Summary: Sara Moone has been a ward of the Children’s Aid ever since her adoptive parents died in a fire. She’s lived in so many foster homes she’s lost track of them all, but now that Sara’s sixteenth birthday is quickly approaching she can finally make good on her plans to get out of the system. Her last foster home is on a farm with Ma and Hud Huddleston, as well as two other foster children, Nick and Josh. To survive being moved from home to home and school to school, Sara has shut herself down emotionally, finding more companionship in her computer than in the people around her. After a summer that wears down all of her defenses, Sara finds herself in a place she never expected to be, caring for others and being loved in return. But caring about people has the potential to hurt her once again, especially when her birth mother pops into her life.
Number of Pages: 220
Age Range: 14-16
Review: What an exquisite read. Julie Johnston leads her reader skillfully along the path of Sara’s character growth, and her reader is better for the journey.
Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me contains a full range of emotions and characters that will capture your heart. I love how Josh’s innocent and child-like reaction to a mean joke jolts Sara out of her commitment to not caring about others. And there were tears in my eyes when Josh came back from living with his mother and Sara realises the experience has moved him from babyhood to childhood. Once again, the influence of a child has a positive effect on the growth of another character.
It’s difficult to know what to pick out and highlight because this is a complete reading experience. The Huddlestons genuinely care for the children they take in, and reading about their effect on opening Sara up to love again is powerful. The farm setting adds to the atmosphere of the book, because having physical space helps Sara heal.
I also loved the theme of dealing with the ghosts of your past, something that is especially prevalent for Sara when her birth mother comes to town seeking to reconnect with her.
I’m not going to say anymore, except this: Read it. You won’t regret it.
“If I’ve learned one thing in my life it’s this: if you don’t want your heart broken, don’t let on you have one. It’s the motto I live by. It allows me to keep my personality flat. No heart, no brains, no guts.” – Sara from Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me by Julie Johnston, page 7
“‘I know a haunted person when I see one.’
I tried to make my eyes look empty, but I think instead they were burning into his, waiting for an explanation. I stood up, ready to escape.
He said, ‘You have to raise your ghosts before you can properly bury them. Some people see ghosts but won’t admit it. Some people, for one reason or another, cling to their ghosts and won’t relinquish them.’ He flipped his hand over and back. ‘Some, somehow, do both.'” – Grainger from Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me by Julie Johnston, page 112
“‘The thing about land is, it’s there.’ Matt was resting, sitting on a boulder that had probably been there since the last ice age. His eyes were on Hus as if he thought he was the prophet Isaiah. ‘There’s some that figure land is what you own, or else something you scrape off your books, or maybe frame and hang on a wall. But it’s what you work. It’s what binds body to soul.'” – Hud from Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me by Julie Johnston, page 147
“Ma said, ‘I’ve tried so hard with you I’ve just tried and tried and you know I have but you’ve struck me a deep blow m’lad that pains to my very heart and soul when it comes to Hud as it did this day and if you were to be the death of him I’d wilt, I’d just wither and wilt for I’m only a bit of something growing on top of the earth but he’s my root my very root and all I have in the world for I never was able to have any babies which I dearly would have loved an Hud too but he said it’s all right m’darlin’, it’s all right don’t worry there’s lots of babies can’t have parents so there now the very root of me so he is.'” – Ma from Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me by Julie Johnston, page 177
“‘I’m sorry you have to go someplace else.’ What a lie! I was sorry to see a kid doing what I’d had to do so many times, put my meager life into a bag, layer by layer. I must admit I wasn’t sorry he was leaving here.” – Sara from Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me by Julie Johnston, page 185
“I said, ‘Maybe I’ll write you a letter. I’m better at writing than talking.’ I think I am. In a letter I could tell him that when he smiles at me I feel as though the sun is shining only on me.” – Sara from Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me by Julie Johnston, page 194
“I looked carefully at The Woman. I felt like closing my eyes on her. Not only do I acquire an unasked-for mother, I get one straight out of the Twilight Zone. A second though crossed my mind. I must be feeling better. My sarcasm was coming back.” – Sara from Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me by Julie Johnston, page 209
Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me by Julie Johnston is published by Tundra Books (1994).