Wednesday, July 9, 2014

No Place by Todd Strasser

Dan is one of the most popular kids in school.  He is a baseball star and dates the most popular girl in school.  But things at home are not as good.  Both of his parents have lost their jobs and they are forced to leave their home in an affluent community to move into Dignityville, a tent city for the homeless.  Dan's friends know what has happened to him and they all try to continue on as if things are cool but Dan himself is struggling with the change in his status.  He becomes closer with another girl in Dignityville and works with her brother to try to bring about real change for the residents.  But having a tent city in town is not good for local businessmen and one of them is willing to do something to take care of Dignityville once and for all.  This is a slow-burning book for the most part.  The events at the end seem rushed and a bit too pat, but for most of the book the reader is adjusting to Dan's new circumstances just as he is.  I like that he does not try to hide his new situation but that doesn't mean that he feels okay about it either.  A situation that too many of my students can relate to.