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Joe All Alone    by Joanna Nadin order for
Joe All Alone
by Joanna Nadin
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2015 (2015)
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Joe's mum greets him on the last day of school with a Mars bar and an empty sofa which means her boyfriend Dean has vacated it, at least for the moment. Joe can play Xbox without getting kicked off or just kicked. He should've known things could only go downhill from there.

When Dean returns he has two plane tickets to Spain. Joe's mum says to think of it as a holiday. Only their holiday is going to Spain and his is staying home in Ireland in his own flat. Dean thinks thirteen is old enough to stay alone so of course Joe's mum agrees. There's just one rule. He can't tell anyone he's alone. It's to be a secret.

Maybe being on his own isn't too bad. It's only for seven days. He can eat when and what he wants. He can watch what he wants on telly and play Xbox whenever he wants. He does get a little lonesome and thinks it would be nice if someone lived in the flat to hang out with. And then Aisha shows up outside his door. She's run away from home, and is waiting for her granddad (who lives across the hall) to come home and let her in. They begin a tentative friendship.

When Joe's mum doesn't come home after seven days, he can't help but be worried. He's out of food and has no money. Thugs are keeping an eye on the building and he thinks he knows why.

Readers will fall in love with Joe. He's funny, resilient, warmhearted and vulnerable. Joe All Alone will break your heart.

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