The Smell of Other People's Houses
Bonnie Sue Hitchcock

A beautiful coming of age novel set in Alaska in the early 1970's. The book follows four protagonists dealing with shifting family situations, major life changes, and physical danger.  Our four protagonists, whose stories intertwine, look for safety, love, and their own identities in a harsh world that is way out of their control. Hitchcock's writing is warm and empathetic, and her recreation of 1970s Alaska (hard to imagine from 2016 California) is clearly informed by her own childhood. Also, check out that gorgeous cover.

Mr. Roquet's rating: 4/5

Grade: 7-12
*some mature content*

Themes: family, growing up, difficult family situations, alcoholism, historical fiction, runaways, religion