From award-winning author Sara Zarr comes a story of the small moments that show us who we are, and how family is not just something you’re part of, but something you make.
Lou and her family don’t have much, but for Lou it's enough. Mom. Her sister, Casey. Their apartment in the city. Her best friend, Beth. It would be better if Dad could stop drinking and be there for her and Casey, and if they didn't have to worry about money all the time. But Lou doesn’t need better—she only needs enough.
What’s enough for Lou, however, is not enough for Mom. Steve, Mom's boyfriend, isn’t a bad guy, he's just…not what Lou is used to. And now, he and Mom are getting married, and that means moving. Packing up life as they’ve known it and storing it in Steve’s garage. Lou will be separated from everything in her small but predictable life, farther from Dad than ever.
Their last night in the city, Lou receives a mysterious birthday gift: A guitar, left for her by their front door. There’s nothing saying who left it, but it must be from Dad. And as she leaves the only place she’s ever known, she starts to believe that if she can learn how to play it, maybe she can bring a piece of him, and of her old life, home.
Sara Zarr is the author of six acclaimed novels for young adults, including Story of a Girl, The Lucy Variations, and Gem & Dixie. She's a National Book Award finalist and two-time Utah Book Award winner. Her novels have been variously named to annual best books lists of the American Library Association, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, the Guardian, the New York Public Library, and the Los Angeles Public Library and have been translated into many languages. She splits her time between Utah and California. You can visit her online at www.sarazarr.com.
"This is a novel filled with the terrific joys of real life--as well as its disappointments. It is a novel about broken families, about healing families, and about completely new and surprising families. And above all, it is a novel that dares us all to hope." — Gary Schmidt, Newbery Honor-winning author of Okay for Now
"Like the mysterious guitar left at Lou's door, A Song Called Home is the perfect gift to reassure readers that home isn't so much a place as it is a space in our hearts that we make with those we love." — Jo Knowles, author of Where the Heart Is and See You At Harry's
"A Song Called Home is tender, powerful, and deeply true. Zarr's beautiful and precise rendering of family life is transcendent, and in Lu we have an unforgettable main character whose humanity and coming of age is compassionately explored. Over and over again this story made my heart simply soar." — Corey Ann Haydu, author of Eventown and One Jar of Magic
"Sara Zarr's debut novel for middle grade readers is beautiful, honest, and bursting with hope--a powerful story about growing up, weathering change, and creating the family you need." — Kate Messner, author of Chirp and Breakout
"A Song Called Home is the kind of middle grade novel I adore: warm and deeply honest with characters so real you could touch them. Lou's struggles with family, friends, and big life changes are relatable, heartbreaking, and vividly drawn—trademarks of Sara Zarr's exquisite writing. This story will stick with me for years to come." — Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of The Only Black Girls in Town
"A tender, honest, and beautifully written story about family, faith, and friendship."
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"An exceptional, emotionally honest portrait of a tween navigating a blended family." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Zarr’s middle-grade debut about family, friendship, and belonging is heartwarming, uplifting, and wonderfully real. Highly recommended. " — Booklist (starred review)
"This coming-of-age novel tackles issues of alcohol dependence, stealing, puberty, divorce, and step-families. A solid addition to middle grade shelves." — School Library Journal