Polak, Monique. Home Invasion. Orca, 2005. ISBN 978-1551434827128 pp. $
Josh is struggling to accept his mother’s new husband, a scatterbrained artist who experiments with traditional recipes and signs Josh up for basketball camp so he can have quiet to paint. He dislikes Clay for not being his dad, and they have nothing in common. Josh longs for what he perceives as a real family-–two parents who give him the love and attention he needs. He finds solace (and an adrenaline rush) in sneakily observing neighbors to find the happiness he thinks everyone else has.
It ’s bad timing for breaking and entering though no matter how innocent the reason – it turns out that a burglar is breaking into neighborhood homes and terrorizing families! Josh can understand a little bit why the guy enjoys the rush, but if he isn’t careful, he’s going to find himself as a prime suspect.
Polak delivers a tightly written about developing new relationships, learning to trust, and taking responsibility. Subplots include a possible love interest; a girl whose family life isn’t as idyllic as it seems. Like other Soundings titles, Home Invasion presents a realistic teen with a problem that lends itself well to discussion. The pivotal scene is a bit too coincidental to be believed but empowers the protagonist while resolving the story neatly, if conveniently, in just over 100 pages.