, parent relationships, bullies, homelessness, and so much more.  Zig was such an important character and shared with me so many life lessons.  I enjoyed the support that Gianna and Ruby gave him and gives me hope for a better world where young people stand by each other.  There is another special relationship between a boy at Zig's school and Zig himself.  It opened my eyes to how teachers treat students that are dealing with a lot in their own home and/or family life.  

Who Should Read It:  If you can get your hands on an ARC of this book, please do so.  You will truly find this a satisfying read.  Otherwise, be sure to get a copy of the book when it is released.  I've seen both a September and October release date.  I'm not sure which is the actual date.  The book could be used with fourth, fifth, and sixth graders.  There are lots of great themes that will be able to be discussed while sharing the novel.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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