Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hold Fast

Early's family is close.  They don't have much money, but they have love for each other and love for learning.  Her dad, Dash, is working as a library page at the Chicago Public Library and hoping for the day when he can become a full-time librarian.

The family lives in a tiny one room apartment, but they have dreams of owning a real home with a kitchen and bedrooms and maybe even a cat.  For now they have each other, their dreams, and rich world of reading and words, including their favorite poet Langston Hughes.

Dash is not the kind of man who would ever abandon his family, so when he disappears one day, his wife and children are afraid something terrible has happened.  But the police are accustomed to a different kind of man from a poor neighborhood.  They don't put much effort into finding Dash telling his family that this kind of thing happens all the time.

Things go from bad to worse as the little family quickly runs out of money and is harassed by violent criminals.  When they find themselves in a homeless shelter, Early mother begins to lose hope.  It's up to Early to hold fast to her dreams and her quest to find out the truth about what happened to Dash.

Blue Balliett wrote this book after learning that at least thirty thousand school children in Chicago are homeless.  This lovingly written story reveals some of the pain, fear, and hopelessness of those homeless children, but it is also a tale of hope and encouragement.

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