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Homelessness & Poverty

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Results: 1 – 13 of 13
  1. 5.5 hrs • 7/8/2016 • Unabridged

    The acclaimed author of seven ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Will Hobbs pens a spellbinding true-to-life adventure. With nothing but dogged determination, 15-year-old Victor leaves his Mexican village to illegally enter the U.S. and help his starving family. Soon he must outwit gangs, drug-runners, and border agents as he endures shivering nights, blistering days, and gnawing hunger. But can his longing for the beckoning opportunity of El Norte carry him through such impossible obstacles?

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    Crossing the Wire

    5.5 hrs • 7/8/16 • Unabridged
  2. 3.3 hrs • 9/22/2015 • Unabridged

    In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience. Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again. Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything? Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.

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    3.3 hrs • 9/22/15 • Unabridged
  3. 9.0 hrs • 9/1/2015 • Unabridged

    What if the last hope to save your family is the person who broke it up to begin with? Michelle and her little siblings Cass and Denny are African-American and living on the poverty line in urban Baltimore, struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle’s part-time job at the Taco Bell to sustain them. Leah and her stepbrother Tim are white and middle class from suburban Maryland, with few worries beyond winning lacrosse games and getting college applications in on time. Michelle and Leah only have one thing in common: Buck Devereaux, the biological father who abandoned them when they were little. After news trickles back to them that Buck is dying, they make the uneasy decision to drive across country to his hospice in California. Leah hopes for closure; Michelle just wants to give him a piece of her mind. Five people in a failing, old station wagon, living off free samples at food courts across America, and the most pressing question on Michelle’s mind is: Who will break down first–herself or the car? All the signs tell her they won’t make it. But Michelle has heard that her whole life, and it’s never stopped her before. Una LaMarche triumphs once again with this rare and compassionate look at how racial and social privilege affects one family in crisis in both subtle and astonishing ways.

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    Don’t Fail Me Now

    9.0 hrs • 9/1/15 • Unabridged
  4. 0.2 hrs • 6/29/2015 • Unabridged

    Sam can hardly wait to go shopping with his mom. It’s Chinese New Year’s day and his grandparents have given him the traditional gift of lucky money—red envelopes called leisees (lay-sees). This year Sam is finally old enough to spend it any way he chooses. Best of all, he gets to spend his lucky money in his favorite place—Chinatown! But when Sam realizes that his grandparents’ gift is not enough to get the things he wants, his excitement turns to disappointment. Even though his mother reminds him that he should appreciate the gift, Sam is not convinced―until a surprise encounter with a stranger.

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    Sam and the Lucky Money

    0.2 hrs • 6/29/15 • Unabridged
  5. 7.0 hrs • 2/10/2015 • Unabridged

    When forced to choose between staying with her guardian and being with her big brother, Ari chose her big brother. There’s just one problem—Gage doesn’t actually have a place to live. When Ari’s mother died four years ago, she had two final wishes: that Ari and her older brother Gage would stay together always and that Ari would go to Carter, the middle school for gifted students. So when eighteen-year-old Gage decided he could no longer live with their bossy guardian Janna, Ari knew she had to go with him—even though she’d miss baking cookies with Janna and curling up to watch HGTV. What Ari didn’t realize was that Gage didn’t have an apartment yet. And now, two months later, he still doesn’t. He and Ari have been “couch surfing,” staying with Gage’s friend in his tiny apartment, crashing with Gage’s girlfriend and two roommates, and if necessary, sneaking into a juvenile shelter to escape the cold Maine nights. But all of this jumping around makes it hard for Ari to keep up with her schoolwork, never mind her friendships, and getting into Carter starts to seem impossible. Will Ari be forced to break one of her promises to Mama? Told in an open, authentic voice, this nuanced story of hiding in plain sight may have listeners thinking about homelessness in a whole new way.

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    Paper Things

    7.0 hrs • 2/10/15 • Unabridged
  6. 3.2 hrs • 9/16/2014 • Unabridged

    “Amira, look at me,” Muma insists. She collects both my hands in hers. “The Janjaweed attack without warning. If ever they come—run.” Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala—Amira’s one true dream. But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey—on foot—to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind—and all kinds of possibilities. This inspiring story by Andrea Davis Pinkney, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, is a powerful tale of one girl’s triumph against all odds.

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    The Red Pencil

    3.2 hrs • 9/16/14 • Unabridged
  7. 10.3 hrs • 7/22/2014 • Unabridged

    Lewis “Shoe” Blake is used to the joys and difficulties of life on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in 1975: the joking, the Fireball games, the snow blowing through his roof. What he’s not used to is white people being nice to him—people like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force. As the boys connect through their mutual passion for music, especially the Beatles, Lewis has to lie more and more to hide the reality of his family’s poverty from George. He also has to deal with the vicious Evan Reininger, who makes Lewis the special target of his wrath. But when everyone else is on Evan’s side, how can he be defeated? And if George finds out the truth about Lewis’ home—will he still be his friend? Acclaimed adult author Eric Gansworth makes his young-adult debut with this wry and powerful novel about friendship, memory, and the joy of rock ’n’ roll.

