In between meeting Noah and peeking into his currently messed up life, we get glimpses of a bear with a bucket stuck to its head. We quickly find out that Noah's Mom is in jail, he got into some trouble at school over the past year, and he's sure that his living situation is precarious. It's a lot for anyone to handle. Add in bullying and I was worried that this story would turn out to be just too sad.
As an adult reader, I can see that Jeff (his guardian) is trying to help and won't kick Noah out, but from Noah's point of view, it isn't as clear. Jeff turned out to be my favorite character. Noah has a friend, Rina, who is another outcast at school, and together they start a campaign to save the bear. This story all takes place in West Virginia, and the rural setting of mostly poverty-stricken people is chock full of lousy situations. In spite of that this is one of those stories where you feel better having read it and find yourself thinking about it days later. I'd have a hard time reading it aloud without crying, but I would hand it over with no problem to anyone eleven and up.
Verdict- Buy (Adults and Teens will enjoy this one too)
Please note that I received a free advance E ARC of this book from Edelweiss Plus without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
Bringing Me Back by Beth Vrabel
Middle-Grade Fiction 2/6/18