Home Free by Sharon Jennings

Meet Leanna Mets ….an engaging 12 year-old whose unquenchable spirit and inquisitive nature is the backbone in Canadian author Sharon Jennings’  coming of age novel Home Free.

It is the 1960’s… the age of white go-go boots, John Lennon hats, The Ed Sullivan Show and childhood innocence .  Lee is part of a school writing club and is told by her teacher that she has a ‘gift’.  Taking her teacher’s words to heart Lee incorporates all the components of good writing and begins on her first story. In her ‘Author Notes’ she remarks that writers embellish the truth a little to make it better or maybe a little worse and that it will be up to the reader to determine which parts of her story are true and which are embellished.  This phrase becomes the starting point  for Lee’s story ” of a summer that was both wonderful and terribly sad” .

Lee’s mom is a firm believer in the traditional role of women and sniff’s her disapproval as  Lee continues writing or asking  questions that “ladies should not be asking”.   Writing and reading are Lee’s escape and after being introduced to Anne Shirley and Green Gables, her daydream of a kindred spirit is on the brink of becoming reality with the arrival a ‘possible orphan’ named Cassandra.   

Our aspiring writer’s  unorthodox approach to Cassandra develops into a friendship  where both girls gain the courage to trust themselves enough to do daring things . At this point Lee says that “suddenly it was like being struck by lightning” and both girls realize that their sanctuary is not a physical space, but that it would be a place with them always …if they just look inside themselves.

 Lee’s brave honest approach to life will resonate with  readers both young and old ……and bring a smile to your face! A true ‘Gutsy Girl’ book!

Reading ability:  Junior (Grade 5,6)

Genre:  Realistic fiction

Theme: Acceptance, Courage, Grief, Death, Friendship: Social issues; Coming of age; Writing

Similiar Reads:  Books by Judy Blume

Author Website:



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