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Lives Turned Upside Down


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Gr 4-8-As part of a project in which homeless children are given cameras and taught photography, four young people document their lives through their images and interviews with the author. The two girls live at a church mission in Santa Monica, California; one of the boys is still on the move, while the other's family currently lives in a house, but does not have enough money for electricity. What the four have in common is a poignant vision of the American dream-a house they can call a home, surrounded by a fence, with a playful dog in the yard. While their black-and-white photos are not of a professional caliber, they do capture the ambiance of their neighborhoods and living conditions. There are no statistics here, just youthful perspectives and observations. Because their insights are not overly brutal, this volume may be an appropriate introduction to the topic of homelessness. Pair this volume with Eve Bunting's Fly Away Home (Clarion, 1991) for an introduction to an increasingly pervasive topic.-Rosie Peasley, Empire Union School District, Modesto, CA

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