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- ISBN: 045147077X
- ISBN: 9780451470775
342 pages ; 22 cm
- Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin ... Read More
- Copyright: ©2015
Illustrations on lining papers.
After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim ... Read More
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Mental illness Fiction
Mothers and daughters Fiction
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Bus travel Fiction
- School Library Journal Reviews : SLJ Reviews 2015 January
Gr 7 UpâMary Iris Malone, aka Mim, has moved from Cleveland to Mississippi (or Mosquitoland as Mim derisively calls it) with her father and new stepmother, who want her to forget her old life and even her mother. Mim is already struggling, but when she becomes convinced that her stepmother is keeping them apart, the teen steals money and hits the road to Cleveland to save her mother. The journey has bumps along the wayâfrom a bus crash to unsavory characters. There are allies too, including romantic lead Beck and Walt, a homeless young man with Down syndrome. Mim grows on the trip and is forced to confront hard truths. Debut author Arnold's book is filled with some incredible moments of insight. The protagonist is a hard-edged narrator with a distinct voice. There is a lot for teens to admire and even savor-but there are also some deeply problematic elements. There's cultural appropriation: Mim uses lipstick to paint her face to soothe herself, calling it "war paint" and assuring readers that this is fine because she's "part" Cherokee. Walt's characterization veers close to stock, being only an inspiration for Mim. She and Beck have to take Walt to a veterinarian during a medical emergency. They joke that he is "kind of our pet." The revelations about Mim's mother's mental health, and her own mental health, arrive without clear foreshadowing and feel somewhat disjointedâparticularly Mim's ultimate decision about her own medication. Recommended for larger collections, this is a readable, original story with strong writing, but the issues cannot be ignored.âAngie Manfredi, Los Alamos County Library System, NM[Page 105]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.