Dana Reinhardt does so many things right in this book that it would take a very long time to list them all, so I’ll just hit the highlights. As always, her teen voice is spot-on: Harper sounds like a real teen, not a grown-up’s idea of how a teen sounds. Her characterizations, as always, are excellent, too; the family for whom Harper is building a house, all of the other kids who work with her to build the house, and Harper’s own family are fully realized. This is a remarkable feat, especially considering that the book comes in at only 227 pages. The most unique thing about How to Build a House, however, is its structure.
Reinhardt has named each chapter after one of the steps in building a house, and within each chapter we get glimpses of how Harper’s life was at “Home” and how things are different “Here." Throughout the story, the step in home-building correlates with Harper’s experiences and memories. It could come across as contrived, but it doesn’t. It is, instead, just right.
I would recommend this book to just about anyone. Dana Reinhardt is one of my favorite authors for young adults today, and How to Build a House follows in the tradition of excellence she began with A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life and continued with Harmless.
Book: How to Build a House Author: Dana Reinhardt Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books Original Publication Date: May 2008 Pages: 227 Age Range: Young Adult Source of Book: ARC sent by author Related Posts: My Interview with Dana Reinhardt, My Review of A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life, My Review of Harmless Buy it: IndieBound - Powell’s