No Known Address

Lorimer. (Lorimer SideStreets). Aug. 2021. 192p. Tr $27.99. ISBN 9781459415577; pap. $8.99. ISBN 9781459415546.
Gr 7 Up–Tyler is having a hard time at school and, increasingly, at home. His mom is battling an unnamed mental illness, stays in bed most of the time, and has a heavy medication routine. Dad, a popular emergency room physician, is also a problem drinker who constantly denigrates Tyler for his slipping grades. After wearing out his welcome at girlfriend Lucy’s house, where he has occasionally been crashing on the couch, Tyler is falsely accused by Lucy’s vengeful brother of distributing opiates at an out-of-control party in their home. In legal jeopardy and all but cut off by his father, Tyler spends several nights on the street before connecting with an emergency shelter and transitional housing. The story is unusual for its sensitive treatment of a victim whose abuse is entirely emotional and psychological, making his situation largely invisible to classmates and teachers. He refers at one point to “the student I used to be when I got sleep and had square meals.” This takes place in Victoria, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Tyler’s best friend is of Asian descent. All other central characters are cued as white. The school principal is described as wearing a hijab. The sentences are short, and the vocabulary is simple. Emphasis is placed on keeping the plot moving, making it a good choice for reluctant readers.
VERDICT An engaging, relevant, and realistic story, recommended for middle and high school collections.

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