Hand Me Down by Melanie Thorne
Recommended by Kelly Macrorie
Library Technician, Bonita Branch
In Hand Me Down, nominated for the 2013 One Book, One San Diego program, 14-year-old Elizabeth Reid lives a life of constant worry and fear. After divorcing her alcoholic and abusive father, Elizabeth’s mother has married another man who puts her and her younger sister, Jamie, in danger. At one point, her mother makes the choice to protect her husband and sends Elizabeth to live with family members. Elizabeth spends a year moving from home to home feeling like her mother has abandoned her, and worrying about Jamie. The author makes Elizabeth’s experiences so vivid that you have to remind yourself it is not a memoir. Despite the novel’s intense subject matter, the hope that Elizabeth will one day find security and a life she deserves will keep you reading.