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No Fixed Address

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From beloved Governor General Literary Award--winning author Susin Nielsen comes a touching and funny middle-grade story about family, friendship and growing up when you're one step away from homelessness. Felix Knuttson, twelve, is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can't hold onto a job, or a home. When they From beloved Governor General Literary Award--winning author Susin Nielsen comes a touching and funny middle-grade story about family, friendship and growing up when you're one step away from homelessness. Felix Knuttson, twelve, is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can't hold onto a job, or a home. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, they move into a camper van, just for August, till Astrid finds a job. September comes, they're still in the van; Felix must keep "home" a secret and give a fake address in order to enroll in school. Luckily, he finds true friends. As the weeks pass and life becomes grim, he struggles not to let anyone know how precarious his situation is. When he gets to compete on a national quiz show, Felix is determined to win -- the cash prize will bring them a home. Their luck is about to change! But what happens is not at all what Felix expected.


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From beloved Governor General Literary Award--winning author Susin Nielsen comes a touching and funny middle-grade story about family, friendship and growing up when you're one step away from homelessness. Felix Knuttson, twelve, is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can't hold onto a job, or a home. When they From beloved Governor General Literary Award--winning author Susin Nielsen comes a touching and funny middle-grade story about family, friendship and growing up when you're one step away from homelessness. Felix Knuttson, twelve, is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can't hold onto a job, or a home. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, they move into a camper van, just for August, till Astrid finds a job. September comes, they're still in the van; Felix must keep "home" a secret and give a fake address in order to enroll in school. Luckily, he finds true friends. As the weeks pass and life becomes grim, he struggles not to let anyone know how precarious his situation is. When he gets to compete on a national quiz show, Felix is determined to win -- the cash prize will bring them a home. Their luck is about to change! But what happens is not at all what Felix expected.

30 review for No Fixed Address

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    I admire the hell out of Susin Nielsen for tackling the topics she does. It isn’t easy to talk about controversial subjects like poverty and homelessness to a middle grade audience. And yet, Susin Nielsen tries… and, in my opinion, does a superb job of discussing them. What I like most is that she doesn’t simply throw us in a situation. Yes, Felix is living in a van and that’s a problem, but the author takes us back to the beginning to make us understand how this boy and his mother Astrid lost e I admire the hell out of Susin Nielsen for tackling the topics she does. It isn’t easy to talk about controversial subjects like poverty and homelessness to a middle grade audience. And yet, Susin Nielsen tries… and, in my opinion, does a superb job of discussing them. What I like most is that she doesn’t simply throw us in a situation. Yes, Felix is living in a van and that’s a problem, but the author takes us back to the beginning to make us understand how this boy and his mother Astrid lost everything. The truth is that you never know what can happen. This can go both ways: sometimes you’re at the bottom and are able to climb to the top; sometimes you’re at the top and sliding to the bottom, unable to stop your feet from hitting the ground. Not only is Felix and his mom’s situation put in context, the author also describes what it’s like not have a house. It’s true that these two have a van, which may be better than not having anything at all, but they don’t have a bathroom, they don’t have a kitchen, they don’t have warmth because the car can’t be on all night, they don’t have space… It’s not ideal and it’s not the place for a boy and an adult. This story may seem like the complete opposite of a ‘‘feel good’’ one but that isn’t true. There is happiness in Felix’s life. He has friends. He has his mother. He has hope. And he has his intelligence, which may just be the answer to his and his mom’s problems. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the characters and found Susin Nielsen’s writing charming once again. I was pleased with her We Are All Made of Molecules novel but this book solidified my interest in her future stories. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore

    My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK Children’s Publishers for a review copy of this one. This was such a wonderful wonderful read for me—heart-breaking, and cute, and making me smile a little all at the same time. The story is told in the voice of twelve-and-three-quarters-year-old Felix Knutsson, who lives with his single mother, Astrid (she insists he calls her by name) in a Westfalia van. They have seen a change in fortunes from a time when they were doing ok and had a home, to My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK Children’s Publishers for a review copy of this one. This was such a wonderful wonderful read for me—heart-breaking, and cute, and making me smile a little all at the same time. The story is told in the voice of twelve-and-three-quarters-year-old Felix Knutsson, who lives with his single mother, Astrid (she insists he calls her by name) in a Westfalia van. They have seen a change in fortunes from a time when they were doing ok and had a home, to one where Astrid is more or less jobless, and almost penniless, and have to take the only option available to them, of living in a van. Felix had had to change schools and homes many times over the years as they moved around various parts of Vancouver but finds himself now back in school with one of the only friends he ever had, Dylan Brinkerhoff. Before long Winnie Wu, somewhat Hermione-Granger-like, and a bit over-enthusiastic about school joins their little group. But Felix has to navigate through all of this without ever letting slip his living arrangements as both Felix and his mother are terrified of falling into the ‘clutches’ of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, which they are convinced will place him in foster care, and apart from his mother. Alongside, he must also deal with his mother, who isn’t exactly a bad mother but not a particularly good one either, with many facets to her character (specifics might be a spoiler), that are far from perfect. His only hope lies in participating in his favourite game show Who, What, Where, When, which is having a junior edition, through which he might win some prize money that can help tide them over. I loved Felix—he was so sensible, mature for his age, able to face much more than anyone his age could and all without constantly whining or pitying himself. This is not to say that he doesn’t want life to get back to normal, or that he is a Pollyanna, but he takes things in his stride better than even a grown-up would. One can’t help but feel sorry for him having to not only present a brave face to the world but also to be the strong one in his family in some situations. Some of the situations they have to face are plain frightening at times, and others require Felix to accept things that he wouldn’t normally approve of (after all, he has to live). I also liked how the author conveyed so many things subtly capturing things in a way a child might perhaps see them, and not having to say things explicitly/directly all the time. Seeing Felix’s situation, one can’t help but think about people like him who have to live every day without the things we tend to take for granted—food to eat, a bed to sleep in, a toilet in one’s home—and realise the need to have more help at hand for people in such circumstances, and feel grateful in having those things, besides also realising, that a life with dignity which is a ‘basic’ human right remains a luxury for so many. At the same time, the book gives a positive and hopeful message about people themselves. I also liked that the book really reflected well how multicultural our world really is now. This may be classified as a YA book, but is one that can be appreciated by everyone, even adults (perhaps more so), and I highly recommend it. Simply wonderful read. (p.s. of course, I loved the little illustrations!!!!)

