Hugging the Rock by Susan Taylor Brown

Hugging the Rock

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 real novel in verse.Reviews"Written in a straightforward language, the text cle...

Details Hugging the Rock

TitleHugging the Rock
Release DateSep 1st, 2006
PublisherTricycle Press
GenreYoung Adult, Poetry, Realistic Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade

Reviews Hugging the Rock

  • Paul Hankins
    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 Taylo...
  • Claire
    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...
  • Anna
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 heartbreaki...
  • Karyn Buchanan
    Rachel’s mom is bipolar and leaves. Rachel is left behind with a dad she doesn’t know. Told in a series of poems, Rachel learns to know and love the man who is her father. A beautiful read for the week after father’s day.
  • Sally
    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
    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
    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 a...
  • Elaine volpe
    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 movin...
  • Tim Snell
    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. T...
  • Julianne
    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 ...
  • Catherine Johnson
    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 subjec...
  • Brewer Community School
    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 w...
  • Linda Katzman
    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 mot...
  • Julie
    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 fa...
  • Kim B.
    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, sa...
  • Amy Reinhardt
    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...
  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    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
    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
    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...
  • Nicole
    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...
  • Nichole
    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
    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
    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.