Greetings from NowhereTitle: Greetings from Nowhere
Author: Barbara O’Connor
ISBN: 9780374399375
Pages: 200 pages
Publisher/Date: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, c2008.

And now Aggie knew what she had to do. She took a piece of paper out of the drawer.
For Sale, she wrote, and felt a jab in her heart.
Sleepy Time Motel. Shawnee Gap, North Carolina.
Another jab.
Ten lovely rooms with moutain view. Swimming pool. Tomato garden.
Jab, jab.
For sale by owners, Harold and Agnes Duncan.
Then she felt a jab that nearly knocked her over. Her hand trembled so much she could hardly keep the pen on the paper as she scratched out Harold’s name. (8)

Agnes Duncan is the owner of the Sleepy Time Motel, which has seen better days since her husband passed away in the tomato garden. Willow Dover is a fifth grader whose mother has suddenly and recently left her with her father, who decides a new start is necessary and buys the motel. Fourth-grader Loretta receives a mysterious package from her birth mother who just died, which sends her adoptive parents and herself into the Great Smoky Mountains. And Kirby and his mother get stranded at the motel on their way to a boy’s reform school, where Kirby will hopefully learn to become more like his perfect brother. All four find something new in a situation that was less than happy for most of them.

I appear to be on a Barbara O’Connor kick lately, having read two of her books back to back unintentionally. This story though has a completely different feel to How to Steal a Dog, more serious in tone but also laid back in style. Each of these charcters are searching for the missing item in their lives, and if they don’t find it then they at least come to grasps with what they were unknowningly looking for. Although it starts with an adult’s perspective that might not resonate with kids initially, it quickly jumps through the three childrens’ points of views, and chapters alternate accordingly.

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