  3. 5 out of 5

    ❤️ Book Diva ❤️

    Very light and fast read but did enjoy it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laurie • The Baking Bookworm

    Susin Nielsen, you've done it again!! A few years ago I unabashedly gushed over her We Are All Made of Molecules so, readers, be prepared because there's a strong chance of gushing in the forecast for her latest book, No Fixed Address (a book I read in one day). The story focuses on the life Felix, a 12-year-old boy who loves trivia, his gerbil, Horatio and his mom, Astrid. They're a regular, small family except that they live in a van. They are one of the unseen homeless. With No Fixed Address, Susin Nielsen, you've done it again!! A few years ago I unabashedly gushed over her We Are All Made of Molecules so, readers, be prepared because there's a strong chance of gushing in the forecast for her latest book, No Fixed Address (a book I read in one day). The story focuses on the life Felix, a 12-year-old boy who loves trivia, his gerbil, Horatio and his mom, Astrid. They're a regular, small family except that they live in a van. They are one of the unseen homeless. With No Fixed Address, Nielsen has written a touching and revelatory read about the issue of homelessness in Canada. Readers witness the lengths Felix will go to ensure that no one finds out that he's homeless. His mother, Astrid, for reasons of her own, has instilled a fear of the Ministry of Children and Family Development in her son and insists that this is a secret they must keep until they can get back on their feet which she keeps promising will be 'any day now'. One of my favourite things about Nielsen's work is the diversity of her characters. Once again, Nielsen provides a diverse cast which showcases the wonderful heterogeneity of Canada. As Felix says "I'm fifty percent Swedish, twenty-five percent Haitian, twenty-five percent French. Add it up and it equals one hundred percent Canadian." But while there is an assortment of backgrounds/beliefs/ethnicities to her characters, the focus remains on the issues, the plot and her complex main characters. Felix is smart, kind, quirky and has more on his plate than most kids his age. With more than a little ingenuity and strength, he struggles to take care of his mom, get his own basic needs met, go to school and hide their secret. He finds strength in his friendships with Dylan and the very Hermione-like Winnie Wu, his love of learning and his plan to compete on his favourite trivia show and win enough money to bring him and Astrid out of poverty. Through it all, you know Felix loves his mom, but you also see his growing frustration with their situation and his inability to care for himself during his mother's long emotional 'Slumps'. Astrid is a complicated character. You know she won't be in the running for Mother of the Year, nor is she the worst of the bunch, but you understand her fierce love for her son even though her behaviours were deeply flawed and often unethical/illegal. This story will tug at your heart strings and will open your eyes to the issue of homelessness in Canada and how easily one's circumstances can change from home owner to homeless. Sprinkled liberally with great Canadian culture, this is a touching story about poverty, friendship, family and hope.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore