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    If I Ever Get Out of Here

    10.3 hrs • 7/22/14 • Unabridged
  8. 7.7 hrs • 3/1/2013 • Unabridged

    From New York Times bestselling author Blue Balliett comes the story of a girl who falls into Chicago’s shelter system and from there must solve the mystery of her father’s strange disappearance. Where is Early’s father? He’s not the kind of father who would disappear. But he’s gone—and he’s left a whole lot of trouble behind. As danger closes in, Early, her mom, and her brother have to flee their apartment. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to move into a city shelter. Once there, Early starts asking questions and looking for answers … because her father hasn’t disappeared without a trace. There are patterns and rhythms to what’s happened, and Early might be the only one who can use them to track him down and make her way out of a very tough place. With her signature, singular love of language and sense of mystery, Blue Balliett weaves a story that takes readers from the cold, snowy Chicago streets to the darkest corner of the public library, on an unforgettable hunt for deep truths and a reunited family.

    Available Formats: Download, Digital Rental

    Hold Fast

    7.7 hrs • 3/1/13 • Unabridged
    Also: Digital Rental
  9. 5.2 hrs • 3/1/2013 • Unabridged

    Back before the stock market crash, Jack’s dad had been working steadily, and their family had had plenty of money. But now, in the middle of the 1930s Depression, there isn’t much work for a trombone player—just a gig down in New York City once in a while. So fourteen-year-old Jack is doing his best to help out. He’s lucky enough to get a weekend job at the town boat club where the “rich folks” hang out, but Jack wishes his dad would at least try to get a regular job. Sometimes there isn’t even enough money to buy decent food and clothes for Jack, his sister Sally, and their young brother Henry. It’s bad enough that their mother has had a nervous breakdown and gone to live in a “home.” Now Jack and Sally are beginning to wonder how long the rest of the family will be able to stay together, with so little money coming in. Jack’s father keeps telling them to look on the bright side—his favorite song is “Happy Days Are Here Again.” But Jack isn’t sure there can be a bright side when you don’t have enough money to live decently. Then, at the boat club, Jack sees an opportunity to steal a lot of money—enough to pay the family’s back rent and keep them all together. For the first time in his life Jack is seriously tempted to steal—especially now that he realizes that his dad can’t really be depended upon, that it’s up to him to take care of the family.

    Available Formats: Download, CD, Digital Rental
    Give Dad My Best by James Lincoln Collier

    Give Dad My Best

    5.2 hrs • 3/1/13 • Unabridged
    Also: CD, Digital Rental
  10. 2.4 hrs • 2/5/2013 • Unabridged

    Mrs. Wiggs and her five children are falling behind on their mortgage and unable to get employment. They find themselves in danger of losing their shack in the cabbage patch. The Wiggs family is so deep in debt that they must sell the beautiful Christmas dinner that is donated to them by the local church.  Mrs. Wiggs’s son Jimmy, the only person in the family who seems to be able to bring in some money, grows sicker and sicker until he passes away. Mrs. Wiggs turns to Lucy, the woman who brought them the Christmas dinner, for help. Time passes, and the family’s hardships continue with various adventures and Lucy’s helpful nature intermixed.

    Available Formats: Download

    Mrs. Wiggs and the Cabbage Patch

    2.4 hrs • 2/5/13 • Unabridged
  11. 4.5 hrs • 9/18/2012 • Unabridged

    Radley’s parents had warned her that all hell would break loose if the American People’s Party took power. And now, with the president assassinated and the government cracking down on citizens, the news is filled with images of vigilante groups, frenzied looting, and police raids. It seems as if all hell has broken loose. Coming back from volunteering abroad, Radley just wants to get home to Vermont, and the comfort and safety of her parents. Travel restrictions and delays are worse than ever, and by the time Radley’s plane lands in New Hampshire, she’s been traveling for over twenty-four hours. Exhausted, she heads outside to find her parents—who always come, day or night, no matter when or where she lands—aren’t there. Her cell phone is dead, her credit cards are worthless, and she doesn’t have the proper travel papers to cross state lines. Out of money and options, Radley starts walking… This is a vision of a future America that only Karen Hesse could write: real, gripping, and deeply personal.

    Available Formats: Download


    4.5 hrs • 9/18/12 • Unabridged
  12. 10.5 hrs • 2/28/2011 • Unabridged

    When a black South American soccer star signs on to a team in the country’s racist south, headlines blare. And when he falls for the sensual Desmerelda, a stunning white pop singer and daughter of a wealthy politician, their sudden and controversial marriage propels the pair to center stage, where they burn in the media spotlight. But celebrity attracts enemies; some very close to home. And its dazzle reaches into the city’s hidden corners, exposing a life of grit and desperation the glitterati could never imagine. When a girl is found murdered, reporter Paul Faustino is caught between worlds as he witnesses the power of the media in making—and breaking—lives. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello, this modern tragedy of desire and betrayal, incisively and compassionately told, is a truly enthralling work of crossover fiction.

    Available Formats: Download


    10.5 hrs • 2/28/11 • Unabridged
  13. 4.8 hrs • 4/22/2003 • Unabridged

    In 1881, 12-year-old Rodzina Clara Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski wishes she didn’t have to board the orphan train in Chicago. But she has no home, no family, and no choice. Rodzina doesn’t believe the orphans are on their way out West to be adopted by good families. She’s sure they will become slaves to strangers. Anyway, who would ever adopt a large, tough, stubborn girl of Polish origin? As the train heads west, all Rodzina has is a small suitcase and her family memories from the past. Will Rodzina ever step off the train to find the family that deep in her heart she’s searching for?

    Available Formats: Download


    4.8 hrs • 4/22/03 • Unabridged
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