All the Children Are Home is a story about a family, foster parents Dahlia and Louie, and the four children who stayed long enough to burrow deep into their hearts, Jimmy, Zaidie, Jon, and Agnes. The first three had been there for quite some time before Agnes came along. She was supposed to be short-term but had other ideas when Children’s Services tried to get her adopted.

Those siblings come to love each other fiercely. Life isn’t easy, money is tight, and they are bullied at school, but they are loyal to each other. It’s clear to them their mother is why they are teased so much, they understand the community is against her in some way, but it is not until years have passed before we learn what happened and the children discover how brave their mother, who has always seemed cowardly, really was.

I loved All the Children Are Home. It is an affirming story about family and sibling love, even if the relationships are not biological. It is about how parents express love in what they do as well as in what they say. There’s so much to love in this story. The four siblings are a joy and though there are tragedies that separate them, we all see room for hope for a more united future. Patry Francis is very much a show, not tell, author and I love that. We are not privy to every thought and motivation, but we understand just the same because we see what people do and what they say to each other. Even though the narrative moves from one person to another, we are not given an all-access pass. That always makes a more intriguing story.

I received an ARC of All the Children Are Home from the publisher through Shelf Awareness.