cover image Clean Getaway

Clean Getaway

Nic Stone, illus. by Dawud Anyabwile. Crown, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-984892-97-3

Part history lesson, part road trip, this notable middle grade debut by Stone (Jackpot) stars William “Scoob” Lamar, a biracial, black-presenting 12-year-old, as he heads off on a road trip with his beloved grandmother, G’ma, who is white. He mostly goes to escape a punishment from his father, but as the two make their way through the South, Scoob learns more about the grandfather whom he never met, the interracial couple’s 1963 road trip, which G’ma aims to complete, and the ways in which the world has changed and remained the same. As they make their way toward Juarez, Mexico, Scoob begins to suspect that G’ma might be up to something more suspicious than recreating a vacation and becomes torn between contacting another adult and protecting his grandmother. This dual tour through pre– and post–civil rights movement America confronts the country’s difficult past, including how fraught with danger travel was to the average black citizen, while raising questions about what progress should look like. A heartwarming, family-centered adventure that will leave readers guessing until the end. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Rena Rossner, the Deborah Harris Agency. (Jan.) [/em]