I stayed up until 6 am reading this book. This story—about a seventeen year old girl who will age out of the foster care system next year—is hopeful and heartfelt without disregarding the harsh realities of what growing up in foster care can look like. Longo's daughter was born into foster care and lived in three different placements before Longo adopted her. It was Longo's daughter who asked her to write this book, and we should all be oh so grateful that she did.
“Muir is in the final year of foster care before she ages out. She has to focus and prepare for the time when she’s on her own, but in her last placement she runs into problems—problems with names like Kira, Sean, and Francine. Muir needs let go of her rules and open her heart. Longo has crafted a great story that engages as well as educates. I loved it!”
— Laura Cummings, White Birch Books, North Conway, NH
"A deeply touching story about survival, hope, and love." --Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
For readers of Robin Benway's Far from the Tree, a powerful and heartwarming look at a teen girl about to age out of the foster care system.
Growing up in foster care, Muir has lived in many houses. And if she's learned one thing, it is to Pack. Light. Carry only what fits in a suitcase.
Toothbrush? Yes. Socks? Yes. Emotional attachment to friends? foster families? a boyfriend? Nope! There's no room for any additionalbaggage.
Muir has just one year left before she ages out of the system. One year before she's free. One year to avoid anything--or anyone--that could get in her way.
Then she meets Francine. And Kira. And Sean.
And everything changes.
About the Author
JENNIFER LONGO is the author of Six Feet Over It and Up to This Pointe. She holds an MFA in Writing for Theater from Humboldt State University. Jennifer lives in Seattle with her husband and daughter and writes about writing at jenlongo.com. You can also find her on Twitter @JenLiaLongo.
“The power of relationship—both those experienced and those denied—is expertly explored throughout this novel with nuance and humanity... An exceptional addition to the coming-of-age canon.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Longo (Up to this Pointe), a foster and adoptive parent, wrote the book for her adopted daughter, who wanted a “hopeful, happy” tale; she provides it—and the book, well-written and heartfelt, is a pleasure.” —Publisher's Weekly, starred review
“A beautifully realized tale of a teen’s search for her place in the world." BookPage, starred review
“The combination of authentic detail about the foster experience and respect for the protagonist makes this a particularly satisfying iteration.” —The Bulletin
“A deeply touching story about survival, hope, and love and an important addition to the literature of foster care. Muiriel's journey will transfix readers from the first to the last page." —Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
"What I Carry is not only a necessary book —it's a charming, honest, and hopeful one. This is a story you'll fall for." —Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist, and author of the Michael L. Printz Honor Book, A Heart in a Body in the World
"You will carry this book in your heart for a long, long time."—Jeff Zentner, William C. Morris Award winning author of The Serpent King and Goodbye Days
“Funny, painful, fresh, and real, Jennifer Longo’s What I Carry will break your heart and put it back together again.” —Martha Brokenbrough, author of Kirkus Prize Finalist The Game of Love and Death
“A knock-down hope-filled story to fall in love with...Read this book. Then pass it on.” —Holly Cupala, author of Don't Breathe a Word
"This smart, funny, beautiful book is sure to mend hearts as well as open minds." —Jo Knowles, author of Where the Heart Is