Kristine Scarrow has worked with the Saskatchewan Foster Families Association and now teaches writing and journaling as a healing art. She is the author of If This Is Home and Throwaway Girl. She is currently the writer-in-residence at St. Paul’s Hospital. Kristine lives in Saskatoon.
When your teen years are so messed up, how do you grow up happy?
Andy Burton knows a thing or two about survival. Since she was removed from her mother’s home and placed in foster care when she was nine, she’s had to deal with abuse, hunger, and homelessness. But now that she’s eighteen, she’s about to leave Haywood House, the group home for girls where she’s lived for the past four years, and the closest thing to a real home she’s ever known.
Will Andy be able to carve out a better life for herself and find the happiness she is searching for?
Throwaway Girl is a rich, eye-opening novel that has the potential to create empathy in young readers. It introduces tough themes that reflect a harsh reality, but it always rings true, and Scarrow has created a believable character in Andy.
An audience of grade 6 to 8 girls will find the language accessible and the fast paced plot entertaining.
Scarrow toggles each chapter of the story between the past – Bernice – and the present Andy. This works very well to create suspense in the plot. Both as Bernice and Andy our heroine struggles to make sense of the world, take care of herself and make herself worthy of love.
It’s a story not told often enough: the forgotten child, left to the resource-poor system, but the heart of the book does not bleed. Andy is sentient, not a victim, but more an observer, and her narrative unravels gently, awaiting its readers.
This is a darkly realistic, sometimes difficult book to read as Andy faces one challenge after another. It takes all of her courage and resolve to face the future with confidence. Well-written…