No Fixed Address

by Susin Nielsen

Felix and his mom, Astrid, are living in a van. He hates it. And he hates how good... read more

Felix and his mom, Astrid, are living in a van. He hates it. And he hates how good his mom is at lying, although he’s grateful she got him into the sixth grade French Immersion class in one of their former Vancouver neighborhoods using a false address. Reunited with old friend Dylan, he doesn’t tell Dylan or new friend Winnie that he’s homeless. The difficulties of keeping the secret and managing daily life become more challenging when Astrid’s savings run out. She hasn’t found another job and begins to steal food. So Felix sets his sights on winning a television quiz program—the prize would be enough to rent an apartment and pay the store owner what they owe. Then Astrid falls into one of her “slumps” and can’t get out of bed. Felix holds out hope that his birth dad, Daniel—a gay Black man and an old friend of Astrid’s who lives in Toronto—might be able to help, but it’s clear Daniel has struggles of his own so Felix doesn’t tell him what’s happening. A novel that illuminates difficult truths doesn’t fall into the trap of a perfect ending. But warmth abounds, and Felix and Astrid’s lives are looking up by story’s end. Felix and Astrid’s richly developed backstories are among the things that make this novel stand out. (Ages 9–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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