BOOK REVIEW: Stay by Bobbie Pyron

”I never realized until it was gone how something as normal as hope lights up your world.”

As clichéd as it sounds, I was drawn to Bobbie Pyron’s Stay by the {adorable} pup on the cover; but the story I discovered within the pages is one that tugged at my heartstrings and truly made me reflect on life – especially the concepts of hope, love, survival, home, perseverance, and blessings. This is a serious book that will leave you shedding a tear {or twenty}, but it is such an important topic to explore further, for all ages, and Pyron has delivered it masterfully.

Fifth-grader Piper has experienced more hardship in her life than those four times her age, but things are going to get a lot more complicated for her family unit. With her father out of work again, Piper’s family is on the move – this time landing in a homeless shelter in Idaho. From the moment Piper steps onto Idaho ground, she feels ashamed. Ashamed of the fact that her father can’t stay with her mother and brother {instead being ordered to a men’s shelter}. Ashamed that she has to dig through people’s castoffs to find a winter coat to keep her warm. And, above all, ashamed that she has to stand in a food kitchen line three times a day for her meals. But it is in this very line where Piper finds a spark of hope in the form of Baby - a sweet dog who belongs to a homeless woman named Jewel.

Unlike Piper and her family, Jewel is unable to get food from the kitchen, or warm up in the shelter on below-zero nights because of her devotion to Baby {who isn’t welcome in either location}, leaving Piper constantly searching for the kind older woman and the pup who makes her smile. Piper finally locates the two in a park, where she visits frequently; but just as Piper’s family’s luck starts looking up in the form of placement in Hope House, and a new job for her father, Jewel and Baby begin experiencing turmoil.

When Jewel is rushed to the hospital with an extreme fever, Baby refuses to leave the park, awaiting Jewel’s return, which doesn’t happen quickly enough. Soon, Baby is snatched up by animal control, who have placed the loyal canine on a 10-day hold. Once the ten days are up, Baby will be adopted to one of the many families waiting in line to take him home, which will break Jewel’s heart. Piper is determined to reunite the two; but doing so will take a lot of work - and require help from all of Piper’s new friends – including Ree, a kindly young homeless woman who lives in the park with Jewel; and Piper’s Firefly Girls Troop, all of whom live in Hope House. It won’t be easy, but Piper is determined; and with determination comes success.

This book! I absolutely love it. Piper, despite being under 12, is a force to be reckoned with who is smart, brave, wise, and selfless. In the midst of her own family problems, Piper wants nothing more than to help someone else, and that is admirable. Though the topic of homelessness, along with mental health issues, and poverty is heavy, Pyron presents them in a way that educates while making the reader empathize. Told in alternating viewpoints {Piper and Baby}, Stay is a story that will stay on the reader’s mind long after the last page is turned; and make one think twice before discounting the camaraderie, love, and compassion seen within the homeless community. Side note: I am currently getting my Master of Arts in Teaching, Elementary Education, and was able to use this book as an accompaniment to a third-grade expository writing lesson plan. I am positive that this book can be used for a wide array of other lessons within the classroom; so I highly recommend for teachers.

Star Rating: ****



ellie said...

I think I remember reading this book cover when it came in new to our library to be processed. I loved the cover and I started crying. It does look like a book you'd want to keep around and maybe ..just maybe give it to someone who totally understands you and your love for animals. Awesome review!

Caitlin'nMegan said...

Looks like it's a tear jerker, but a wonderful read, too. Thanks for the review!

Ivy's Closet said...

So glad you reviewed this book! It looks like a special book that would make a great gift for yourself or someone you love. Wonderful review!

Ananka said...

Sounds good though probably make me cry!

Why Girls Are Weird said...

This sounds SO GOOD! Adding this to my TBR list.

© cat eyes & skinny jeans | All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig