No Fixed Address
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.

No Fixed Address Details

TitleNo Fixed Address
Author
ReleaseSep 11th, 2018
PublisherTundra Books (NY)
ISBN-139780735262751
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Social Issues, Poverty, Fiction

No Fixed Address Review

  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    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’
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  • Mel (Epic Reading)
    January 1, 1970
    There are difficult topics and there are ones where socially we like to pretend they don't exist. Susin Nielsen has brought a hard topic, children who are homeless, to the forefront. Set in Vancouver, the homeless capital of Canada due to it's temperate weather, No Fixed Address is a moving and tear jerking story. I'm not a crier, and I tend to dislike books that are written to intentionally make readers cry (John Green and I are not friends). The difference here is that I wasn't crying by the e There are difficult topics and there are ones where socially we like to pretend they don't exist. Susin Nielsen has brought a hard topic, children who are homeless, to the forefront. Set in Vancouver, the homeless capital of Canada due to it's temperate weather, No Fixed Address is a moving and tear jerking story. I'm not a crier, and I tend to dislike books that are written to intentionally make readers cry (John Green and I are not friends). The difference here is that I wasn't crying by the end because of the story per say. I had tears thinking about any child being homeless at any given moment. Especially in my own home country of Canada. Canada is not perfectI try to read at least 15% Canadian authors in any given year. And I was pleased to see that Nielsen is Canadian. However, Nielsen has reminded me in No Fixed Address that Canada has many flaws that need to be worked on. Just being a first world, relatively nice and supportive member of the world does not make us better or without our struggles. We still have homelessness here; and it's no more acute than in Vancouver (where both my siblings happen to live). Between it's warm weather, it's close proximity to the USA border, and housing prices that are out of reach for households that make $100,000 a year; Vancouver is a very difficult place to have a warm, safe place to sleep in. It's the perfect setting for this story and Nielsen uses areas of Vancouver that are familiar and accurately depicts the city and it's residents. In 2017 it was reported that 35% of the homeless population in Vancouver never used drugs or abused alcohol. A stark difference from the stereotypes often given to this population. Still Playful at TimesThere are super cute illustrations at the front of the chapters that give a sense that while this is a heavy topic that these are still kids who just want to play outdoors and have fun. All of our child characters are well developed and significantly different. I liked how Nielsen showed that doctors might live in a condo in Vancouver (because housing prices are crazy!) and that other families might be in a small townhouse and all live in different areas of Vancouver. Because the school that our lead boy ends up at is 'coveted' there is a wonderful diversity to it. Just like most of Canada. Anxiety, Smells, and CopingNo Fixed Address does a beautiful (yet tragic) job of focusing on the homelessness. There's no 'extra' trauma or issues to be resolved here; because there doesn't need to be. This is something that bugs me in a lot of teen books lately; they always have a focus issue and then some trauma to go with it. Nielsen does a great job of ensuring the homelessness is the focus and is never lost in any of the other teenage issues that come up. She ensures you know that smelling badly because you have no shower (or washroom of any sort!), nowhere to take your friends to after school, and starving many days is more than enough for one kid to deal with. it Our lead boy shows extreme anxiety alongside some typical coping mechanisms throughout the book. He hiccups when too stressed or anxious, he counts or recites lists when he needs stability in his mind (this is exactly like many children that count steps or stairs; they do this because the counts never change and it makes them feel stable), and he is ashamed to tell anyone. In some ways the shame of being homeless is the hardest for our lead boy to accept. Top that off with a Mother that steals, cheats and lies; all the while somehow pretending her son is not aware? Our lead boy starts to gain some confidence throughout the story and call his Mother out for her bad behaviour. Those were some of the best (and saddest) moments of the story as you saw a 13-year-old tell an adult how childish and awful they were being. Support SystemsGiven the Canadian setting, in a large city, and that our lead boy attends school; I felt the outcome(s) of No Fixed Address fit would what likely happen in real life. Eventually people start to ask questions, including the other children, and then adults start noticing. This is the slow progression that happens in schools and communities when the bubble the parent thinks they have put their child in starts to deflate. Our lead boy also starts to realize that maybe he doesn't have to live this way. This is, of course, a turning point in the story. I love how Nielsen portrays the system for support as being both good; but with it's flaws. This could not be a truer representation of how it goes. Some kids get into the system and