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For fans of Wendelin van Draanen and Cynthia Lord, a touching and funny middle-grade story about family, friendship, and growing up when you're one step away from homelessness.
Twelve-and-three-quarter-year-old Felix Knutsson has a knack for trivia. His favorite game show is Who What Where When; he even named his gerbil after the host. Felix's mom, Astrid, is loving but can't seem to hold on to a job. So when they get evicted from their latest shabby apartment, they have to move into a van. Astrid swears him to secrecy; he can't tell anyone about their living arrangement, not even Dylan and Winnie, his best friends at his new school. If he does, she warns him, he'll be taken away from her and put in foster care.
As their circumstances go from bad to worse, Felix gets a chance to audition for a junior edition of Who What Where When, and he's determined to earn a spot on the show. Winning the cash prize could make everything okay again. But things don't turn out the way he expects. . . .
Susin Nielsen deftly combines humor, heartbreak, and hope in this moving story about people who slip through the cracks in society, and about the power of friendship and community to make all the difference.
About the Author
"This is the first day I've written in a diary. The reason I am, is 'cos I love writing stories, and if I do grow up to be a famous writer, and later die, and they want to get a story of my life, I guess I should keep a diary." Nielsen wrote this poorly constructed sentence when she was eleven. And while she isn't exactly famous, she did predict her future. She got her start writing for the hit TV series Degrassi Junior High and went on to write for more than twenty Canadian shows. Susin is the author of five critically acclaimed and award-winning titles, including Optimists Die First, We Are All Made of Molecules, and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen.
Nielsen lives in Vancouver with her family and two naughty cats.
Visit her at susinnielsen.com; on Facebook at Susin Nielsen, Author; and on Twitter at @susinnielsen.
"A well-written work of realism that will be a mirror to some and a window for others."—School Library Journal, starred review
"An outstanding addition to the inadequate-parent genre."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review