September/October 2021 Kids Indie Next List
“Janae Marks offers readers hope in this appealing novel of friendship and second chances. Exploring powerful themes, such as responsibility, loyalty, and forgiveness, A Soft Place to Land is a joy!”
— Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA
When Joy Taylor loses her home, she must also give up her friends, her school, and her dreams of becoming a great pianist. But when a new neighbor reveals the apartment's secret hideout, Joy finds solace in a mystery letter writer there who seems to understand exactly what she's going through. From the critically acclaimed author of From the Desk of Zoe Washington comes a compassionate middle-grade novel about the meaning of home--perfect for fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Rebecca Stead.
When Joy's dad loses his job, suddenly home becomes a tiny apartment with thin walls, shared bedrooms, and tense arguments between Mom and Dad. Hardest of all, without enough funds, Joy's dreams of becoming a film score composer are put on hold.
Joy's friendly new neighbor Nora lets Joy in on the complex's best-kept secret: the Hideout, a cozy refuge that only the kids know about. That's where Joy starts exchanging messages with another kid in the building who also seems to be struggling, until--abruptly, they stop writing back. What if they're in trouble? Joy has to find out who this mystery writer is, fast, but between managing a new dog-walking business with Nora, keeping on a brave face for her little sister, and worrying about her parents' marriage, Joy isn't sure how to keep her own head above water.