Friday, January 8, 2010
Jump the Cracks
young adult realistic fiction
Woodbury, Minn. : Flux, 2008
15-year-old Victoria sees a young mother mistreating her toddler while riding the train into New York City. When she notices the mother leaving the train alone Victoria finds the little boy in the train bathroom. Outraged, she takes the little boy and plans to tell the situation to her father so they can get help for him. Her plan goes awry when her father isn't their to meet her train as promised. As she sees the mother accompanied by a huge, mean-looking man (the boy's father?) coming towards them, she takes the little boy back on the train. Before she can get off again it starts to move and they end up in Newark, New Jersey. Now accused of kidnapping little William, Victoria can't get anyone to listen to her side of the story. She is forced to keep running to stay out of trouble and to keep the adorable little guy out of the nasty hands that want him. Throughout this crisis, Victoria reflects upon her own family life which she thought was so terrible. She realziaes some similarities between hers and Wills' situation, but also major differences. Whatever happens, she doesn't want this sweet little boy to fall between the cracks.
This first novel by Stacy DeKeyser, is a bit sad, yet realistic. There are lots of children who fall through the cracks of the system, constantly being put back with parents or other caregivers who don't treat them right. Victoria decided to take a stand and deal with the consequences later. She seemed a believable character who acted on her feelings and genuinely cared for this little boy.