Tuesday, June 03, 2008

How To Build A House by Dana Reinhardt

Harper's life is wonderful. She has two stepsisters and a half brother, all of whom she loves, and her family is happy and whole. And then her father and stepmother decide to get a divorce, and, seeking to escape her life briefly, Harper joins a community service program to rebuild the house of a family in Tennessee who lost it to a tornado. Following this, the story switches between Harper's experiences in Tennessee and what happened at her home before she left. In Tennessee, she learns how anything must be built; it involves a precise order of events and a determined patience. Corresponding to each step in building the house is a segment that refers back to her home. The reader learns about Harper's tortured love life and the events leading up to her departure as Harper learns how to build a house.

How to Build a House uses a simple and elegant metaphor to portray a young woman's discovery of the mistakes that she made in her life, why she made them, and what she should have done. The beautifully written book has a voice that is truthful and pure. Readers will shake their heads at Harper's mistakes, rejoice in her accomplishments, and wait anxiously for each twist and turn of the book. This book depicts the tender side of a family suffering a divorce and how distorted a girl's view of the world can become due to past events. Harper's narrative style is refreshing and unique, and the author (Dana Reinhardt) shows her deep understanding of a teenage girl's mind. Girls will enjoy the story line and the accurate depiction of teenage life. Though there is no inappropriate content, some references may be inadvisable for readers under age 11 or 12. Overall, this book was wonderful and did not follow a predictable pattern for its genre, creating a new and pleasant experience for any reader.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Melrose, MA United States