In her latest, Sones (To Be Perfectly Honest, 2013) tackles the topic of homelessness, runaways, and mental illness in another hard-hitting, but never overly dark, novel in verse. At 14, Molly is mostly on her own; her father has buried himself in his work, and her mother has buried herself in a pot haze. But when Molly, in desperate need of community service hours for school, volunteers to help take Santa Monica’s annual homeless count, she encounters Red, a teenager living on the streets. Spurred by a desire to get Red home to her family, Molly befriends her, even as it becomes apparent that the situation is more complicated than it seems … This is a deeply effective look at an epidemic too infrequently addressed, and could be an invaluable resource for jumpstarting discussions. For young readers, lonely, well-meaning Molly makes a beautiful window into the desperate futility of trying to save someone who doesn’t necessarily want to be saved.
A page-turning novel in verse about loss, grief, and redemption told in the voice of a wide-eyed, naive fourteen-year-old … This work is Frank Capra–esque in its belief in the power of love to win out against all odds and even includes a homage to It’s a Wonderful Life. While addressing some serious and thorny issues, this book maintains an upbeat and hopeful tone throughout … A quick, accessible read for fans of emotional, character-driven titles that are not too gritty or despairing. —Luann Toth
… A sweet romance and hopeful ending balance the heavy themes that propel this story, and Sones’s staccato, first-person poems sensitively trace the innocence Molly sheds as her world expands.
… Molly's free-verse, first-person narration is smooth and fast … A heart-tugging, romanticized, mutual-savior story about homelessness and mental illness.