    My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK Children’s Publishers for a review copy of this one. This was such a wonderful wonderful read for me—heart-breaking, and cute, and making me smile a little all at the same time. The story is told in the voice of twelve-and-three-quarters-year-old Felix Knutsson, who lives with his single mother, Astrid (she insists he calls her by name) in a Westfalia van. They have seen a change in fortunes from a time when they were doing ok and had a home, to My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK Children’s Publishers for a review copy of this one. This was such a wonderful wonderful read for me—heart-breaking, and cute, and making me smile a little all at the same time. The story is told in the voice of twelve-and-three-quarters-year-old Felix Knutsson, who lives with his single mother, Astrid (she insists he calls her by name) in a Westfalia van. They have seen a change in fortunes from a time when they were doing ok and had a home, to one where Astrid is more or less jobless, and almost penniless, and have to take the only option available to them, of living in a van. Felix had had to change schools and homes many times over the years as they moved around various parts of Vancouver but finds himself now back in school with one of the only friends he ever had, Dylan Brinkerhoff. Before long Winnie Wu, somewhat Hermione-Granger-like, and a bit over-enthusiastic about school joins their little group. But Felix has to navigate through all of this without ever letting slip his living arrangements as both Felix and his mother are terrified of falling into the ‘clutches’ of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, which they are convinced will place him in foster care, and apart from his mother. Alongside, he must also deal with his mother, who isn’t exactly a bad mother but not a particularly good one either, with many facets to her character (specifics might be a spoiler), that are far from perfect. His only hope lies in participating in his favourite game show Who, What, Where, When, which is having a junior edition, through which he might win some prize money that can help tide them over. I loved Felix—he was so sensible, mature for his age, able to face much more than anyone his age could and all without constantly whining or pitying himself. This is not to say that he doesn’t want life to get back to normal, or that he is a Pollyanna, but he takes things in his stride better than even a grown-up would. One can’t help but feel sorry for him having to not only present a brave face to the world but also to be the strong one in his family in some situations. Some of the situations they have to face are plain frightening at times, and others require Felix to accept things that he wouldn’t normally approve of (after all, he has to live). I also liked how the author conveyed so many things subtly capturing things in a way a child might perhaps see them, and not having to say things explicitly/directly all the time. Seeing Felix’s situation, one can’t help but think about people like him who have to live every day without the things we tend to take for granted—food to eat, a bed to sleep in, a toilet in one’s home—and realise the need to have more help at hand for people in such circumstances, and feel grateful in having those things, besides also realising, that a life with dignity which is a ‘basic’ human right remains a luxury for so many. At the same time, the book gives a positive and hopeful message about people themselves. I also liked that the book really reflected well how multicultural our world really is now. This may be classified as a YA book, but is one that can be appreciated by everyone, even adults (perhaps more so), and I highly recommend it. Simply wonderful read. (p.s. of course, I loved the little illustrations!!!!)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Netgalley.com Felix Knuttsen and his single mother Astrid move around a bit in Vancouver because Astrid finds it hard to keep a job after her career teaching art founders. After the death of her mother, Felix's Mormor, it's been hard for the two to maintain homes as well. When her latest boyfriend, Abelard, decides to go to India, Felix is glad to see him go, but it means that the only place he has to live is the Westfalia van after briefly landing with a friend, Soleil. Since it's Aug E ARC from Netgalley.com Felix Knuttsen and his single mother Astrid move around a bit in Vancouver because Astrid finds it hard to keep a job after her career teaching art founders. After the death of her mother, Felix's Mormor, it's been hard for the two to maintain homes as well. When her latest boyfriend, Abelard, decides to go to India, Felix is glad to see him go, but it means that the only place he has to live is the Westfalia van after briefly landing with a friend, Soleil. Since it's August, they take a little vacation, and then Astrid tells Felix he can go to any school he wants. Using a fair amount of subterfuge, she gets him into the French Immersion School. This is great, since Felix is half Swedish and one quarter Haitian and French, and since his former best friend Dylan goes to the school and the two still get along. Living in the van requires a lot of planning and sacrifices, from showering at a community center and eating meals out of cans to carefully crafted stories about his movements. Felix makes an unlikely friend in the driven Winnie, who is very good at languages but not so good at social interactions. The three work on articles for the school paper, and the fact that Felix excels at the t.v. game show Who, What, Where emerges. He tries out for a junior edition and makes it. Since the grand prize is $25,000, he hopes he can win so that he and Astrid can get their lives back on track. As the competition approaches, Felix's life starts to unravel very quickly. What will it take for things to turn around for the Knuttsons? Strengths: This had a tremendous amount of appealing, well fleshed out characters. Mormor, although her appearance was very brief, was a fantastic grandmother. Felix's description of his mother and her problems is interesting because it shows how much understanding and smarts he needs to have just to get himself clothed and fed. It's also a balanced description-- she's not a great mother, but she's not the worst, either. I feel like many of my students have similar backgrounds. The details about living in a van will appeal to students who have nice, comfortable homes, and will perhaps resonate with those who don't as well. Dylan and Winnie are good friends, and the teachers and social workers are all concerned and helpful. Even Soleil, who is ill used by Astrid, is very supportive. I liked the inclusion of Vancouver as almost another character, and the game show appearance is worked in convincingly. It is a book that will make many readers grateful-- I know enough to NEVER take baths for granted! Weaknesses: The game show scenes got a bit overwrought, and there were a few moments where this came close to having too many social hot button issues, lessening the impact of Felix's predicament. That's very on trend, though. What I really think: This will be a great circulator. The cover is very appealing, and this has a Boxcar Children vibe with the addition of the suspense of Felix's precarious situation. Nicely done.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I loved this book. I picked it up on Sunday night and ended up finishing it before I went to bed. I couldn't quit reading about Felix and his life living in a van. While he knows it's "only temporary" (at least, that's what his mom Astrid says, but it has been four months by now), he is getting tired of it. He would like to live in a place with heat. A toilet. Some doors that close. Those things don't seem like too much to ask. And while the van started off as an adventure, an extended summer va I loved this book. I picked it up on Sunday night and ended up finishing it before I went to bed. I couldn't quit reading about Felix and his life living in a van. While he knows it's "only temporary" (at least, that's what his mom Astrid says, but it has been four months by now), he is getting tired of it. He would like to live in a place with heat. A toilet. Some doors that close. Those things don't seem like too much to ask. And while the van started off as an adventure, an extended summer vacation of sorts, now the weather is turning and he doesn't think it's as fun anymore. Plus, his mom is having more and more of her "Slumps", those times when she just can't get out of bed and get moving. That's OK-as long as they only last a few days, Felix knows how to take care of himself. He's been doing it for years. But now, his friends are starting to notice. His mom's getting worse. His teachers want to schedule meetings. And he knows he wants to have things change, but he also knows how his mom feels about getting anyone involved. He would do anything to not have to go with the Ministry people and risk being separated from her. This was a fantastic read about what it means to take care of your friends and yourself. I loved it. Highly recommend for all readers who like realistic fiction, especially stories like Crenshaw and Paper Things . Appropriate for grades 5-9.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    After hitting a rough patch financially, 12-year old Felix and his mom, Astrid, find themselves living in a van. Astrid assures Felix that it’s just temporary, but as time goes on Felix finds it increasingly difficult to deal with their situation. Felix is quirky, intelligent, and in many ways far more mature than his mother… and by the time they’ve put in three months of living in the van, all the poor kid wants is a toilet and his frustration with his mom justifiably increases. I really liked t After hitting a rough patch financially, 12-year old Felix and his mom, Astrid, find themselves living in a van. Astrid assures Felix that it’s just temporary, but as time goes on Felix finds it increasingly difficult to deal with their situation. Felix is quirky, intelligent, and in many ways far more mature than his mother… and by the time they’ve put in three months of living in the van, all the poor kid wants is a toilet and his frustration with his mom justifiably increases. I really liked this book. Susin Nielsen has created a wonderful character in Felix, and her supporting cast is also strong (especially Felix’s friends, Winnie and Dylan). Nielsen really brings to the forefront the issue of homelessness in Canada, and how easy it can be for people to find themselves in this situation and how invisible they become to the rest of society. As I read about Felix’s daily challenges of making friends, going to school, and carrying on trying to be a regular kid yet having to do it without letting people know he’s homeless, it made me really stop and wonder if there are people who cross my path who are in similar situations and I’m just blissfully unaware. It really makes you stop and think. I also loved the book for its unabashed “Canadian-ness”! There’s absolutely NO doubt you’re in Canada, with plenty of cultural references (Reach for the Top!).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Another Nielsen book, another winner for me. I am so happy I discovered Susin Nielsen, because every one of her books end up on the "makes-me-happy" list. She has done it once again with No Fixed Address, which was, as intrepid reporter Winnie Wu stated in the book, a feel-good story. • Pro: Nielsen does so many things well in her books, but most importantly, she crafts these incredible characters. Felix was one of those incredible characters. The kid won my heart as soon as he described himself Another Nielsen book, another winner for me. I am so happy I discovered Susin Nielsen, because every one of her books end up on the "makes-me-happy" list. She has done it once again with No Fixed Address, which was, as intrepid reporter Winnie Wu stated in the book, a feel-good story. • Pro: Nielsen does so many things well in her books, but most importantly, she crafts these incredible characters. Felix was one of those incredible characters. The kid won my heart as soon as he described himself as "Fifty percent Swedish, twenty-five percent Haitian, twenty-five percent French. Add it up and it equals one hundred percent Canadian." He was funny, quirky, and he charmed the pants off of me. • Pro: Felix was homeless or, as he liked to say, "between places". There was a chapter in the book called "A Brief History of Homes", where Felix told us about all the places he had lived. This chapter was a brilliant way to show how quickly one's circumstances can change. How you can be living in a big victorian house one day and in the back of a van the next. I am glad it was included, because it can combat some of the assumptions people make about why people are homeless. • Pro: The quiz show storyline was fantastic! I was so glad it was part of the story. • Pro: It was obvious that Astrid was not winning any parenting prizes. Her inability to keep a job combine with her mental health issues, often left Felix to fend for himself, but one thing was clear - Astrid loved Felix and he loved her. • Pro: Mental health and abuse are some of the issues addressed in this story. Both were handled honestly and with care. • Pro: It was really beautiful the way so many people rallied for Felix. I swear! My heart grew three sizes due to some really wonderful characters in this book and their acts of kindness towards Felix and his mom. Overall: A touching, funny, and heartbreaking look at homelessness, featuring a protagonists you will stand and cheer for. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mwinchester97

