“Ayarbe offers a gut-wrenching, terrifyingly authentic story and memorably etched, courageous characters whose influence on each other is palpable … Reminiscent of Adam Rapp’s 33 Snowfish (2003), this challenging read will leave readers holding out a faint hope for Maya’s future. ” Booklist (April 1, 2010)
Maya’s life has always been chaotic. Living with a con-man dad, she’s spent half her life on the run. When her father’s schemes go wrong, Maya has always found a scientific way to fix them. But when her dad ends up in prison and foster care fails, Maya grasps at her last possible hope of home: a long-lost aunt, who may not even exist.
So Maya formulates a plan, and with her wits, two unlikely allies, and twenty dollars in her pocket, she sets off in search of this aunt, navigating the unpredictable four hundred miles from Reno to Boise. Life on the streets, though, becomes a struggle for survival — those scientific laws that Maya has relied on her whole life just don’t apply. And with each passing day, Maya’s definitions of right and wrong are turned upside down when she’s confronted with the realities and dangers of the life of a runaway. She can’t help but wonder if trying to find her aunt — and some semblance of stability — is worth the harrowing journey. Or will Maya have to compromise and find a way to survive on her own?
(Jacket art by the amazingly talented Insa Wagner, design by Greg Stadnyk and Mischa Shoni Rosenberg. Thank you!)
Nominated for YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults for 2010. This is a thrill!
Nominated for a Cybils award.
“Ayarbe doesn’t pander to her readers: She tackles the grim realities of homelessness — sexual exploitation, drug use and mental illness, among them — with a brutal frankness. With a sharp ear for dialogue (asked how he’s feeling, Klondike replies: ‘Like I was eaten by a wolf and shit out over a cliff”) and prose propelled by a searing urgency, the author plumbs the depths of her characters’ souls for horrors and treasures alike.” Kirkus Reviews (April 2010)
“… Maya’s narrative of youngsters who have slipped through the cracks is both heart wrenching and hopeful.” VOYA
“Gritty and realistic in action and language, this novel brings to light the plight of displaced teens. Maya is a strong character who tries to be true to herself while playing the caregiver role she always seems to fall into–first to her dad and now to her fellow runaways. The three form a strong bond that rings true even though the setting will likely be unfamiliar to many readers. While sympathy is evoked for the characters, emotions are not overplayed. The quick pace and flesh-and-blood main characters will appeal to avid and reluctant readers alike.” School Library Journal
Something to Talk About:
Interviews, Lists, Reviews, Links and possibly TMI about me, my writing habits, books, idiosyncracies and more