In this compelling and heartfelt mystery story, Janae Marks—author of the acclaimed bestselling From the Desk of Zoe Washington—follows a young girl reshaping her meaning of home. Perfect for fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Rebecca Stead. Two starred reviews! A Project Lit Club Book Club Selection, S&L Lead Title, Banks Street Best Children's Books of the Year, and Kids' Indie Next List Pick!
"Joyful. A book that kids will love." —Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me
Joy Taylor has always believed home is the house she lived in her entire life. But then her dad lost his job, and suddenly, home becomes a tiny apartment with thin walls, shared bedrooms, and a place for tense arguments between Mom and Dad. Hardest of all, Joy doesn't have her music to escape through anymore. Without enough funds, her dreams of becoming a great pianist—and one day, a film score composer—have been put on hold.
A friendly new neighbor her age lets Joy in on the complex's best-kept secret: the Hideout, a cozy refuge that only the kids know about. And it's in this little hideaway that Joy starts exchanging secret messages with another kid in the building who also seems to be struggling, until—abruptly, they stop writing back. What if they're in trouble?
Joy is determined to find out who this mystery writer is, fast, but between trying to raise funds for her music lessons, keeping on a brave face for her little sister, and worrying about her parents' marriage, Joy isn't sure how to keep her own head above water.
"Squeezes your heart in such a special way." —Lisa Moore Ramée, author of A Good Kind of Trouble and Something to Say
"Readers will find hope in Joy's courage, ingenuity, and fierce dedication to her friends." —Kate Messner, author of Breakout and Chirp
"A timely story about connection, loss and the spaces we need to understand one and brave the other." —Paula Chase, author of Dough Boys and So Done