    You never really know how much your address means to you until you don't have one... Meet Felix. He's a 12 year old who loves trivia, French, and most of all his mom ( who insits he call her Astrid). Unfortunately they're currently homeless. He does everything he can to keep his head up and live his best life. Wow! Susin Nielsen packs a lot into her books and No Fixed Address is no exception. Felix was a wonderful character. He was smart, real, kind, caring and incredibly moral. The fact that he ac You never really know how much your address means to you until you don't have one... Meet Felix. He's a 12 year old who loves trivia, French, and most of all his mom ( who insits he call her Astrid). Unfortunately they're currently homeless. He does everything he can to keep his head up and live his best life. Wow! Susin Nielsen packs a lot into her books and No Fixed Address is no exception. Felix was a wonderful character. He was smart, real, kind, caring and incredibly moral. The fact that he actually wanted learn was really unique! Most of the time kids are portrayed as those who hate to learn and that is sad. His heart of gold warmed mine, especially when he took care of Astrid. Astrid and Felix had an incredible bond. Even though they were odds with each other sometimes you could really tell that they loved each other. I also loved that she didn't hold a lot back from Felix and treated him like a real human being. Conventional mother of the year, Astrid was not. She was deeply flawed and did some slightly unethical things. You could tell she absolutely loved Felix though because she did those things for him and tried to give him the best life she possibly could. They were incredibly deep characters. Every time that you thought you had discovered the last layer of them Susin Nielsen added a new layer to their character. I also loved Felix's best friends Dylan and Winnie. They kind of gave me Hermione and Ron vibes. No Fixed Address was it largely character-driven story, that really touched on some hard to discuss issues. It did this remarkably well all while keeping a light tone about itself. This book is filled with tough times filled with lots of love and courage. No Fixed Address will hit you hard and ultimately make you feel completely happy inside!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lyra

    There were aspects of this book that I liked, and there were aspects of it that I didn't. I liked watching how Felix dealt with his situation emotionally, how he loved his mother but got angry with her, how he operated in and normalized a situation that was very abnormal to those around him, how he was embarrassed, afraid, and ashamed because of potential responses of those around him. All of those were very nice. I did not, however, like the oversimplification of poverty. There was this constant There were aspects of this book that I liked, and there were aspects of it that I didn't. I liked watching how Felix dealt with his situation emotionally, how he loved his mother but got angry with her, how he operated in and normalized a situation that was very abnormal to those around him, how he was embarrassed, afraid, and ashamed because of potential responses of those around him. All of those were very nice. I did not, however, like the oversimplification of poverty. There was this constant refrain that Felix's mom could get them out of poverty if she could just pull herself together enough to overcome her mental illness AND stop being a twit (she suffered from both problems, and they were different), and from my experiences with poverty, I don't see how that could be the case. Maybe if she had lots of external support (subsidized housing, food assistance, etc, which the book said she refused to take), but trying to support herself and a kid without help of any kind on a barista's salary (or a salary like that)? I absolutely don't see how that could be possible. The average salary for a barista (one of the jobs Felix's mom picks up and gets fired for) is $20,880 per year. An average rent for a 1 bedroom in Vancouver is $1500 per month for $18,000 per year, leaving Felix's family a grand total of $2,880 for all other expenses for that year. Yet the book actually said that Felix's mom had almost managed to get them an apartment at one point on a barista's salary, and the apartment only fell through because she got herself fired. How could she have gotten an apartment?! Even if she had kept her barista job, how could she possibly have afforded an apartment and literally anything else? So often there is this fundamental misunderstanding of the fact that even if you work, that doesn't mean you're going to make enough money to get by, even if you have no dependents and live frugally.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Meet Felix Knutsson, the charming, earnest protagonist at the helm of No Fixed Address. As one might infer from the title, this book is about life in a Westfalia van. In other words, it is a story about homelessness. But, even more than that, Susin Nielsen's novel is about friendship, the transition into adolescence, and the strong bond between a mother and her son. Felix narrates the tale of his mother, Astrid's cyclical "Slumps," their efforts to make ends meet, and his quest for the title of J Meet Felix Knutsson, the charming, earnest protagonist at the helm of No Fixed Address. As one might infer from the title, this book is about life in a Westfalia van. In other words, it is a story about homelessness. But, even more than that, Susin Nielsen's novel is about friendship, the transition into adolescence, and the strong bond between a mother and her son. Felix narrates the tale of his mother, Astrid's cyclical "Slumps," their efforts to make ends meet, and his quest for the title of Junior Champion on Canada's popular quiz show, "Who, What, Where, When." As Astrid's ability to provide for their needs dwindles and her ethics become more and more questionable, Felix works furiously to continue to juggle school, friendship, and meeting his basic needs. Often smelly and hungry his attempts to hide the truth of their situation grow increasingly exhausting. This middle grade book does an excellent job of depicting life without the assurance of food and shelter. *There has been a recent push in children's literature to include more diversity amongst characters. So much so that, often, I get the sense that authors have a checklist next to their manuscripst; black character, check, Asian character, check, Middle Eastern character, check, homosexual character, check. I can almost hear these writers patting themselves on the back, feeling smug for their "goodwill." Props to Susin Nielsen. No Fixed Address does indeed include diversity among its cast of characters. But, here's the thing: these characters are people, treated no differently from fair-skinned Felix. We, the readers, only know Winnie Wu is likely Asian because of her name. The fact that the Constable is gay is only known because her wife is mentioned. Isn't this the way it should be? Rather than separating people into nest little categories, labeling each and every group, why not keep the focus of the book on the story and the commonalities that apply to all people?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    *Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy.* If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would. As always Susin writes wonderfully flawed characters in an honest and non judgmental way while tackling serious issues. Her ability to balance the heartbreaking with the uplifting never ceases to amaze me. I am always so thankful for the books she writes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kateryna

