for Unclaimed Baggage
by Jen Doll
Ever wonder where all that lost luggage ends up when no one claims it at the end of a flight? Unclaimed Baggage is an eclectic resale shop in a small Alabama town. The work of unpacking and inventorying lots of unclaimed luggage purchased by the store is shared among three teens. Doris is a liberal feminist floating in a sea of conservative Christians; Grant is a former star athlete whose out-of-control drinking resulted in a very public fall from grace; and Nell has just moved to Alabama from Illinois, reluctantly leaving her boyfriend behind. Over the course of the summer, Doris and Nell support one another as friends and as young women, and do their best to help Grant, who struggles to abstain from alcohol and to forgive himself for the poor decisions he’s made. While Grant struggles to recover, Doris misses the guidance of her kindred-spirit aunt, who recently passed away, and Nell must confront her white privilege when her biracial (Black/white) boyfriend comes to visit. Although the lessons in racism may feel a bit forced toward the end, this entertaining novel excels at exploring the value and necessity of friendship among teens. (Age 13 and older)
CCBC Choices 2019. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019. Used with permission.
*A New York Times Staff Pick*
*An NPR Best Book of 2018*
*A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of 2018*
In Jen Doll's young adult debut novel, Unclaimed Baggage, Doris-a lone liberal in a conservative small town-has mostly kept to herself since the terrible waterslide incident a few years ago. Nell had to leave behind her best friends, perfect life, and too-good-to-be-true boyfriend in Chicago to move to Alabama. Grant was the star quarterback and epitome of "Mr. Popular" whose drinking problem has all but destroyed his life. What do these three have in common? A summer job working in a store called Unclaimed Baggage cataloging and selling other people's lost luggage. Together they find that through friendship, they can unpack some of their own emotional baggage and move on into the future.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.