Read Hugging the Rock by Susan Taylor Brown Online


When her mom runs away from home, Rachel is left behind with her emotionally distant father and many questions she cannot answer. Over time, she learns the truth about her mom. But it's only when she learns the truth about her dad, the rock- immoveable and always there for her to lean on-that Rachel can move toward understanding. Every word rings true in this achingly realWhen her mom runs away from home, Rachel is left behind with her emotionally distant father and many questions she cannot answer. Over time, she learns the truth about her mom. But it's only when she learns the truth about her dad, the rock- immoveable and always there for her to lean on-that Rachel can move toward understanding. Every word rings true in this achingly real novel in verse.Reviews"Written in a straightforward language, the text clearly reveals Rachel's emotions, describing moments both painful and reassuring."-School Library Journal"I have delayed writing about this book because I wanted to be sure my librarian friends were back in acquisition mode and ready to add this book to your B & T, Follet, or Mackin book order right now. HTR is a fine and rare treasure. I read it straight through in one sitting because I couldn't bear to stop until I knew what was going to happen. . . the story is so uplifting and positive that it will resonate with readers long after they finish it. I know it has with me."-Book Moot (Blog)...

Title : Hugging the Rock
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781582461809
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 176 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hugging the Rock Reviews

  • PaulHankins
    2019-05-10 07:30

    In the rush and crush to get that hot ARC or the newest title, sometimes we get to sit back and capture what might be considered an "older" title (2006 is really not that old. . .and as we say in the reading business--at least in my circle of friends and influence--it's new to somebody)and today I was able to capture one of these in Susan Taylor Brown's HUGGING THE ROCK.I don't remember how or when I was able to make a connection with Susan Taylor Brown, but I admire her gentle spirit and her advocacy for poetry communicated through her tweets and social media activity.So, when I looked through her site and found HUGGING THE ROCK, I knew I would have to go and check out this title. You see--when my own mother abandoned me in the back of her car to go into a bar and drink, my grandmother (my mother's mother) called my father telling him that he needed to come and pick me up--that her daughter was ill-equipped to take care of a young child. I was three.So a book about a father who comes and a father who stays is appealing to me on a personal level. What Susan Taylor Brown creates in HUGGING THE ROCK is deeply personal and deeply moving. There are stand-out pieces within the book that truly make a novel in verse work. One in particular--celebrating a natural day that would occur in the course of a year--is so brilliant in its understatement that it is difficult not to share it with you here.In the moment of her leaving, Rachel's mother tells her to hold on to her father, who she describes as a "rock":Mom says he's a rockthe good kind you an always count onto do the right thing.It's hard for me to think of a rockas something good.Some rocks are heavyand make you sink.Some rocks are too big to move.And some rocks are sharpand cut youif you try to hold them in your hand (32).Susan Taylor Brown creates the kind of goodbye seen that make us all check that lump in our throats and that little bit of wetness in our eyes reserved for books like BIGGER THAN A BREADBOX and films like HOPE FLOATS. Look at what Susan Taylor Brown does on page thirty-three, in a piece called "Good-bye", appearing on the facing page to the piece wherein Rachel was contemplating the quality of rocks:I realize that mom is a rock too,the kind that crumbles if you hold on too tight.HUGGING THE ROCK, a 2006 title from poet Susan Taylor Brown, finds itself in a league of strongly-written novels in verse placing the book in good company with the likes of Sonja Sones, but even more timely, the season is a good one for going back to get this book as we prepare for the release of Amber Turner McRee's SWAY (May 2012). HUGGING THE ROCK presents a scenario not often found in middle grade or young adult literature wherein the father stays and makes it work when the mother leaves. Susan Taylor Brown does not gloss over this or make it seem that it is the toughness and resolve of a man that makes Rachel's father stay.In fact, what we find in Rachel's father is something more of a sedimentary--or sentimental--rock formation, layered in the need to respond, the need to rescue, and the need to resolve.HUGGING THE ROCK addresses issues of mental illness which puts the book into ladders with other titles addressing the same.More celebration of Susan Taylor Brown's HUGGING THE ROCK include the presence of caring teachers, counselors, and supports in place to help Rachel navigate the loss. The markers of time woven into the book help the reader to follow Rachel through a year of loss, a year of learning, and a year of loving.