    This is a story about a 12-year-old boy and his mom. They're a regular, small family except that they live in a van on the streets of Vancouver. It’s an adorable book about homelessness, friendship and the bond between a mother and her son. It was a wonderful read. Once I started reading I could hardly put it down. Each character is well done and believable. It has fun moments, truly devastating moments and overall never gets boring. My only complaint is that the ending is a bit far-fetched and This is a story about a 12-year-old boy and his mom. They're a regular, small family except that they live in a van on the streets of Vancouver. It’s an adorable book about homelessness, friendship and the bond between a mother and her son. It was a wonderful read. Once I started reading I could hardly put it down. Each character is well done and believable. It has fun moments, truly devastating moments and overall never gets boring. My only complaint is that the ending is a bit far-fetched and fairy talish. But in all, this is an interesting book throughout.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Curtis Lowton

    I will always have a warm spot in my heart for author Susin Nielsen, because her Governor-General Award-winning The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is one of my favorite YA novels ever. I was less enamoured by No Fixed Address, which comes off as a bit After-School Special/t0day's-topic-is-homelessness. I will grant kudos to Nielsen for creating the imperfect character of Astrid, the flakey mother who seems ill-equipped to deal with Life (and especially parenting); and Winnie, the Tracy Fli I will always have a warm spot in my heart for author Susin Nielsen, because her Governor-General Award-winning The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is one of my favorite YA novels ever. I was less enamoured by No Fixed Address, which comes off as a bit After-School Special/t0day's-topic-is-homelessness. I will grant kudos to Nielsen for creating the imperfect character of Astrid, the flakey mother who seems ill-equipped to deal with Life (and especially parenting); and Winnie, the Tracy Flick-ish over-achiever who provides some of the book's few goofy (if implausible) moments.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Fitzgerald

    I won this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. Really good read that provided some food for thought. How many people do we pass everyday, in stores or on buses, that are truly homeless but that find ways to cover it up? I think I will look at people a bit differently for a while after reading this, wondering...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    I had planned to start reading this book yesterday since I had just finished a very long book the night before and thought I should take a little bit of time off before starting a new one. Well, that didn't happen. Two hours after I finished that book and had gone to bed, I was still wide awake at 12:30 am and knew that sleep was just not going to come. So on came the lights, and off the bookshelf came this wonderful gem of a book. Oh, did I love it. So much that I refused to put it down even wh I had planned to start reading this book yesterday since I had just finished a very long book the night before and thought I should take a little bit of time off before starting a new one. Well, that didn't happen. Two hours after I finished that book and had gone to bed, I was still wide awake at 12:30 am and knew that sleep was just not going to come. So on came the lights, and off the bookshelf came this wonderful gem of a book. Oh, did I love it. So much that I refused to put it down even when my eyes got a bit droopy. I ended up staying awake and finishing it at 3:30 am. And I'm awfully glad I did. Susin Nielsen really is one of my favorite middle grade authors. I haven't stopped gushing over Word Nerd or We Are All Made of Molecules to people ever since I read them. Now I can add this book to that list. I loved how 12 year old Felix took care of his mom Astrid. At times he seemed more like the parent and she the child. Astrid wasn't very good at keeping a job. Her temper and her mouth got her fired a lot. I loved how Felix kept a detailed list of all the things, including prices, that she stole from businesses so he could pay them back one day as soon as he had the money. You could tell that Felix's mom loved him fiercely, but some of the choices she made were not always smart, or legal. Like I said, he seemed more like the parent, and I loved him for it. He tried to make the best of the situation they were in when his mom lost yet another job and then their apartment and they ended up moving into Astrid's ex-boyfriend's VW Westfalia van, and became like so many others, the unseen homeless. I could totally relate. I owned a VW Westfalia van for years, and at different times when things were hard and the money wasn't there, I lived for a time in that van with my dog. It got me through some difficult times. I enjoyed the friendships that Felix had with his best friend Dylan and new friend, the very opinionated and bossy Winnie, who despite those qualities, turned out to be a very loyal friend just like Dylan, and was always there for him. This story got to me emotionally and found a place in my heart. It also focused a light on homelessness in Canada as well as here in the United States. Maybe this story will open up some people's eyes to what they go through every day. There are many individuals are out there working and doing their best for their families, but are still always one or two paychecks away from being homeless.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Steven R. McEvoy

