Homeless teens struggle to finish high school.
The Horn Book Guide"Melanie's tough-as-nails narration is convincing."
Children's Literature - Heather Robertson MasonMelanie is homeless after running away from her emotionally abusive parents. She refuses to quit school, but doesn't know how she's going to survive. Trent wants to stay in school, but can't afford rent and food without working the late shift at a local donut shop, leaving him far too tired to study during the day. Between the two of them, they are determined to make it work...that's until Trent's boss misses a payday and their landlord wants them out. It will take Trent's work ethic and Melanie's strength and intelligence to pull them through. The book is definitely meant to be a motivational book. Through hard work and determination, these two teens survive. Although Trent at one point succumbs to poverty and begins cruising the streets near the end, most of time the characters work hard and stay focused to overcome their obstacles. The author keeps the story simple and direct instead of melodramatic. This would be a good book to give to older struggling readers. The story gives a pretty accurate vision of how difficult it is for teens on their own, but the characters lack some realism. It's also predictable in parts and has a big happy ending that ties everything up too neatly. All in all, it's not a bad book. In fact, it's refreshing to see teens who want to rise above their situations and adults who want to help them. It's just not a great book for strong readers. Reviewer: Heather Robertson Mason
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