  • Claire
    2019-05-18 11:53

    Normally I stay far away from books in verse and from stories about mentally ill parents; as a former-wannabe poetry professor with mental illness in my family history, they spell cringeworthy disaster. The positive reviews from the kidlit world kept this on my list, though, and I'm glad I read it. The story begins with Rachel's mom leaving, and traces (in her voice) the next year of learning to survive without her mom and building a relationship with her dad. I'm a sucker for stories featuring good parents, and it was definitely the father-daughter relationship at the core of the story -- with its remarkable growth -- that tugged at my heartstrings.Hugging the Rock packed a punch for such a slim book, and I'll admit it: I cried even though I was on the bus. I hadn't considered getting this for my elementary library because I assumed it would be better for older readers, and I still think it would be most appropriate for middle schoolers and older... but I think I may have some kids for whom this is "the right book at the right time." The content would be challenging for a reader of any age, but I think that the format, text, and the powerfully positive, stable relationship that develops between Rachel and her dad would make it a book that my fourth and fifth graders could handle. A strong new offering to the body of children's literature featuring families impacted by mental illness.

  • Anna
    2019-05-05 12:30

    I was surprised by how much this little book made me feel. I didn't expect this story to be so touching and it far exceeded my expectations. There were moments where I felt a lump start to form in my throat and I wanted to cry... and I do not cry easily! The emotions and characters were very honest, real, and well developed. The author shows you how the characters feel without having to actually tell you. I loved this book.

  • Shannon Walsh
    2019-05-04 05:33

    This is such a great book, especially for readers that don't necessarily love to read. The plot starts quickly and grabs the readers attention right away, and the author doesn't waste a lot of time with descriptive detail, but goes straight to the true emotions of a girl's relationship with her father and having to deal with losing her mom.

  • Ali
    2019-04-26 07:50

    I liked it. It was quite different from what I had expected. Good reminder to me though to remember what's important and what our kids need and sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference in the relationships we have with our kids. Quick read, I read it in one sitting in the bath.

  • Sue
    2019-05-13 12:45

    this just came across my desk so i thought i would read it for a quick book. i really enjoyed it. some of the verse novels are just fast without a lot of substance this one was really moving and excellent. the topic is covered well and succinctly.

  • Haley
    2019-05-04 12:34

    The book was very good because it guided the reader through a young girl's struggles with her mom leaving. It was written like a poem and I was able to finish it quickly.

  • Kari
    2019-05-21 06:41

    Novel in verse. Father/daughter relationship. One of the best novel in verse books I've read. It goes deep with very few words, has a childlike sensibility, and feels like an artistic whole.

  • Tabitha Bird
    2019-05-20 08:57

    This is a beautiful, yet sad story. I love novels in verse so if that's your jam you will love this. I am actively seeking books with characters who have bipolar. The mother in this novel suffers with the illness and though it's not her story, it was interesting to see how she was portrayed. It was sad to see that she wasn't a positive role model, but her struggles came across as real. The daughter's reaction to her mother leaving was heartbreaking. I almost cried with her. It was wonderful to see a positive 'dad' in a story though. I would like to order one of those dad's for myself :)

  • Sally
    2019-05-18 10:56

    A hard topic.A girl's mom runs away. And the girl is left with her dad, learning to love her dad and accept him as the parent who wants to be. The mom is said to be bipolar.

  • Johan Orozco
    2019-05-05 11:47

    This book is a sad type book. This book makes you sad and makes you think as well. I recommend this book if you like sad stories and suspense

  • Lesly Bruner
    2019-04-20 13:52

    Rachel is lost when her mother leaves. She begs her not to go, but she says she can't stay. She can't say that she's surprised, her mother has talked about this before- needing to leave. But, she is a little shocked when she actually does it. She blames her dad in anger, telling him it's his fault, but she knows better. Her mom has always had good days and bad. Sometimes her good days are too good- keeping Rachel up until all hours of the night and then getting upset with her when she is too tired to stay up any longer, especially when she has school the next day. Other days, she hides in her room and barely speaks to Rachel, or her dad. Her mother has bipolar disorder and even with her medication- this is just the way life is for her. But when she leaves, Rachel is unsure how she will make it. How can she tell her friends her mother has left them? How can she talk to her dad about anything- they barely talk as it is? What kind of mother leaves their own children? Does she even love her? These are the struggles Rachel must face now that her mother has left. Will she ever come home- and if she does, what will it be like?Key Themes:Coping with Mental Illness, Relationships, Rejection, Love, Separation

  • Elaine volpe
    2019-05-17 11:31

    This is a touching story about a young girl and her relationship with her father. Her mom leaves day and never returns. Her mom was ill with a disease called bipolar disorder. This disorder can make you extremely moody, depressed out of the blue and even angry for no particular reason. Rachel’s mom was never happy and decided her only choice was to go. Rachel was always closer to her mom than she was to her dad, so as you can imagine, her moving away did not go over well. For a long time, she wouldn’t talk about it. For a long time, she was angry at her dad (thinking maybe he caused her to go away.) For a long time, she kept to herself and ignored all of her schoolwork and chores. Finally, bit by bit, day by day, she opened up to her dad. And he opened up to her. They learned more about each other and grew closer to one another. She learned things about her mom that she never knew before. By the end of the book, she understood more and resented her father less. They actually formed a very close and special father/daughter bond.

