newbery honor author 

new york times bestseller

Gennifer Choldenko
Gennifer Choldenko
The Tenth Mistake of Hank Hooperman
Junior Literary Gold Gold Standard

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The Tenth Mistake about Hank Hooperman

by Gen­nifer Chold­enko
ages 10 and up
Knopf Books for Young Read­ers
ISBN 978–1‑5247–1892‑3


When eleven-year-old Hank’s mom doesn’t come home, he takes care of his tod­dler sis­ter, Boo, like he always does. But it’s been a week now. They are out of food and mom has nev­er stayed away this long … Hank knows he needs help, so he and Boo seek out the stranger list­ed as their emer­gency contact.

But ask­ing for help has con­se­quences. It means social work­ers, and a new school, and hav­ing to answer ques­tions about his mom that he’s been try­ing to keep secret. And if they can’t find his mom soon, Hank and Boo may end up in dif­fer­ent fos­ter homes — he could lose everything.

This is a heart-wrench­ing, heal­ing, and ulti­mate­ly hope­ful sto­ry about how com­pli­cat­ed fam­i­ly can be. About how you can love some­one, even when you can’t rely on them. And about the trans­for­ma­tive pow­er of sec­ond chances.

Grey, Dad, and me
Gennifer’s big broth­er, Grey, took care of her the way Hank takes care of Boo.

Awards and Recognition

  • Junior Library Guild Gold Stan­dard Selection
  • Indie Next List


“A mov­ing por­tray­al of the pow­er­ful bonds that con­nect him (Hank), an unwill­ing­ly par­en­ti­fied child, and the younger sib­ling who means every­thing to him … Han­kies are a must.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“From the first line of Hank‘s engag­ing first-per­son nar­ra­tive to the last, he comes across as a reli­able, sen­si­ble boy who is aware that his options are few and is deter­mined to make the right choic­es. Chold­enko speaks from the heart in this com­pelling sto­ry of Hank and Boo’s found fam­i­ly.” (Book­list, starred review)

“Hank’s sto­ry will break read­ers’ hearts before putting them back togeth­er again. High­ly rec­om­mend­ed for all mid­dle grade col­lec­tions.” (School Library Jour­nal, starred review)

“A gut-punch tale that is by turns heart­break­ing and hope­ful.” (Pub­lish­ers Week­ly)