Shifty

by Lynn E. Hazen

Fifteen year old Soli doesn’t really know where he came from, and though he’s... read more

Fifteen year old Soli doesn’t really know where he came from, and though he’s trying to figure out where he’s going, trouble keeps finding him. Nicknamed “Shifty” for his habit of getting into scrapes, Soli struggles to keep a grip on the good things he has going for him. At the moment, he’s in a decent foster home. His tough foster mother Martha insists on using his real name because she believes in using people-first language. To her, Soli, Sissy, and the baby are not “foster kids” but “kids living in a foster home.” Soli mocks Martha’s conventions (referring to the newborn as “baby-first crack baby”) but her rules also provide him with the support and understanding he needs. However, when Martha’s physical problems worsen, she allows Soli to drive her vehicle illegally to help with errands. Prone to “borrowing” her van anyway, Soli once again finds himself in a web of problems. When a new social worker begins investigating the matter, Soli realizes that his home-first foster home has become something he doesn’t want to mess up. Soli’s relationships with Martha and Sissy and his growing understanding of himself are compelling components in this surprising young adult novel about a boy whose heritage is probably mixed-race. (Ages 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

show less