  • Tim Snell
    2019-04-20 11:34

    Genre: Realistic Fiction/PoetryCopyright: 2006"Hugging the Rock" follows a young girl named Rachel, whose mother decides to leave all of a sudden. Faced with numerous questions and feelings, she tries to develop a relationship with her father who, as she sees him, is as hard as a rock.I thought this book was great! Written in verse style poetry, the author really gives the reader a sense of what Rachel is going through during the entire ordeal. The author also gives you a sense of what Rachel's father experiences as well. Written in first-person, it feels like you are in the shoes of Rachel. The book talks about many real-life issues that people all over the world can or have experienced. It was very interesting to see the relationship between Rachel and her father develop, and with some decent (although somewhat predictable) twists, the satisfying conclusion made me want to read the book again!

  • Julianne
    2019-05-12 07:34

    Much of this book was very beautiful, although the poems don't stand up well on their own, they have to be read in this sequence. But it had a slight "pro-life" tone to it I didn't like. The father persuaded the mother to marry him and have their daughter, when she never wanted to be a mother or a wife. He says he loved her, and he loved the unborn child - yet he made her, a mentally ill woman, give up her own dreams and take on a role she never wanted, something that would inevitably make her condition worse.The father is responsible for the daughter's turbulent childhood because of the decisions he made. It's not all down to the mother or her bipolar disorder. I wanted the daughter to feel this and deal with it. Instead she just thanks him for making her mother have her. I can understand her being grateful for being born, but her emotions would be more complex than that.

  • Catherine Johnson
    2019-05-03 13:48

    This is the first non-rhyming prose novel I have read and it is so much easier and quicker to read than a rhyming one! I finished it in almost one sitting. A difficult subject to cover with a nice twist in it and wonderful characters. Poetry aside the dialogue and characters were so natural I feel like I know them. The poetry was subtle and so easy to read (have I said that enough). I cannot wait to pick up another novel in verse. Touching subject. I have a close friend who lives a long way away from me now, but she has bi-polar disorder and her story would be so different to this one. Her children have children of their own and have not been at all affected by it. She is hilarious, sends me rude jokes and was my writing mentor for a while. When she is ill you simply don't hear from her, but when she is well she is lovely and wonderful. And her book is super awesome too.

  • Brewer Community School
    2019-05-06 11:41

    I finished Hugging the Rock by Susan Taylor Brown. This book is about a girl named Rachel whose mom leaves, and her dad now has to care of her on his own. Before her mom leaves she tells her that her dad is a rock like you can count on him. Rachel’s mom has bipolar disorder which makes her very rude and mean sometimes. Before her mom left she was not very close with her dad and her dad told her that her mom never wanted her cause she didn’t want a child. By the end of the story she becomes so close with her father and he is her rock. I rate this book a 4.6 out of 5. It was a really interesting book hard to put down. How would this be different is the main character was a different sex? If Rachel was a boy I think it would of been easier for the mom to leave cause dad’s or more easier with boys to take care of.-OW

  • Linda Katzman
    2019-04-27 07:43

    When Rachel’s mom leaves her and her father, Rachel has to trust the man she barely knows. For Rachel, it has always been her and her mother doing things together. She has never been close to the man her mom calls a rock. Her mother has said that he is solid and does what is right. He will always be there to do the right thing for those he cares about. How could he let her mom leave them alone? Rachel doesn’t want to be the girl without a mother or the girls whose mother left to run away from the world. How is she going to live without her mom? How are her and her father going to bridge the gap between them?

  • Minah
    2019-04-23 12:34

    So far I think the book Hugging The Rock is a good book. I'm eager to read this book because I want to know if her mom is going to come back and why she had left. The little girl name is Rachel. Her mom left her and her dad. The day her mom left Rachel was upset and she was mad at her dad because she thought it was hid fault her mom left. A while latter Rachel grandmother came over for a while. Rachel was doing bad in school. Not telling her best friend Sara why she couldn't come over no more. Then Rachel finally told Sara that her mom had ran away. Sara said that she would ask her mom if Rachel can move in with them. That's the farthest I got in that book.

