A PLACE TO CALL HOME by Jackie French Koller (Atheneum, 1995)

“Raggedy Anna” is the way Anna O’Dell thinks others see her. And Anna feels ragged from watching out for Mama’s moods and taking care of her younger sister and brother. But when Mama doesn’t come home, Anna fights to watch out for her siblings and, along the way, finds out the story behind Mama’s pain. An emotionally evocative book unafraid to address Anna’s concerns about her African American and white heritage ‘ especially as they relate to her caring for her siblings and her shifting vision of her parents. Courageous and inspiring. Ages 8-up.