By Bobbie Pyron
Ages 8 to 12
Piper has suddenly become homeless. After a long, sleepless night traveling by bus, the fifth grader finds herself spending hours in lines waiting for everything she used to take for granted: food, clothing, even a shower.
In a spot-on and unsentimental portrayal of homelessness, author Bobbie Pyron spins an engaging, moving tale about Piper’s family and an older homeless woman who suffers from bipolar disorder. Baby, the woman’s tiny but tenacious dog, brings them all together. Pyron’s understated style switches back and forth between Piper’s prose and the poetry of Baby’s “dog view” sensations.
When Piper joins the Firefly Troop at Hope House, she finds a lifeline. The Firefly Girls motto, “Let Your Light Shine,” propels Piper to persevere and to never give up hope. Whether it’s by being a good big sister, by showing respect to others whose lives are even more difficult than hers or by telling Baby’s story in front of an auditorium full of strangers to raise money, Piper’s actions will inspire young readers.
As Piper attempts to reunite the homeless woman with the dog she holds dear, her own story is fraught with the same emotions faced by any young person thrust into a situation where little to nothing is within his or her control.
Fans of animal adventure stories will be especially glad they found Stay.