Parked

Danielle Svetcov. Dial, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-399-53903-9
Svetcov’s pertinent debut is alternately narrated by two introspective 12-year-olds living radically different lives near San Francisco. Cal and his mother, a successful restaurateur, live in a giant glass “Rubik’s Cube” house overlooking both the Golden Gate Bridge and a row of illegally parked vans. One of those vans belongs to book-obsessed Jeanne Ann and her mother, who journeyed west from Chicago after Jeanne Ann’s mom quit her job as a cook. As the summer progresses, the girl is increasingly concerned that their stuffy orange van has become their new home indefinitely. When Cal knocks on the van to warn of an impending parking ticket, a strained friendship is launched. But despite Jeanne Ann’s myriad difficulties living without an address, she rebukes Cal’s persistent attempts to “rescue” her. She offers honest insight into today’s affordable housing crisis—her independence and keen observations (“Hunger is like a rug burn on the inside”) are communicated frankly. Though the alternating narratives can bog down a lengthy story that feels primarily like Jeanne Ann’s, uplifting final pages and the awkwardly cautious cementing of an unlikely friendship offer a fresh look to an ongoing social issue. Ages 10–14. Agent: Kerry Sparks, Levine Greenberg Rostan. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/21/2019
Release date: 02/04/2020
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-0-399-53904-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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