FINDING STINKO by Michael de Guzman

FINDING STINKO

Age Range: 11 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Abandoned as an infant, Newboy becomes part of the state’s child-care system and over the next 11 years is placed in one foster home after another. At nine, he stops talking. Three years later, he’s living at the Knox’s, whose home is run with a military precision Newboy finds oppressive. He runs away and while hiding out in a dumpster, discovers a broken doll that once talked by pulling a string. Newboy finds that he can talk through the doll who he names Stinko, and Stinko becomes his conscience. Newboy hides from the Knox’s for a time, but after he is re-captured, the friends he made while living on the street rescue him. Newboy’s world is bleak, but things take a positive turn as he accepts the other homeless children as friends and once again is able to speak without the aid of Stinko. De Guzman’s commentary on the potential pitfalls of America’s foster-care system is honest in its portrayal of a boy who’s been on his own since birth, his life on the street a powerful thumbnail view of that harsh existence. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: May 3rd, 2007
ISBN: 0-374-32305-4
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2007




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