Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Books I've Loved: The Boy Who Steals Houses

A friend of mine recommended this book to me and all I can say is that she must know me better than I thought because it was like this book was written for me.

It's about a homeless boy and the autistic older brother he feels responsible for.  After being abandoned by every relative they have, Sam's on the street.  His dream is to have a home of his own, a place he can keep Avery safe from those who laugh at him, from those who exploit him.  He spends most of each day trying to find empty houses in which to sleep for a night or two, keeping keys he steals like trophies.

Then one day he picks the wrong house and the family who live there come home while he is still inside.  A large family who just assume he's one of the many friends and acquaintances belonging to the many siblings and drag him into their midst.

After looking for a place to belong for as long as he can remember, Sam suddenly finds himself accepted and drawn into the noisy chaos of this family.  And quite possibly falling for Moxie, the oldest girl.

But there's still Avery and Sam discovers it's harder to escape from his past than it is to escape the police.

This is a beautifully written book and the characters are painfully real.  Sam isn't just some innocent little boy who has been wronged; he has flaws and does some awful things.  Sure, they're often for the right reasons, and it's easy to see why he might see them as his only choice, given the way he's been forced to live, but they're still wrong.

The main story is interspersed with sections outlining moments from Sam and Avery's past, leading up to the events that led to them fleeing their aunt's house to the street.

I loved this book.  It touches on almost all the things I tend to write about too: relationships between siblings, finding home and family where you can and creating a new self from the broken pieces of a traumatic childhood.

So it goes without saying that I would recommend this one...

But here's the blurb anyway:

Can two broken boys find their perfect home?

Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he's ever known. Now Sam's trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he's caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing - each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.


  1. It's always the secrets that get you. Sounds like a good book.

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