The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner

The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner
(Bloomsbury Kids – September 12, 2017)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Bloomsbury Kids for the advance copy of this novel for review purposes.

Book Description (from Goodreads)

Kirby “Zig” Zigonski lives for the world of simple circuits, light bulbs, buzzers, and motors. Electronics are, after all, much more predictable than most people–especially his father, who he hasn’t seen in over a year. When his dad’s latest visit is canceled with no explanation and his mom seems to be hiding something, Zig turns to his best friend Gianna and a new gizmo–a garage sale GPS unit–for help. Convinced that his dad is leaving clues around town to explain his absence, Zig sets out to find him. Following one clue after another, logging mile after mile, Zig soon discovers that people aren’t always what they seem . . . and sometimes, there’s more than one set of coordinates for home.


Messner has given us a compassionate and necessary middle grade story about the reality of homelessness for many children today. This story has a unique premise with the geocaching theme and I love that while the main character is in 8th grade he will be relatable for students both much younger and much older than he is. I would love to get this book into the hands of all teachers and administrators who struggle to understand how difficult school can be for children without a stable home life, and who make well-intended but thoughtless comments about the homeless population.

Highly recommended as a purchase for middle school classrooms and libraries.

(Note: Apparently this title was available as an ebook since 2014, but I had not heard of it until now. It is new in hard copy format on Sept 12, 2017).

View all of my Goodreads reviews

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