From acclaimed author Sarah Weeks comes a touching coming-of-age story about a young girl who goes on a cross-country journey to discover the truth about her parents, which the New York Times called "a remarkable novel." Perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me and Ali Benjamin's The Thing About Jellyfish.

She doesn't know when her birthday is or who her father is. In fact, everything about Heidi and her mentally disabled mother's past is a mystery. When a strange word in her mother's vocabulary begins to haunt her, Heidi sets out on a cross-country journey in search of the secrets of her past. Far away from home, pieces of her puzzling history come together. But it isn't until she learns to accept not knowing that Heidi truly arrives.

Paperback, 288 pages
Published on October 4, 2005 by HarperCollins
ISBN-10: 0064410471
ISBN-13: 9780064410472
28 Book Reviews
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  • crystalWednesday, September 13, 2017 at 4:26 pm
    The story takes place in Reno, NV and Liberty, NY, but most of the action takes place on the bus ride to Liberty. The time is current day. Heidi, Bernie and Mama are the main characters and they are all totally believable. I liked Heidi the most, since she is the main character and struggles the most in finding the true story to her life. She doesn't want much in the world, but does want to find out where she came from and who her family is. I am amazed at how well Heidi has done in life with the cards that she has been dealt. She has a mother who has a bum brain and has been home-schooled by her caring neighbor, Bernie. Although she doesn't interact too much with the outside world, Heidi seems pretty smart and prepared for the real world. I can relate to Heidi a little bit since I never was able to meet my grandparents. I have felt the same way in that I wanted to find out more about them since I never met them. The problem in the story is that Heidi has a mother who is mentally challenged (only speaks limited words) and therefore, Heidi has no idea who any of her family members are. She wants to find out who her family is so she ventures out to Liberty, NY in hopes of finding her grandmother who was once believed to be in a photo found in a closet in her home. The problem is solved when Heidi manages to take a long bus adventure to Hilltop Home and meets people who steer her toward the information that she needs. I won't tell more in fear of giving away the ending. I love the ending, but found it to be very different from what I expected- which is great for a reader. What I like about this book is that students will get a better understanding of people with disabilities and how life can be affected in various ways. Heidi learns to never give up on her dream and continues her search for her family. I learned that not everything is exactly as you would expect it to be and not all stories end happily or the way that you want them to end. Fifth graders and above should read this book and would learn from it because it teaches them about broken families and how to be successful in life. I rate this book a 10/10 due to the wonderful things that I learned about mental illness and perseverance.
    • Dance GirlSaturday, April 8, 2017 at 12:36 pm
      I thought this book was amazing. It really has a plot twist at the end and it was so touching. I'm going to sound like a baby, but I cried at the end because it was so sad. This is one of my favorite books.
      • co studentFriday, January 13, 2017 at 6:08 am
        i love this book so much the charecters just pop out
        • lourd51
          lourd51Monday, August 29, 2016 at 2:02 pm55 starsFeatured
          The story takes place in Reno, NV and Liberty, NY, but most of the action takes place on the bus ride to Liberty. The time is current day. Heidi, Bernie and Mama are the main characters and they are all totally believable. I liked Heidi the most, since she is the main character and struggles the most in finding the true story to her life. She doesn't want much in the world, but does want to find out where she came from and who her family is. I am amazed at how well Heidi has done in life with the cards that she has been dealt. She has a mother who has a bum brain and has been home-schooled by her caring neighbor, Bernie. Although she doesn't interact too much with the outside world, Heidi seems pretty smart and prepared for the real world. I can relate to Heidi a little bit since I never was able to meet my grandparents. I have felt the same way in that I wanted to find out more about them since I never met them. The problem in the story is that Heidi has a mother who is mentally challenged (only speaks limited words) and therefore, Heidi has no idea who any of her family members are. She wants to find out who her family is so she ventures out to Liberty, NY in hopes of finding her grandmother who was once believed to be in a photo found in a closet in her home. The problem is solved when Heidi manages to take a long bus adventure to Hilltop Home and meets people who steer her toward the information that she needs. I won't tell more in fear of giving away the ending. I love the ending, but found it to be very different from what I expected- which is great for a reader. What I like about this book is that students will get a better understanding of people with disabilities and how life can be affected in various ways. Heidi learns to never give up on her dream and continues her search for her family. I learned that not everything is exactly as you would expect it to be and not all stories end happily or the way that you want them to end. Fifth graders and above should read this book and would learn from it because it teaches them about broken families and how to be successful in life. I rate this book a 10/10 due to the wonderful things that I learned about mental illness and perseverance.
          • raeThursday, August 25, 2016 at 4:32 pm
            i loved this book it is my fav book
            • LeLeWednesday, June 29, 2016 at 9:33 am
              It is my favorite book so far I was addicted to it when I was reading it. It is amazing and so deep.
              • LoLo Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 10:21 pm
                Cool
                • slos
                  slosTuesday, May 17, 2016 at 9:16 am55 starsFeatured
                  The story takes place in Reno, NV and Liberty, NY, but most of the action takes place on the bus ride to Liberty. The time is current day. Heidi, Bernie and Mama are the main characters and they are all totally believable. I liked Heidi the most, since she is the main character and struggles the most in finding the true story to her life. She doesn't want much in the world, but does want to find out where she came from and who her family is. I am amazed at how well Heidi has done in life with the cards that she has been dealt. She has a mother who has a bum brain and has been home-schooled by her caring neighbor, Bernie. Although she doesn't interact too much with the outside world, Heidi seems pretty smart and prepared for the real world. I can relate to Heidi a little bit since I never was able to meet my grandparents. I have felt the same way in that I wanted to find out more about them since I never met them. The problem in the story is that Heidi has a mother who is mentally challenged (only speaks limited words) and therefore, Heidi has no idea who any of her family members are. She wants to find out who her family is so she ventures out to Liberty, NY in hopes of finding her grandmother who was once believed to be in a photo found in a closet in her home. The problem is solved when Heidi manages to take a long bus adventure to Hilltop Home and meets people who steer her toward the information that she needs. I won't tell more in fear of giving away the ending. I love the ending, but found it to be very different from what I expected- which is great for a reader. What I like about this book is that students will get a better understanding of people with disabilities and how life can be affected in various ways. Heidi learns to never give up on her dream and continues her search for her family. I learned that not everything is exactly as you would expect it to be and not all stories end happily or the way that you want them to end. Fifth graders and above should read this book and would learn from it because it teaches them about broken families and how to be successful in life. I rate this book a 10/10 due to the wonderful things that I learned about mental illness and perseverance.
                  • kuo
                    kuoSaturday, February 13, 2016 at 8:50 am55 stars
                    it sounds interesting should I read it?
                    • adri2005
                      adri2005Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 6:20 am44 stars
                      Its trilling

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