Carry Me Home by Janet Fox

Hello, Janet Fox! Welcome to Watch. Connect. Read. Thank you for stopping by to share Henry Cole’s gorgeous cover illustration and Lizzy Bromley’s cover design for Carry Me Home. What ran through your heart the first time you saw it?

Janet Fox: I actually began to cry. It’s so perfect. The colors of the paper cranes, the two sisters walking together in this cloud of color, the swirl and movement of the cranes. And what makes it more special is that my editor, Krista Vitola, and I separately had the same vision for the cover of the two girls walking away. And I love the work of Henry Cole so having him illustrate is just perfection.

I loved reading 8 facts about you on your website. What are 8 facts about Lulu and Serena?

Janet Fox: Such a fun question! Okay:

1. Lulu loves to sing.

2. Serena loves her doll.

3. Both girls love their dad.

4. Lulu stands up when she needs to, and takes care of Serena when she must.

5. They lived in Texas before they went to Montana.

6. Lulu’s a really good writer.

7. Serena hates peas.

8. Lulu promises to do what it takes to make things right for other kids, too.

Click here to explore Janet's website. 

If you were booktalking Carry Me Home to a group of 5th graders, what would you share?

Janet Fox: I’d say that this book lived in my head for a long time – several years, in fact. I heard a story on the radio about a family like Lulu’s and it made me so sad, but I didn’t know how to write it. Then one morning I heard another story on the radio, about a mother who made paper cranes to help make a wish come true for her son, and things clicked together. I ended up writing this novel in one frenzied month, the fastest I’ve ever written anything. It was almost as if Lulu herself was standing by my side, telling me her story. That feeling was magical.

Please finish the following sentence starters: 

I hope Carry Me Home helps kids who are hurting or struggling or need something understand that it’s all right to ask for help. That there are so many people – adults – who will help. No kid should ever feel afraid or embarrassed to reach out for support.

Did you know that when I was a kid I learned origami, the Japanese art of paper folding? For one whole summer I made dozens and dozens of origami animals for a little zoo. But I didn’t know about the 1000 paper cranes and the wishes until I heard that radio story.

School libraries are sanctuaries. And playgrounds. And worlds within worlds. And filled with hopes and dreams, and more wishes than even a million paper cranes could make come true.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me whether I have a dog. (I do! A big lovey yellow lab.)

Thank you, Janet! :) 

Look for Carry me Home on August 24, 2021. 

Simon & Schuster's Description: 

Two sisters struggle to keep their father’s disappearance a secret in this tender middle grade novel that’s perfect for fans of Katherine Applegate and Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

Twelve-year-old Lulu and her younger sister, Serena, have a secret. As Daddy always says, “it’s best if we keep it to ourselves,” and so they have. But hiding your past is one thing. Hiding where you live—and that your Daddy has gone missing—is harder.

At first Lulu isn’t worried. Daddy has gone away once before and he came back. But as the days add up, with no sign of Daddy, Lulu struggles to take care of all the responsibilities they used to manage as a family.

Lulu knows that all it takes is one slip-up for their secret to come spilling out, for Lulu and Serena to be separated, and for all the good things that have been happening in school to be lost.

But family is all around us, and Lulu must learn to trust her new friends and community to save those she loves and to finally find her true home.

Janet Fox is an author, mom, outdoor enthusiast, and former teacher. She’s been to the bottom of the ocean in a submersible, and had a brief fling with rock stardom. Her novels are written for children and young adults but have won her fans of all ages. Her gothic middle grade novel The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle has received a whole bunch of stars and the lovely Crystal Kite Award. At the moment she’s sporting blue and pink stripes in her hair. She lives in Bozeman, Montana.


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