Fourteen-year-old Harbour Mandrayke, a home-schooled teen from Florida, spends the summer waiting in Toronto for her father to arrive on his sailboat.
Harbour, whose Canadian mother is deceased, and her trusty furry companion, Tuff Stuff, live by their wits, camping in a ravine. She’s armed with her dad’s quirky summer reading list and the resources of the local library. However, Harbour’s father is weeks late from his scheduled arrival date, and her credit card has been declined. Deeply in denial, Harbour meets Lise Roberts, a street-wise 16-year-old with locs, eyebrow rings, and a beautiful smile, who knows how to navigate the Toronto streets and shelters. Lise’s expertise comes in handy as winter approaches and Harbour’s damp, cold tent makes daily life nearly impossible. Harbour’s study of philosophical greats like Paramahansa Yogananda helps her learn to read people and build the patience and resolve to endure the harshest winter she’s ever experienced while dependent on the whims of strangers. Trust issues and dark family secrets threaten to shake Harbour and Lise’s budding friendship in this gritty, highly engaging, realistic mystery that captures the harsh realities of homeless teens in crisis. This plot-driven novel with well-drawn characters will pull readers into a devastating tale of intrigue and redemption. Fans of Homecoming by Cynthia Voight (1981) and Roam by C.H. Armstrong (2019) will appreciate this book. Characters are assumed white.
An intriguing story with broad appeal. (Mystery. 12-16)