    I became interested in this book because of a shout put by Arthur Slade. He spoke so highly about it, I knew I had to give it a read. Being completely honest I had not encountered any of Susin Neilsen's works before giving this one a read, even in my years as a bookseller. As an introduction to her works this book was an incredible read. Once I started reading I could hardly put it down. This book is moving. It does an amazing job of capturing living with someone with mental health issues, and e I became interested in this book because of a shout put by Arthur Slade. He spoke so highly about it, I knew I had to give it a read. Being completely honest I had not encountered any of Susin Neilsen's works before giving this one a read, even in my years as a bookseller. As an introduction to her works this book was an incredible read. Once I started reading I could hardly put it down. This book is moving. It does an amazing job of capturing living with someone with mental health issues, and either being close to or living on the street. This is the story of Felix Knuttson, a twelve year old boy with great skill at trivia. His other skill is covering for his mother. For the longest time it has just been him and his mom. His father has returned to the art scene in Toronto after realizing that he preferred men. His mother is an artist who has had some success, and a lot of failures. She seems to be able to land jobs but had a hard time keeping them. And she has proven to have a hard time at keeping a place for them. And that is where we begin with this novel. Felix and his mother have been living in a van. They have moved it around. Felix is trying to hold it together at school and help keep his mother together. What starts as a few weeks in a van stretches, and stretches, from a summer novelty, to school returning, and fall turning to winter. Felix has a chance to compete on a national quiz show. The weekly episodes are pre-filmed, but the finale is aired live. Some secrets are just too hard to keep in. Many years ago, I was in a place where each month I wondered if I would have a roof over my head at the end of the month. I cannot imagine being in that place and being a youth looking after a parent. But I know that it happens. This book does an incredible job of capturing that. In university and after I lived with a few friends who have struggled with mental health. Watching them spiral down and not being able to do anything is a terrible feeling. Nielsen has captured that feeling perfectly. This novel is written for a Middle Grade or Young Adult audience, but I am sure it will transcend those genres. But by combining the underlying themes of split families, depression, mental health, and homelessness it touches on so many issues in contemporary society. This is an amazing read that will help you look at the world a little differently. Read the review on my blog Book Reviews and More.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ♥ Kayleigh Kehoe ⚜ (Awkword Reviews)✍

    "But now I'm learning to have faith in something new. Something my mom stopped having faith in a long time ago. Other people." I cannot tell you HOW MUCH I loved this book. It was simple, informative, and intensely entertaining. Felix and his mother's plight was heart wrenching as bad luck crashes over them again and again. Felix is like a child version of Sherlock Holmes, but instead of the art of deduction, the practise is points of observation, and instead of figuring out whodunnit, Felix ba "But now I'm learning to have faith in something new. Something my mom stopped having faith in a long time ago. Other people." I cannot tell you HOW MUCH I loved this book. It was simple, informative, and intensely entertaining. Felix and his mother's plight was heart wrenching as bad luck crashes over them again and again. Felix is like a child version of Sherlock Holmes, but instead of the art of deduction, the practise is points of observation, and instead of figuring out whodunnit, Felix battles homelessness. To turn the tide on his luck, Felix decides to enter a quiz show which could win him £25,000; enough to solve all his and his mum's problems. With the help of his inquisitive friends, Dylan and Winnie Wu, Felix is in good hands, maybe good enough hands to win the quiz show entirely? Dylan and Winnie Wu are like a muggle version of Ron and Hermione from HP, I loved them for this and for their own tenacities and merit. Every character in this book is relatable, and I couldn't help but pursue their happiness as though it were my own. Thank you to Net Galley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. --------------------------------------- wordpress ♡ tumblr ♡ bookstagram ♡ twitter ♡ ---------------------------------------

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    By pure happenstance of library availability, I read Just Under the Clouds and No Fixed Address back-to-back. Although both books cover the topic of homelessness, feature protagonists of similar age, and are considered middle-grade (I'll get back to that point), they are vastly different stories. Address confronts the issue; Clouds obfuscates. Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom introduced me to Susin Nielsen's sharp, quirky characters and witty narrative voice. There is no exception with F By pure happenstance of library availability, I read Just Under the Clouds and No Fixed Address back-to-back. Although both books cover the topic of homelessness, feature protagonists of similar age, and are considered middle-grade (I'll get back to that point), they are vastly different stories. Address confronts the issue; Clouds obfuscates. Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom introduced me to Susin Nielsen's sharp, quirky characters and witty narrative voice. There is no exception with Felix and Co. in her newest novel. Yet I am most impressed with the creation of his mom, Astrid--her pride, her depression, her history, all thoughtfully motivated. In a way, she is the antagonist, and she is still vulnerable. Also thoughtfully crafted was the label Felix and Astrid gain: "hidden homeless." Those with intermittent roofs over their head, with no real address. From personal experience, I can attest to the desperation and shame that comes with such displacement. No one decides to one day walk away from a home; it's stripped from them gradually, due to loss of work or sudden medical bills, or other dire, often unforeseen circumstances. Nielsen didn't shy from including the bleak details of homeless living, but retained humor and heart throughout. My only real quibble was discussion of drug use and other mature topics--fine in YA, but not middle grade. Otherwise I was happy to go with the far-fetched game show plot because the rest was so well developed.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dawna Richardson

    I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The book is due to be published on September 11, 2018 and I am going to make sure I have a hard copy in hand as soon after it’s released as possible. I loved this book!!! Well, I cried over this book and I laughed at other parts. It is a story that is played out in one form or another far too often in our country, and in others. Through no—or little—fault of their own, twelve year old Felix and his mom Astrid find t I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The book is due to be published on September 11, 2018 and I am going to make sure I have a hard copy in hand as soon after it’s released as possible. I loved this book!!! Well, I cried over this book and I laughed at other parts. It is a story that is played out in one form or another far too often in our country, and in others. Through no—or little—fault of their own, twelve year old Felix and his mom Astrid find themselves living in a ‘borrowed’ van. In Felix’s eyes, this does not make them homeless. What he misses most is a bathroom to call his own! He still manages to reconnect with an old friend and make a new one in a later immersion French program at a local school. He is very smart and applies to be on the junior edition of a popular quiz program. This is a goal he sticks to with an astonishing tenaciousness, despite coming across more obstacles than come be dealt with. Always in the background is the threat of the MCFD (Ministry of Children and Family Development), Felix’s ‘monster under the bed’ that threatened to pull the little family apart—and also make it impossible for him to share his story with others. With all of this struggle, Felix is a genuinely compassionate person, who usually looks out for others more than himself. The book is described as for a middle school aged audience. However, the story is much broader. Like the best writing for this age group, there is plenty in the story for adults as well. Read it. You will not be sorry you did!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tamsin Winter

