Publication Date: May 7, 2024
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Ages 10 And Up, Grades 5 And Up
A gripping new novel in verse by the author of the Printz Honor-winning Starfish, featuring a poverty-stricken boy who bravely rides out all the storms life keeps throwing at him
Joe Oak is used to living on unsteady ground. His mom can’t be depended on as she never stays around long once she gets “the itch,” and now he and his beloved grandmother find themselves without a home. Fortunately, Joe has an outlet in his journals and drawings and takes comfort from the lessons of comic books—superheroes have a lot of “and then, boom” moments, where everything threatens to go bust but somehow they land on their feet. And that seems to happen a lot to Joe too, as in this crisis his friend Nick helps them find a home in his trailer park. But things fall apart again when Joe is suddenly left to fend for himself. He doesn’t tell anyone he’s on his own, as he fears foster care and has hope his mom will come back. But time is running out—bills are piling up, the electricity’s been shut off, and the school year’s about to end, meaning no more free meals. The struggle to feed himself gets intense, and Joe finds himself dumpster diving for meals. He’s never felt so alone—until an emaciated little dog and her two tiny pups cross his path. And fate has even more in store for Joe, because an actual tornado is about to hit home—and just when it seems all is lost, his life turns in a direction that he never could have predicted.
Story Locale:Kokomo, Indiana
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