Zoe learns to cope with change, friendship, and homelessness in this poignant tale. Zoe's family hasn't been doing too well since her dad's bookstore went under and he was laid off from his teaching job at the local college. When they lose their apartment's lease, her parents resolve to leave Zoe's beloved town of Tillerman while her father looks for work—after all, "What good was a Ph.D. in English literature when you couldn't make the rent?" Despite Zoe's protests, the family leaves, driving north to Oregon and living in a van. In their new town, the Flynns stay illegally in their van while they try to save up enough money for the first and last month's rent in some apartment. The need to keep their secret comes between Zoe and her new friend Aliya, and heartbroken Zoe wonders if she will ever make it home to Tillerman, or be able to keep a friend in her new town. Thought-provoking, despite occasional lapses into social-studies lessons about Islam. (Fiction. 9-12) Read full book review >
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