do well; others don't. And some only ever see the edges of it. I won't tell you how it plays out here; except to say that I was content with the ending and that the refugee couple who are 'involved' a few times during our lead boys struggles were my absolute favourite people in the story. Just like in real life, those with the littlest to give are always the most generous. OverallI hope a copy of this book makes it to every single library (school or public) in Canada. It's truly a great story. Easy to read, fast paced and so genuine. Nielsen has shed light into how trapped children can be by their parents poor decisions and how easy it is to justify those bad decisions for the kids affected. I can't help but feel despair in how to help those who find themselves out on the streets. Especially when I know my brother was paying $1400+ for a one-bedroom, 450 sq. ft. apartment in downtown Vancouver just last year. That is at least one pay cheque (or more) for the average income earner. When more than 50% of your income goes to housing (and nothing else) where do you find the money for clothes, toiletries, food and other necessities? This is certainly not a question I can answer or an issue I can solve. However, I can only hope that others will read No Fixed Address and understand that many of these people are NOT drug users and have just been unlucky or have a mental health issue that brings them down. The one of the most poignant moments in the book is when the lead boy asks his mom where her "pills" are (used for depression as far as we can tell) and she tells him it was prescriptions or food this month. What a horrible decision to have to make. The light and hope that peeks through in Nielsen's novel is just as important as the tough subject matter. A reminder that people should ask for help. That the despair, shame and fear they feel are all valid; but regardless the best thing to do is to ask for assistance. Especially when the quality of life and even survival of a child is on the line. To read this and more of my reviews visit my blog at Epic ReadingPlease note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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  • Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
    January 1, 1970
    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!!!!)
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  • ❤️ Book Diva ❤️
    January 1, 1970
    Very light and fast read but did enjoy it.
  • Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
    January 1, 1970
    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!!!!)
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Netgalley.comFelix 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.comFelix 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.
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    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
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Colleen
    January 1, 1970
    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!).
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  • Bookish Devil
    January 1, 1970
    'No Fixed Address' is a hard-hitting novel about how Felix and his mom braved all odds to come up in life whilst on the brink of homelessness.🌿Felix Knuttson is a 12-year-old kid with dexterity for trivia. Raised by a single mom, he had to witness and go through stuff which none of us can ever relate to. The only thing that was keeping them from becoming officially homeless was a van which doubled as their 'home'.🌿Despite all the hardships and pain they endured, his mom went great lengths to get 'No Fixed Address' is a hard-hitting novel about how Felix and his mom braved all odds to come up in life whilst on the brink of homelessness.🌿Felix Knuttson is a 12-year-old kid with dexterity for trivia. Raised by a single mom, he had to witness and go through stuff which none of us can ever relate to. The only thing that was keeping them from becoming officially homeless was a van which doubled as their 'home'.🌿Despite all the hardships and pain they endured, his mom went great lengths to get him enrolled in a school by bending the laws.🌿 He struggles hard to keep hold of the lies and every passing day turned to become a dreadful affair for him. Luckily, his trivia skills land him a chance to compete in a national quiz show - the cash prize being $25,000. With nothing to lose, will Felix be able to win the quiz and afford good shelter for him and his mother? The answer to that forms the rest of the plot.🌿No fixed address isn't just a story about Felix and his mother. It's the untold story of the millions of homeless people out there who can barely support their needs. This novel beautifully portrays the everyday life of such people and how hard it is to get by in a fast moving and ignorant world. Reading it made me feel how fortunate I am to be blessed with such a safe and beautiful life. It was such a riveting read and when you reach the end of the novel, you'll be left with a heavy heart. The plight of the homeless people would resonate in your mind for a long time. Despite all the hurdles that came in Felix's life, he had 'Faith'. Not only on himself but also on his close friends. That's my takeaway from the novel.🌿Devil's Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐..Also, read 'The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade'. If you loved this one, you'd love that one too. Both tackle similar issues and stress us the importance of having 'Faith' and 'Hope' in life.
