ALMOST HOME by Jessica Blank


Age Range: 14 & up
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The streets of Los Angeles offer an escape to a group of teenagers. Boredom, family issues and sexual abuse led them away from home, and now seven teens struggle to survive on the streets. Through Tracy, a junk-addicted porn star, Eeyore, Rusty, Squid, Critter, Scabius and Laura form a rough community with its own dynamics and hostilities. When 12-year-old Eeyore gets caught up in drugs and prostitution, Tracy has a chance to redeem them both. Rather than alternating the narrator each chapter, Blank gives each voice its own section in turn. With characters ranging in age and experience, the narrative cohesion could easily deteriorate, but skillful blending by the author prevents such muddling. Calculated emotionless presentation of the street-sex trade helps communicate the bleak circumstances in which many homeless youths find themselves; this contrasts nicely with the burgeoning relationships that develop between the teens, especially Squid’s passion for a family. The author’s note offers resources for both at-risk and street teens. Examining the ties that bring people together and force them apart, this is a harsh and honest view of homeless teen life in the city of angels. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4231-0642-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007


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