    Nielson writes about the important subjects of hidden homelessness, depression and poverty in a powerfully authentic and funny way. I adored Felix. His wit, kindness, humour and nerdiness are utterly charming, and the loyalty he has for his mother is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. A truly important story about hidden homelessness, beautifully told. I absolutely loved this novel.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vikki VanSickle

    Another fab middle grade story from Susin Nielsen. A thoughtful examination of homelessness and family dynamics, with plenty of great characters, one-liners, and hope.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    ALL THE STARS for this absolutely amazing book by Canadian author @susinnielsen. Many thanks to the @kidlitexchange network and @randomhousekids for this ARC (#partner); all opinions are my own. ~*~*~*~*~* Felix is almost thirteen, loves a game show called Who, What, Where, When and has a loving, but eccentric mom, Astrid. Oh, and they're homeless. They live in a (stolen) van. Felix can't tell anyone about his situation -- not his best friends Dylan and Winnie and not his teachers. As his situati ALL THE STARS for this absolutely amazing book by Canadian author @susinnielsen. Many thanks to the @kidlitexchange network and @randomhousekids for this ARC (#partner); all opinions are my own. ~*~*~*~*~* Felix is almost thirteen, loves a game show called Who, What, Where, When and has a loving, but eccentric mom, Astrid. Oh, and they're homeless. They live in a (stolen) van. Felix can't tell anyone about his situation -- not his best friends Dylan and Winnie and not his teachers. As his situation gets worse (hello, winter in Canada...), the situation becomes truly untenable. Then Felix gets a chance to be on his favorite game show and he's determined to win the cash prize to help turn their situation around. ~*~*~*~*~* I am a HUGE fan of @susinnielsen -- if you haven't read any of her books, go get all of them right now. I have We are Made of Molecules and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen in my library; Optimists Die First is awesome, too, but more appropriate for high school. I have a new favorite Susin Nielsen book, though. NO FIXED ADDRESS is an incredible read that really has it all: a tricky home situation, dedicated friends, and a main character you're sure to love. The first person narrative is perfect for a book like this; being privy to Felix's thoughts about his situation only increases the book's appeal. This is a "read it in a day" kind of book and actually helped break a teeny reading slump I was experiencing last week. I recommend this for grades 8+. There are some mature themes addressed, particularly involving Astrid. This book isn't out until September, but put it on your fall order list now! -- Laura Gardner, NBCT, MLIS Teacher Librarian and NJHS Adviser Dartmouth Middle School Dartmouth, MA lauragardner@dartmouthschools.org Follow the DMS library! Twitter Facebook Instagram Dartmouth Public Schools Confidentiality Notice: This electronic transmission is for the intended recipient only and may contain information that is privileged, confidential, or otherwise protected from disclosure. Any review, publication, dissemination, or use of this transmission or any of its contents by persons other than the intended recipient is strictly prohibited. If you receive this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately upon receipt and delete or destroy the communication and its attachments. Dartmouth Public Schools Confidentiality Notice: This electronic transmission is for the intended recipient only and may contain information that is privileged, confidential, or otherwise protected from disclosure. Any review, publication, dissemination, or use of this transmission or any of its contents by persons other than the intended recipient is strictly prohibited. If you receive this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately upon receipt and delete or destroy the communication and its attachments. Thank you for your cooperation.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Thank you @kidlitexchange for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. No Fixed Address is now available to purchase or request from your local library. Felix and his mom, Astrid, are definitely having a hard time. After a few failed living arrangements and the fact that Astrid struggles to keep a steady job, the two find themselves moving into a stolen Volkswagen Westfalia van. For four month, they do what they can to scrap by and carry on with their life. Felix is enrolled in Fre Thank you @kidlitexchange for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. No Fixed Address is now available to purchase or request from your local library. Felix and his mom, Astrid, are definitely having a hard time. After a few failed living arrangements and the fact that Astrid struggles to keep a steady job, the two find themselves moving into a stolen Volkswagen Westfalia van. For four month, they do what they can to scrap by and carry on with their life. Felix is enrolled in French Immersion School and finds ways to hide his rough situation from his friends. He’s super excited when he’s selected to participate on a well know trivia type game show. If he wins, the cash prize could be just what they need to get back on their feet and rent a steady apartment. This is the second book I’ve read recently about a parent / child living in a vehicle. Both were completely different and equally captivating. This is a young adult book so it does contain a few more mature topics and innuendos making it feel more realistic. Felix is such a fantastic character. I loved his voice, his determination in a very difficult situation and the compassion that he learned from his experience. As a mom, I got frustrated with quite a few of Astrid’s choices and actions. Her character was definitely an important part of the story and was a great way to talk about pride and depression. What I enjoyed most about this book was Nielsen’s storytelling. She clearly has a gift for tackling a delicate topic and making it entertaining yet completely heartbreaking. I adored Winnie and Dylan. They were the epitome of true friendship and reminded me very much of Ron and Hermione. I also loved the wonderful lessons and sense of community who rallies for support. Overall this is a wonderful example of realistic fiction. It will hopefully cause any reader to reflect on the topics and would be a marvelous selection for any group discussion.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    I picked up a proof copy at the NYA Literary Festival. I really enjoyed this book. The story follows Felix and his mother Astrid. Astrid struggles to keep a job and as a result, she and Felix end up living in a van. Felix finds it difficult to keep this a secret from his friends and enters a TV game show in the hope that he will be able to help his family if he wins. I thought that this book dealt with some very important topics including homelessness, mental health, and friendship. I also liked I picked up a proof copy at the NYA Literary Festival. I really enjoyed this book. The story follows Felix and his mother Astrid. Astrid struggles to keep a job and as a result, she and Felix end up living in a van. Felix finds it difficult to keep this a secret from his friends and enters a TV game show in the hope that he will be able to help his family if he wins. I thought that this book dealt with some very important topics including homelessness, mental health, and friendship. I also liked the relationship between Felix and his mother. The relationship was portrayed in a very realistic way. At the start of the novel we see Felix trying to excuse his mother's behavior in certain and we start to see him learn that his mother is not perfect. I thought this was very realistic as this happens at some point when a child is growing up as they realise that their parents are human too and make mistakes. I think the story also highlighted the struggles of not having a permanent home. This is, unfortunately, something that an increasing number of people face and I think it is important that people read about it as it makes you much more thankful for the things you have. When selecting YA contemporaries I look for something that covers an important topic and doesn't focus on romance. I was really pleased that there wasn't a romance element to this story as I feel too many stories try to include this. Whilst the subject matter is quite serious the author does include some more humorous moments. I particuarly liked the game show element and also Felix's relationship with his friends. Overall I really enjoyed this and I would recommend picking it up when it is released later this year.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Felix has finally arrived at the school of his dreams. With a great French immersion program, his mother’s lies and their home on wheels, Felix can now take advantage of this opportunity. Reconnecting with Dylan, a previous great friend who now attends the school, the two boys are quite the team. An opportunity to join the school newspaper has the boys joining up with Winnie, to add some French to the tabloid. Winnie’s serious mannerism changes slowly as she spends more time with the boys. I like Felix has finally arrived at the school of his dreams. With a great French immersion program, his mother’s lies and their home on wheels, Felix can now take advantage of this opportunity. Reconnecting with Dylan, a previous great friend who now attends the school, the two boys are quite the team. An opportunity to join the school newspaper has the boys joining up with Winnie, to add some French to the tabloid. Winnie’s serious mannerism changes slowly as she spends more time with the boys. I liked the friendship the three of them created and how they supported each other. Besides working on the newspaper together, they also helped each other study for the new game show which has some great prizes. Living in the van with his mother was supposed to be a temporary solution but the days are stretching into months. As housing solutions become available, they quickly fall away and frustration settles in. I can feel the embarrassment and the frustration as Felix’s “house” is moved from street to street and as he secretly, washes up in public places. Felix went through a host of emotions as he dealt with his homelessness. Trying to live a normal life as much as possible, Felix did an excellent job navigating his way. I really enjoyed this novel. Addressing homelessness, depression, family and friends, this novel covers a variety of subject matters. I enjoyed the layers and rules of the lies that Felix’s mom created.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    With echoes of Slumdog Millionaire, this is a heartwarming story that looks at an increasing problem in modern times. Felix and his mother are having an adventure, she says. Having been asked to leave their apartment, they are going to live in a van. That is not an adventure, it’s desperate. Astrid, Felix’s mother, makes him promise not to let anyone know their circumstances. Astrid has some mental health issues. She irritated me at times because her behaviour was so selfish. She didn’t seem to co With echoes of Slumdog Millionaire, this is a heartwarming story that looks at an increasing problem in modern times. Felix and his mother are having an adventure, she says. Having been asked to leave their apartment, they are going to live in a van. That is not an adventure, it’s desperate. Astrid, Felix’s mother, makes him promise not to let anyone know their circumstances. Astrid has some mental health issues. She irritated me at times because her behaviour was so selfish. She didn’t seem to consider the impact her choices were having on Felix at all. Perhaps this seemed the case because we see everything through Felix’s eyes, but it rankled. That may sound harsh but not ever really seeing her thoughts meant it was hard to tell how much of their situation was caused by Astrid’s state of mind. We know that rising living costs and many other factors can leave someone in a precarious situation. There was no sense of judgment here, and there were some genuinely lovely characters within the book who you just wish could be bottled. The details of Felix’s life in the van are told with grim humour but this did mean we focus on the character rather than simply honing in on his living circumstances. Ultimately I was cross by how many people guessed at there being a problem but who did nothing. While we act like this, little can change. Thank you NetGalley for granting me access to this before publication in October.