  • Julie
    2019-05-01 05:42

    Right before "running away", Rachel's mom tells her, "Your dad is a rock". This novella done in a collection of simple yet powerful poems through Rachel's first year after her mother runs away from home. She and her dad have been so distant for so long, Rachel can't imagine how life will function without her mom there. She is hiding the secret from her teacher, principal, and even her best friend. Then, Doctor Dan starts unearthing secrets her father never wanted her to know. Hugging the Rock gripped me and I read it all the way through, without stopping, while I went through Rachel's emotional ride with her.

  • Kim B.
    2019-05-05 09:46

    This book is not for people who need sunshine and joy in their books, not that those subjects are EVER in novels-in-verse. I wouldn't even give this to people who loved Sharon Creech's "Heartbeat." This book is basically one emotional punch to the stomach after another after another for most of its length, and even after the constant punching subsides it's still pretty sad. Regardless, I wanted to hug this short little book, with its detailed, sad writing, and I would rank it just a bit below "Out of the Dust," my favorite novel-in-verse ever. This rock is a diamond.

  • Amy Reinhardt
    2019-05-12 10:34

    One of the best books I have read so far. Hugging the Rock is a very great book that I would recommend to any teenagers who have dealt with parents who didn't understand them, parents that have been divorced, parents with mental illness, or if you have felt misunderstood. The main character is a teenage girl who deals with all these issues. She is very straight forward with her feelings and emotions and shows her coming of age throughout the book. Great book. Have read it at least three times!

  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    2019-05-10 08:28

    Rachel and her father have to find a way to become a family without her mother, who has left them. This novel in verse was moving and well told. I loved how the characters of Rachel and her father changed and grew during the course of the story. The novel drew me in and kept me reading right through to the end in one sitting. Upper elementary and middle school kids will like this one. Highly recommended!

  • Anne
    2019-05-07 06:56

    CIP: Through a series of poems, Rachel expresses her feelings about her parents' divorce, living without her mother, and her changing attitude toward her father.Written in a charming, poetic style, this book is easy to read even though it covers the difficult issues of abandonment and rebuilding intra-familial relationships.SLJ says "this is a poignant character study of a dysfunctional family."Kirkus says "a series of bland verses"

  • Karen
    2019-05-09 10:29

    I love this book. I love this book so much and am so glad a great friend just read it and loved it too. The Mom in this book "goes away." The young girl has never had a very close relationship with her Dad. Before her Mom goes she tells her daughter - your Dad is a rock - you can hug him. The book follows the special relationship of the young girl and her getting to know and hug her Dad. This is a tough sell to young children - maybe more for the 7th or 8th grader.

  • Nicole
    2019-05-09 07:30

    This was the first verse book that I have ever read. I really enjoyed it, especially because it was such a quick read. I enjoyed the story line of a father and daughter rekindling their relationship after the bipolar mother leaves. It’s such a sad story, and I ended up shedding a few tears. I am not sure if I would necessarily recommend this book to students to cope with bipolar disorder because it isn’t exactly a happy ending in terms of the mother.

  • Nichole
    2019-04-24 08:50

    This was a great book. I have never read a Verse book before and all I could think when i finished the book (after an hour and a half) that I wish they had these kinds of books when I was in school. I think this book is a middle school book for any one who "does not like reading." this is a great story and a great read.

  • The Reading Countess
    2019-04-27 11:40

    The pain of losing a parent when you're in middle school can be overwhelming. But when a parent leaves and doesn't return, scars remain that are difficult to heal. Luckily, when you're dad is "the rock," you can not only recover, you can flourish.Honest prose necessary in today's harried society. I wish I had this one when I was in middle school.

  • Lucia
    2019-04-28 13:33

    Interesting, quick read. Her mother leaves and won't say where she has gone. through counseling she finds out that her mother is bi-polar, never wanted her, and never wanted to be married. She always thought it was her father that didn't want her.through a year she and her father build a relationship and find they are great together. Written in poetry form, this reads quickly.

  • Marcia First
    2019-05-13 09:51

    Genre: Realistic Fiction/Poetry: Verse NovelHugging the Rock is a verse novel about a girl named Rachel who must live with the fact that her mentally ill mother has abandoned her and her father. It is chronicles her grieving process while also highlighting her deepening relationship with her father. It is very thoughtful and emotional.