Her street name is Maybe
She lives with a tribe of homeless teens -- runaways and throwaways, kids who have no place to go other than the cold city streets, and no family except for one another. Abused, abandoned, and forgotten, they struggle against the cold, hunger, and constant danger.
With the frigid winds of January comes a new girl: Tears, a twelve-year-old whose mother doesn't believe her stepfather abuses her. As the other kids start to disappear -- victims of violence, addiction, and exposure -- Maybe tries to help Tears get off the streets...if it's not already too late.
Todd Strasser, author of the powerful and disturbing Give a Boy a Gun, again focuses on an important social issue as he tells a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching story of young lives lost to the streets, and of a society that has forgotten how to care.
Australian author Sparks's debut novel, set in a strange postapocalyptic world, is all middle with no beginning or end. Star is a child of the Sand Road who dreams of wealth and adventure in the port town of Fallow Heel. Quarrel is an ancient warrior who knows his current mission will be his last. Both are forced onto the Black Sea, not to seek their fortunes but to continue a war that most of the world thinks is over. Sparks demonstrates technical skill with prose, but the start of the book is a confusing jumble, fragmented by the introduction of several characters' points of view scattered over a variety of settings. The mood is relentlessly bleak. The protagonists lack agency, which leads to a feeling of prologue rather than resolution. A satisfying conclusion is impossible; the book ends with the feeling that a stage has been set, but the story is yet to come. That promise is the only hope Sparks offers in this relentlessly grim narrative.