When Dan and his family go from middle class to homeless, issues of injustice rise to the forefront in this relatable, timely novel from Todd Strasser that VOYA calls “poignant,” “darkly humorous,” and “exceptionally thought-provoking.”
It seems like Dan has it all. He’s a baseball star who is part of the popular crowd and dates the hottest girl in school. Then his family loses their home.
Forced to move into the town’s Tent City, Dan feels his world shifting. His friends try to pretend that everything’s cool, but they’re not the ones living among the homeless. As Dan struggles to adjust to his new life, he gets involved with the people who are fighting for better conditions and services for the residents of Tent City. But someone wants Tent City gone, and will stop at nothing until it’s destroyed...
Strasser tackles unexpected homelessness among the middle class in this affecting novel about Dan, a high school senior and promising baseball pitcher whose family suffers a slow slide from a comfortable life to being taken in by relatives and eventually coming to reside in their town's tent city. Overcome by embarrassment, anger, and compassion for his fellow homeless citizens, Dan who is almost too thoughtful and well-behaved (he only once allows anger to overtake him, and stops short of doing actual harm) sustains credibility as he gives voice to the disbelief and disorientation felt by many in this situation. Strasser (Fallout) endows other characters, including Dan's parents, with multidimensional responses, and elements of romance and suspense keep up the pace. Opposing points of view about economic balance (including a few didactic passages) help readers understand that there are no black-and-white answers to the questions Strasser poses. Clearly meant to inspire discussion about morality in the face of today's social and economic problems, the book also delivers an authentic look at contemporary high-school society. Ages 12 up.