  29. 4 out of 5

    LeeAnne

    Wow. Finishing this book in a day has left me a little breathless. First, I love the voice of the main character, Felix; it is fabulous. I loved the way the book began, with him being “interrogated” in the police station. As the first chapter wraps up, Felix agrees to tell his story to Constable Lee. From there, we go back in time to August, with a few side-tracks that help the story along and provide some background and some humor. Felix has to explain their last few housing arrangements, and t Wow. Finishing this book in a day has left me a little breathless. First, I love the voice of the main character, Felix; it is fabulous. I loved the way the book began, with him being “interrogated” in the police station. As the first chapter wraps up, Felix agrees to tell his story to Constable Lee. From there, we go back in time to August, with a few side-tracks that help the story along and provide some background and some humor. Felix has to explain their last few housing arrangements, and the degrees of lies that are told - from “The Invisible Lie” to “Someone is Going to Lose An Eye Lie.” All of which his mother, Astrid, tells from time to time. Felix brings us back to the present with about 50 pages left so that we are able to see how his story continues from the police station. Many issues are tackled in this book where Felix and his mom, a hippie type, have fallen on hard times and end up living in a van. Homelessness, drug addiction, abuse, LGBT community, stealing, pride, and reaching out for help are all tackled in this book - none standing out, none gratuitously thrown in; all are weaved perfectly in the story. This would be a good one for the Lone Star List.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    Adorable middle grade book that deals with homelessness, mental health, friendship, and how society deals with these issues. Felix aged 12 and 3/4, lives with his mother Astrid. After Astrid loses her job and they lose their home, they find themselves "between places". Felix misses having a bathroom (among other things), but Astrid assures him it's only temporary, an adventure, she'll find a job, they'll get a home soon. Felix loves Astrid, but as the book progresses we learn more about their rel Adorable middle grade book that deals with homelessness, mental health, friendship, and how society deals with these issues. Felix aged 12 and 3/4, lives with his mother Astrid. After Astrid loses her job and they lose their home, they find themselves "between places". Felix misses having a bathroom (among other things), but Astrid assures him it's only temporary, an adventure, she'll find a job, they'll get a home soon. Felix loves Astrid, but as the book progresses we learn more about their relationship and Felix tells us more about her lies (there's a scale) and her Slumps (and the medication she needs). When he returns to school Felix reconnects with an old friend and makes a new one, but has to make excuses when it comes to dropping him home or visiting. Astrid rejects Felix's ideas to seek help due to her own bad childhood experiences with the MCFD (Ministry of Children and Family Development) and you feel for them both, particularly Felix when it comes to hygiene and hunger. Felix is sweet and compassionate, protecting his mother even when it costs him. Moving, thought provoking, and suitable for everyone.

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