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Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
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Far from the Tree (edition 2017)

by Robin Benway (Author)

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7414325,559 (4.21)14
National Book Award Winner, PEN America Award Winner, and New York Times Bestseller! Perfect for fans of This Is Us, Robin Benway's beautiful interweaving story of three very different teenagers connected by blood explores the meaning of family in all its forms--how to find it, how to keep it, and how to love it. Being the middle child has its ups and downs. But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including-- Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she's quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family's long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can't help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs. And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he's learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can't hurt anyone but him. Don't miss this moving novel that addresses such important topics as adoption, teen pregnancy, and foster care.… (more)
Member:alicia.becker
Title:Far from the Tree
Authors:Robin Benway (Author)
Info:HarperTeen (2017), Edition: 1st Edition, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
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Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
(4.5)
I can't deny I definitely shed some tears during the last few chapters of the book. ( )
  DominiqueDavis | Aug 9, 2022 |
Three children, each born about one year apart with a different father, but all sharing the same mother, were given up for adoption in infancy. This book begins when those children are all in their teens, and have just learned of each other's existence.
Chapters alternate from the point of view of each teen, though it is told in third person, not the first person that most books for this age audience are usually in. The youngest, Mya, lives with her wealthy adoptive parents, and their biological child, her younger sister. They love her as much as their birth child, but the mother is an alcoholic, and the parents are considering divorce. The second child, Grace, lives with her middle class adoptive parents, but has just gone through a teen pregnancy and given her own child up for adoption, which has traumatized her. The oldest, Joaquin, was never adopted. He was shuffled from one foster home to another all his life, and now at 17, is with foster parents who want to adopt him... but he's lost so much trust in people, he's not sure he wants them to. And Grace wants the three of them to track down their birth mother.
With so many different families involved in this book has more family tension and drama in a few chapters than most books have on the whole. But it is beautifully told, with Mya, Grace and Joaquin each being a deeply sympathetic character in their own ways. Highly recommended. ( )
  fingerpost | May 10, 2022 |
I completely loved this book, which chronicles the journeys of biological siblings Grace, Maya and Joaquin, who all share a biological mother, but were adopted/put into foster care as babies and grew up in separate households.

Robin Benway does a fantastic job of drawing you into heartstring-tugging stories with each of these guys… Grace, who just had a baby of her own that she put up for adoption, Maya who feels like the “what doesn’t belong in this picture?” in her family, and Joaquin, who broke my heart most of all, having been bounced from foster home to foster home his entire life.

I absolutely loved watching Joaquin evolve over the course of the book from the boy who was so isolated and contained to the Joaquin who defended his sister, and called Grace his sister, to the Joaquin who could open up in therapy, to Joaquin on adoption day. So nicely done, the layers peeling back of his life. And I really liked watching Maya’s story slowly unravel, with regards to her mother as well. What a heartbreaking and joyous journey that was. . I completely recommend this book. It will break your heart over and over in the poignant moments, but ultimately ends on moments of triumph, and makes for a heartwarming read on the subject of adoption.

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
( )
  KatKinney | Mar 3, 2022 |
I was given an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

This was THE BEST book of 2017. Perfect topics, perfect (flawed but perfectly fitting) characters, perfect pacing, perfect POV changing. I just loved this book and all of the emotional situations it talked about. There’s some pretty heavy material here and it was handled so nicely. I’d recommended this book to seriously everyone. ( )
  Nikki_Sojkowski | Aug 26, 2021 |
teen realistic fiction (adopted teens with half-brother in foster care; fear of abandonment)
Joaquin is half-Latinx; Grace gave her own baby up for adoption; Maya's adopted mom is an alcoholic and her parents get a divorce. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin Benwayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Forrester, KateCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, JulieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my brother
Thank you for being my bungee buddy
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Grace hadn't really thought too much about homecoming.
Quotations
He wished they would go away, because nothing was worse than someone wanting to talk when the words you needed to say hadn't been invented yet.
Sympathy was sometimes worse than being ignored.
One of the reasons Grace had given up Peach was because she hadn't wanted her life to stop ("You're so young," her parents had implored over and over again), but nobody had told Grace that her life might stop anyway, that she'd be trapped in the amber of her pregnancy, of Peach, while the rest of the world continued to change around her.
She had spent  so long operating under the idea that secrets never left their house that she didn't know how to handle it when any of them escaped, except to make her walls closer, tighter, hugging her in so no one else would ever be able to enter.
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National Book Award Winner, PEN America Award Winner, and New York Times Bestseller! Perfect for fans of This Is Us, Robin Benway's beautiful interweaving story of three very different teenagers connected by blood explores the meaning of family in all its forms--how to find it, how to keep it, and how to love it. Being the middle child has its ups and downs. But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including-- Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she's quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family's long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can't help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs. And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he's learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can't hurt anyone but him. Don't miss this moving novel that addresses such important topics as adoption, teen pregnancy, and foster care.

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