Book Review: What I Carry by Jennifer Longo

Reviewed by Annette Dean, CCPL Library Director

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. It was chosen as the All-Iowa Teen Reads by Iowa Librarians this fall. Often, I disagree with the choices that the All Iowa Reads committee makes, but in this book we are united in its awesomeness. what I carry.jpgInitially, the book found its way on my reading list because I was considering it for one of my Friday Morning Book Club discussions. Ultimately, I had decided to go a different direction this spring with that book club and didn’t choose it, Muir’s lovely story now makes me wish I had.

What I Carry, follows the story of Muiriel (Muir), a 17-year-old girl in her last year of foster care. She has one more year and then she is free of the foster care system which she has been in since birth. She has survived 20 foster homes without violence or trouble coming her way. This book is a heartwarming tale of friendship, love, and nature. While teen coming of age books tend to be a little angsty, this one was not. Muir’s feelings and struggles were developed well and not over saturated with unnecessary teen drama. Her real-world struggle to survive foster care and life after foster care demonstrated the strength of her character and growth.

What I carry is available for checkout through Bridges and in physical form at the library. I highly recommend to all readers.