then I would recommend both One for the Murphy's by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles. I cried during both of these books. My threshold book for crying is Of Mice and Men so if you cried when George shoots Lennie then you will cry during these.
In One for the Murphy's, Carley moves in with the Murphy family as a foster child after her mother's new husband injures her and seriously injures her mother. With the Murphy's, Carley is able to be part of a happy family. They are by no means perfect, but they give Carley the sense of normalcy she needs after such a harrowing experience. I won't ruin it by telling you how it all ends: with Carley going back to her mother or staying with the Murphy's, but I will say Carley realistic reactions, doubts, and changes really get to the heart of why it is tough to be a foster kid. (On principal I wanted to avoid this book because of its "kid in snakers" cover, but I am glad I did not.)
See You at Harry's is again about family. This time a family that owns Harry's, an ice cream
shop and restaurant. In addition to Fern, the main character, there are Holden, a high school freshman, who is just beginning to feel comfortable as a homosexual, Sara a recent high school graduate, and Charlie their three-year-old surprise brother in addition to their ex-hippie parents. They are all getting along as best they can when tragedy strikes. How they deal with this is the most singnificant part of the novel as each member of the family feels tremendous guilt, but must rely on the others for comfort and support. This one is difficult to reveiw without giving away the key event, but the portrayal of this confused and hurt family is realistic. On another note, I am glad to have found a book that deals with a homosexual character in a way that is appropriate for younger readers who may also be struggling with admittance and/or acceptance.