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  • Mwinchester97
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Lyra
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Vikki VanSickle
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Julie Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    Sooo many good things about this story! It's semi-realistic in that it displays how easy it is to lose it all and how hard it is to get started again when you are dealing with mental health issues, hide it, and refuse to get any help. I'm sure that many can relate to this problem, and many children are the victims of it and can relate to this aspect of Felix's life. Many kids are NOT homeless but will recognize the destructive attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and priorities of Astrid in their own Sooo many good things about this story! It's semi-realistic in that it displays how easy it is to lose it all and how hard it is to get started again when you are dealing with mental health issues, hide it, and refuse to get any help. I'm sure that many can relate to this problem, and many children are the victims of it and can relate to this aspect of Felix's life. Many kids are NOT homeless but will recognize the destructive attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and priorities of Astrid in their own parents (unfortunately). The very nature of depression defeats the ability to get help most of the time, so when everyone keeps it a secret, how is the depressed person supposed to do what it takes to make change on their own? This novel shows this vicious pattern, and things get increasingly worse the more the child protects his mother from any corrective measures to deal with what turns into neglectful parenting. The hero in this story is community. Who doesn't love that? People's ability to empathize and show kindness instead of judgement saves the day making this a feel-good story even though it implies topics like prostitution and using one's body as a means of income and favors and directly dealing with theft and lying (broken down into 5 degrees). Even with all of this, handled in an age-appropriate way, I think, you can chuckle, enjoy, and adore Felix and secondary characters.What I think a tween would get out of this story is the importance of talking/telling/reporting and seeking help. Secrets hurt and keep you from important human and community resources. I think that's a damned important message, and I'm glad I have this in my library. Sadly, I'm seeing teachers and librarians decide to classify this middle school novel as YA because heaven forbid any child see that prostitution and drug addiction actually exist and lead to some awful situations. These issues were handled tastefully, in my opinion, but I do understand people's problems about the actual gloss-over. However, it opens discussion if you read this with your kid. Actually, come to think of it, if a child is too innocent to have been exposed to this stuff yet, they will miss it entirely in this book, and if a child "gets it," they're probably already well aware that such things occur. This book is way too young to be placed in a YA collection, so I am disheartened that it's being censored, sure to never reach it's targeted audience, when it's shelved over there. We NEED to let children see that they are not the only ones with issues, broken homes, bad parents, and secrets that shouldn't be kept. Why not 5 stars? The precociousness/genius of the children. That wasn't fair. Felix's "voice" was endearing, but GOD, THE AUDIOBOOK! The reader sounds like a 7-year-old girl, so it can't be taken seriously as a 12/13-year-old boy. I had to quit and start reading the print. Recommended, in my opinion, for Grades 5-7, Grade 8 at the oldest.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    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?
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  • Pam Page
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book by Susin Nielsen I have read and it will not be the last! This book tackles the topic of homelessness, a parent barely able to take care of herself, and her son who holds it together during really tough times. Felix is a great character...vulnerable, intelligent, and resourceful. But reading from the perspective of a homeless child made me really think about this issue. Great book for a classroom library and a book group because you want to talk after finishing this one!
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  • Colleen
    January 1, 1970
    *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.
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  • Book Hunter
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Stephanie Fitzgerald
    January 1, 1970
    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...
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    I've really enjoyed every book written by this author. She has a sure-handed way with words and knows how to tell a story well while keeping readers' interest. The fact that she often tackles topics not frequently explored in books for young readers adds to her appeal for me. In this book for middle graders, she focuses on the hidden homeless, following 12-year-old Felix Knutsson and his mother Astrid as they spend four months living in a large van on the streets of Vancouver, Canada. The story I've really enjoyed every book written by this author. She has a sure-handed way with words and knows how to tell a story well while keeping readers' interest. The fact that she often tackles topics not frequently explored in books for young readers adds to her appeal for me. In this book for middle graders, she focuses on the hidden homeless, following 12-year-old Felix Knutsson and his mother Astrid as they spend four months living in a large van on the streets of Vancouver, Canada. The story opens after the two of them have been brought to a police office. Felix begins to tell the story of how they ended up in that van, and four hours later, that part of the tale is finished. Along the way, readers will have their hearts broken as bad luck befalls Astrid and Felix. After all, they once lived in a condo, and then through a series of events, Astrid lost various jobs partly through her own inability to be polite to customers. She's also run through boyfriends and her friends, lying, stealing, and cheating them. She even picks up items in stores without paying for them and is prone to depression. Felix is a smart youngster, addicted to watching a game show called "Who, What, Where, When" and playing with his beloved gerbil, Horatio. After their latest move, he reconnects with a previous classmate, Dylan, and finds a new friend in Winnie, someone he's never have thought he might enjoy spending time with. All three youngsters decide to audition for a spot on a juvenile version of the show, but the stakes are higher for Felix than the others since he sees this as a way to finally get off the street for good. There are all sorts of twists and turns in the story and heart-rending passages about the lack of bathroom facilities or places to clean up, and as the weather grows colder, it's clear that this small family's ability to survive is less and less likely by the day. While some might think living in a van might offer some bit of safety from the weather and others, readers will quickly learn that this isn't always the case and come to understand that pride and a fear of trusting the system may prevent anyone who is homeless from seeking help. Felix himself hides the truth from his friends and his teacher, who is aware enough to ask questions and try to help. I was pleased with his persistence. While the ending might be a bit far-fetched, I was willing to forgive that because I loved Felix and this honest depiction of one family's migratory life due to unexpected circumstances so much. The scenes in which Felix goes to great lengths to avoid anyone knowing where he lives and that he has no fixed address are especially poignant. Fans of Barbara O'Connor's How to Steal a Dog may also enjoy this one. It raises many questions and encourages readers to explore some possible solutions while also considering the shame and guilt associated with this particular lifestyle. I won't forget Felix or Astrid anytime soon. Nor should I.
