Skip to main content

Rubber Houses

Review

Rubber Houses

RUBBER HOUSES is the story of a teenage girl named Kit who must make sense of her world again when her little brother, Buddy, is diagnosed with cancer. Her life is turned upside down, and all that she loves is no longer important to her. 

The novel, told in free verse, sings with honesty and pain; poems are the perfect vehicle to show the heroine's inner struggles and feelings. The book is divided into five sections: Warm-Ups, Regular Season, Post Season, Hot Stove, and Spring Training. The year-long breakdown of the baseball season serves as a metaphor for the different stages of grief that Kit and her family go through during and after Buddy's battle with cancer.

Kit and Buddy share a special bond even though she is a senior in high school and he is only in fourth grade. They are connected through their love of math and baseball. (Author Ellen Yeomans chose a baseball theme for the book because Buddy was so passionate about the sport.) Buddy worships his older sister and makes plans to take a special trip with her to Yankee Stadium.

After Buddy loses his life, Kit is consumed with grief and rejects any attempts to be consoled by her best friend, Callie. Kit's mother becomes obsessed with finding out why Buddy had cancer, and her father spends most of his time away from the house. Kit and her parents find themselves living like three strangers. Will they ever be able to piece their lives back together after such a tragic loss?

RUBBER HOUSES is Yeoman's first novel. She is also the author of two picture books, JUBILEE and LOST AND FOUND: Remembering a Sister. This touching story of a special sibling relationship will tug at the heartstrings of readers, with its beautiful use of language and its hopeful message.

   -

Reviewed by Renee Kirchner on October 18, 2011

Rubber Houses
by Ellen Yeomans

  • Publication Date: January 3, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 031610647X
  • ISBN-13: 9780316106474