Here in the Real World

(3 reviews with an average rating of 4 out of 5)

Publisher: HarperCollins

Ware loves spending time in his own world, but when his grandmother has a fall, his parents bundle him off to the summer group he hates.

Uncomfortable around the other kids - and not sure how to engage in the Meaningful Social Interaction his parents are so keen on - he finds refuge in the abandoned church next door.

There, Ware meets the whipsmart, fiery Jolene, who has started tending the church's garden – but she's scornful of his daydreams, urging him to live in the real world. It doesn't seem like they have much in common until their sanctuary is threatened. Can Ware finally be the hero he dreams of becoming?

Here in the Real World is a beautiful tale from Pax author Sara Pennypacker, perfectly encapsulating how a young introvert feels. Ware will be relatable to many young readers, and his evolving friendship with Jolene - covering hope, disappointment and collaboration - is beautifully drawn.

There's such a special feel to this story, which is set firmly in the real world but has a dreamy quality. Ware's growth over the course of the story is compelling, and underlying messages of acceptance and the beauty of difference are wonderfully threaded throughout.

An uplifting, heartfelt and quietly powerful book.

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