Smell of Other People’s Houses

The Smell of Other People’s Houses
by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Historical Fiction
Realistic Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

Told from the points of view of four different teenagers growing up in Alaska in the 1970s, this takes a look at what it’s like for Ruth, who is unknowingly following in the footsteps of her ancestors (and ends up in a nunnery), Alyce, who desperately wants to become a professional dancer, but has to work summers on her dad’s fishing boat (right when she has the most important audition of her life), Dora, who wishes she could stay with her friend’s family forever (her father is drunk and abusive), and Hank, who, with his brothers, runs away from a bad home situation only to lose one of his brothers overboard. Their stories touch, intertwine, and eventually come together in a satisfying, and happy conclusion. A realistic portrayal of teens’ lives with Alaska as fascinating backdrop. The audio edition is nicely voiced.

Reviewed by YA Librarian