Friday, 24 January 2014

Crash by Lesley Choyce

     Cameron is having a bad day . He wakes up to hear his mom and dad are splitting up, and his dad is moving to a new town. Now, Cameron is expected to move in with his mom's new boyfriend Nick. Cameron doesn't like Nick, and he knows his mom doesn't really want him to live with her.  He thinks, "She would have her little love nest with Nick, and I'd be out of the way." So, Cameron refuses to leave home. He decides to stay with his dog Ozzie, but life becomes too difficult. He can't afford food or the rent, so he is forced to live on the streets. Luckily, he meets a street girl called Mackenzie, she's not too willing to talk about herself, but she is willing to show him "the ropes" on the streets, and as Cameron learns about street life, so do we.
     Street life is dangerous, scary, and desperate. People don't really "see" you, and panhandling for money is degrading and humiliating. It's no longer the simple question of asking mom, "What's for supper?" Now, you not only have to figure out what you're going to eat, but how far you're willing to go to get it. In addition, you have to decide where you're going to sleep at night, and each choice, possibly an alley, an abandoned building, or a shelter, carries its own risks. As a young person on the street, you are vulnerable and exposed. You are no longer seen as a human being, but as a problem or, at the very least, an annoyance.
     I think you will enjoy getting to know Cameron and Mackenzie as they try to survive together on the street, and you may wonder: Is school even possible when they don't know where their next meal is coming from? Will they be able to stay together? How do you take care of a dog when you're homeless? Will Cameron make up with his mom, and what is the real reason the mysterious, and secretive Mackenzie is living on the street?
     Final Thoughts:  I think Crash will make you think. Think more about how you treat the homeless people in your city, and what you can do to help.

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