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  • Jan
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Steven R. McEvoy
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • ♥ Kayleigh Kehoe ⚜ (Awkword Reviews)✍
    January 1, 1970
    "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 ♡---------------------------------------
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  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Dawna Richardson
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Tamsin Winter
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Aglet
    January 1, 1970
    With inference from my experience with Susin Nielsen’s The Hanging Girl and With Malice, the very first scene of the first chapter in No Fixed Address told me to get ready for another intense criminal pursuit styled novel, except, this time, involving a nomadic pair of mother and young son. By the time my presumptions were knocked over, I was glad they were because, even in a completely different tone and mood than that of the two of her books I’d read previously, the author’s writing was as eff With inference from my experience with Susin Nielsen’s The Hanging Girl and With Malice, the very first scene of the first chapter in No Fixed Address told me to get ready for another intense criminal pursuit styled novel, except, this time, involving a nomadic pair of mother and young son. By the time my presumptions were knocked over, I was glad they were because, even in a completely different tone and mood than that of the two of her books I’d read previously, the author’s writing was as effective and stylized as ever. Even so, the delight of reading her book maintains, as she develops a dynamic story on the multiplex ties of relationships and selfishness. One element of No Fixed Address that distinguishes it from the two of the author’s previous books is that it provides a subtle commentary on the consequences that may prevail certain aspects of unconventional parenting. The author employs the intriguing character of Astrid to demonstrate how powerful an influence the illusively idealistic and anti-institutional ideas that some parents foists upon their children can have. In this defiance against raising her child in an accustomed and stable environment, Astrid reminded me of, both, the patriarch Ben from the movie Captain Fantastic and the parents in Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle: A Memoir. Both these pieces of work and No Fixed Address capture the ethical dilemma between what a parent considers right and wrong and the obligation to impose it on their children, and the children’s right to believe, think and act otherwise if they wish to. I personally found these topics interesting because there seems to be a trend, almost, amongst parents, encouraging them to develop their own anti-conventional ways of parenting as a means of raising their children to become independent thinkers. Nonetheless, I don’t think it’s the sudden trend for innovative methods of raising children that the novel is focused on, but rather the inevitably disputable situation between parents and children. Children may grow and learn to disagree with their parents’ beliefs, but because their belief systems have nevertheless been shaped similarly to their parents’ and because of the permanent and unconditional relationship of family, it feels so wrong that a child should express that disagreement and to neglect the relationship, no matter how unjust it may seem for the parent to force their opinions and demands on their child. Likewise, No Fixed Address exposes young Felix’s dilemma as he’s obliged against defying and abandoning his mom when faced with the challenges his homeless conditions place in his daily school life and in the relationships with his own friends.The tone and style of writing the author uses to portray these details of Felix’s fleeting thoughts and emotions is, once again, captivating. Her use of internal thoughts, within the protagonist, is strong and effective with scrupulously honest reflections. I was particularly fond of the way dialogue between characters played a big role in the development of the story, because it contributed significantly to the overall happy ending of the novel, as opposed to the uncomfortably ominous endings of some of her other books. Perhaps because the main complexity hid not in the main character Felix’s own weaknesses and fears but his mom’s, the author was able to grant him an opportunity to overcome predicaments and to work towards an improved future. And whilst I enjoyed the unsettling close of curtains witnessed in With Malice and The Hanging Girl, the sense of overwhelming warmth that arrived with the content and fulfilling ending of No Fixed Address was one I deeply appreciated.
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  • Laura Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    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, MLISTeacher Librarian and NJHS AdviserDartmouth Middle School Dartmouth, [email protected] the DMS library!Twitter Facebook InstagramDartmouth 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.
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