Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini
English | 2020 | Children/Young Adult | ePUB | 3.4 MB
Fans of Monday’s Not Coming and Girl in Pieces will love this award-winning novel about a girl on the verge of losing herself and the unlikely journey to recovery after she is removed from anything and everyone she knows to be home.
Moving from Trinidad to Canada wasn’t her idea. But after being hospitalized for depression, her mother sees it as the only option. Now, living with an estranged aunt she barely remembers and dealing with her “troubles” in a foreign country, she feels more lost than ever.
Everything in Canada is cold and confusing. No one says hello, no one walks anywhere, and bus trips are never-ending and loud. She just wants to be home home, in Trinidad, where her only friend is going to school and Sunday church service like she used to do.
But this new home also brings unexpected surprises: the chance at a family that loves unconditionally, the possibility of new friends, and the promise of a hopeful future. Though she doesn’t see it yet, Canada is a place where she can feel at home-if she can only find the courage to be honest with herself.
When I’m having a panic attack I can find it hard to carry on a conversation. My thoughts become confused and all the words become tangled in my mind, a ball of stifled self-expression. So I tried to focus on the road I was walking on.
A long concrete road, it was four lanes wide and full of zooming, beeping, clanking, whooshing cars, buses, and trucks. Trucks especially. They weren’t allowed to drive on the cross streets, only roads that ran the length of this part of Edmonton.
The trucks were big, lumbering, trundling things that passed too close to me as I walked. The pavement and road were the same color, the same texture. Home home, roads were black, the way roads should be. Roads back home were made of asphalt mined from Trinidad’s Pitch Lake. Not here. Edmonton’s bone-white, cold concrete highway scared me in some primal way. This wasn’t a road into anything good; it couldn’t be. And I’d never seen so many trucks. They were like huge devils with horns blaring and fangs in their grilles, evil grins, bad intentions, bearing down on me from behind, leering at me as they powered past, warning me they’d be back for me—not now but at some unspecified, very real date in the future. The wind they raised was bitter and hot, not like the wind that normally blew cold, odorless, and sterile. The wind blown from the sides of the trucks was dusty and tasted like ashes in my mouth.
Houses ran alongside the road. Stretching over the four lanes every now and then was a big blue road sign that told me where I was. I also kept track by counting the street signs at each corner. Twenty-First Street. Twentieth Street. Nineteenth Street. The streets seemed inordinately far apart. I had four more blocks to walk before I turned in to the bus station.
“What’s going on?” Akilah was now insistent. All she’d heard was the jagged sound of my breath as I freaked out, abrupt inhalations and shaky exhalations that would stop me from screaming. I must have looked awful.
“I’m in the middle of nowhere.”
“Why are you walking in the middle of nowhere?”
“I should take a bus from the city to the station, then from the station to home,” I confessed. “But I never remember quickly enough which bus to take to get to the station. I feel like an idiot standing there staring at the transit map. I keep some schedules in my pocket, but…”
It sounds stupid, but I was always, always easily flustered when I had choices to make, even simple, everyday ones. Should I have rice or pasta? Lettuce or cabbage? The Fourteen or the Eighteen? My choice could kill me. At least, that was what it felt like. And please don’t get me started on multiple-choice tests. Exams were always hell. I never knew how to decide things.