Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 4 - 8X5.464936
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 nineteen-year-old Gage decides he can no longer live with their bossy guardian, Janna, Ari knows she has to go with him. But it’s been two months, and Gage still hasn’t found them an apartment. He and Ari have been "couch surfing," staying with Gage’s friend in a 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 readers thinking about homelessness in a whole new way.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published on February 10, 2015 by Candlewick
ISBN-10: 0763663239
ISBN-13: 9780763663230
15 Book Reviews
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  • inmemoryofcpr
    inmemoryofcprSunday, September 15, 2019 at 8:37 am44 stars
    Ari’s mother’s last words to her were “Stay together always.” So when her brother, Gage decides to leave the home of Janna, their mom’s old friend, Ari goes with him. As they struggle to find a place to live between friends and strangers, life begins to fall apart for her. She starts to lose her friends and Ari’s schoolwork is failing. Meanwhile, Ari finds help in unexpected places and realizes there is more to the world than meets the eye. I would recommend this for ages 10+ This was such an inspiring book! It will teach you how to be grateful and be more aware of your surroundings. I would definitely recommend this is except the reason I rated this 4 stars was because the pace needed a little improvement. But other than that, this is a must read!
    • hedgeguin2
      hedgeguin2Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 4:20 am
      Paper Things is so good! Ari and her brother go away from their home when their mother dies. Their mother said to always stick together and Ari and her brother, Gabe, are going to keep the promise they made. But Ari and Gabe don’t have a real home to stay at now. I’m at the part where Ari is helping out at Head Start. Can’t wait to finish this book! :D
      • #potterheadTuesday, April 2, 2019 at 2:52 pm
        This book was (and still is) one of my favorite book of all time. I give it 4 stars because it is a heart warming and touching story. 📚 READ IT !!!!!!!
        • No one knows ;)Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 5:44 pm
          well im in battle of the books and i have to read it but since i did read it i liked it! Not bad but not the best either.
          • bookworm 15Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 10:16 am
            this book was great. The plot was different from other books. highly recommended
            • ellsworth2424
              ellsworth2424Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 5:15 pm55 stars
              I really liked this book. It dealt with homelessness in children. In this case, the children in the story were orphans, too. It made me realize you could be going to school with someone who is homeless and not even know it.
              • nelsonc
                nelsoncWednesday, January 27, 2016 at 4:45 am44 starsFeatured
                This book is talking about a brother and sister, they promise their mother they will always be together and help each other. This is four years ago, their mother’s last wishes before she die. Even after so many years they still remember this deal. The older brother Gage decided to move out when he was 18, he still take his sister Ari with him. I choose this book because it was interesting and touched. After so many years they can still remember the deal with their mother. And I was interested about after they moved out, where can they stay, and where they get money. If you like to read this kind of touching story, I will suggest you to read it.
                • cerulian
                  cerulianMonday, January 25, 2016 at 7:12 pm
                  I really love this book because how strong the characters are and where their strength comes from. Ari and Gage are a really great brother and sister pair who stick together no matter what. They have great friends like Reggie and Chloe too. Ari's determined to get into the middle school that all of her family went to and I admire her for that. This book is full of love, struggle, chaos, and light and is very wonderful 'mind mellower'. Please read.
                  • mayu0327
                    mayu0327Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 1:51 pm
                    This book is very descriptive. I think it would be good for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, because of the level of sophistication!
                    • live_life_Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 1:05 pm
                      i love this book!!!

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