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At the Edge of the Haight

by Katherine Seligman

At the Edge of the Haight by Katherine Seligman X
At the Edge of the Haight by Katherine Seligman
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2021
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Page 4 of 5
There are currently 31 member reviews
for At the Edge of the Haight
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  • Mary A. (Lake Nebagamon, WI)
    This is Reality
    This is not a novel to enjoy because it is an understanding of homelessness. It is reality.

    Unforeseen happenings can send youth to the streets. They have struggled in growing up and still struggle.The story follows several young people on how they live on the street from day to day. When do you sleep in the shelters or when do you sleep in the open air? They struggle with fear and trust. This is a good
    novel for book club discussions and also teens should read. I look at the homeless differently now with more compassion.
  • Kathleen B. (Las Vegas, NV)
    Frustrating POV
    Maggie is a 20 year old homeless girl living in San Francisco . She has three friends that she is close to Ash, Fleet, and Hope and a dog named Root. Without them it would be a very dangerous place. As a group they can look out for each other like not being robbed. They scrounge around for food sometimes getting meals at shelters. They scam people for money. Maggie found herself in this situation from having a seriously mentally ill mother and being put into a cruel foster care system. The frustrating thing for me was how Social Service agencies were always reaching out trying to help her and her rejecting ways to get off the street and have a meaningful life. One day Root runs off and Maggie follows and sees a young boy being murdered and the murderer sees her. She now is in survival mode because the murderer is after her. Then the police come after her as her being a witness and Shane, the murdered boy's parent's press her for information. She is not forthcoming and I felt frustrated with her as a person. I usually think that people that are homeless are homeless because they are mentally ill or victim of sexual or child abuse or drug abuse. It is hard to understand Maggie and her friends and to feel any sympathy for them.
  • Angela K. (Cleveland, OH)
    The Injustice of the Homeless
    Brief Summary: Maddy Donaldo is a homeless young adult who survives the streets of San Francisco with her friends and dog Root. One day she happens across a murder scene and sees the presumed killer. This leads her to encounters with the police, the boy's parents, and courtroom testimony. I requested this book through First Impressions because I was interested in learning about the experience of being homeless and the associated social justice issues.

    Highlights: Seligman's narrative of the homeless is experience is by far the best aspect of this novel. I was aghast at several moments about their survival tactics and the injustice they experienced on the streets from gangs who bullied them to the cops who wouldn't let them sleep in the parks. I learned a lot and will never look at the homeless again the same way. I also found it interesting what help they did or did not accept; and the unsolicited help Maddy received from Shane's parents. Unfortunately, I can't say much for the slow-moving plot. I was not engaged by the murder case and it took me over a month to finish this.

    Explanation of Rating: 3.5/5; I'm not aware of another book that portrays the homeless experience like this, but the slow-moving plot was disappointing.

    Thank you to BookBrowse and Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review
  • Cindy J. (Hastings, NY)
    At the Edge of the Haight
    This book was enlightening, compelling, and timely. The protagonist (Maddy) provided a new perspective on life on the streets for homeless youth. I was rooting for her.
  • Cheryl M. (Le Claire, IA)
    A Side of Haight Ashbury
    At first I wasn't too excited about reading The Edge of the Haight by Katherine Seligman. The book seemed simplistic and appeared to gloss over the lifestyle and difficulties that a homeless person endures and encounters. Then again, those of us who have not faced those difficulties or had family members who have, are not necessarily prepared for how one needs to live or the choices that one must make to survive. Farther into the book, if you truly listened while you read, it depicted the some of the reasons that "regular" life doesn't work for everyone. It showed how just one person caring might change a life for the better.  It's a quick, easy read and makes one think beyond your comfort zone in dealing with those with less than ideal living situations.
  • Marybeth T. (Bellingham, WA)
    The more I think about it the more I realize I just wasn't in the mood for this particular book at this time.

    It wasn't anything original or new and I'm a little tired of these stories. The synopsis sounded good and the writing was fine, I just didn't care for it. I didn't connect to any of the characters or really care about them.
  • Debbie M. (Grand Junction, CO)
    At the Edge of the Haight
    Teens on the street lack the maturity and resources of homeless adults. Maddy's story is a familiar one. Parents can't care for their kids, causing kids to think they're better off on the streets. the homes they knew weren't safe, so they take their chances.

    I felt there was more to Maddy's character and wished the author had developed the character further. Even so, we're given a glimpse of the hardships of the streets.

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