Book review by Keyaan, age 12
Twelve-year-old Felix lives in a caravan. He and his mum, Astrid, were made homeless after Felix’ grandmother died. It was sad to read that Astrid was unable to keep a job because of her depression. When Felix attended school, he had to come in early so he could wash himself. This was because he did not want anyone to know he was homeless. Felix was forced to keep this a secret by Astrid as they feared that they would be separated and Felix would go into care. Felix does not like lying to his friends, Winnie and Dylan, but he was believed to think that social services were bad. Felix enjoys the TV game show “Who, what, where, when”. He decided to go on the junior edition of this show and you’ll be surprised to read what happened.
Felix’ story really made me think about always being grateful for what I have. Often, families find themselves homeless; Felix’ story educated me that homelessness is not only about sleeping on the streets. The message in this book also taught me not to be judgemental as you never know how bad someone’s situation might be. Be kind - because you never what battles people are fighting behind closed doors. Reading this book, I was able to empathise with Felix’ position. I also liked how Felix did not give up and his eagerness and perseverance made me think that I should always try harder even when things feel impossible.
One thing that I didn’t like was the way the author made it seem that it’s easy to become poor and or be living in poverty in a large Canadian city. Especially when there are lots of services to help families like Felix'.
This book was a wonderful read, it made me sad, but also made me smile as Nielson used humour as well. I loved the fact that Felix was only 12 years old and lived with his mother who was a single parent and I could see his struggles and determination which made me want to keep reading. I also liked how the book showed multiculturalism within our world.
Nielson was able to make Felix’s character alive and very much a real person.
I would absolutely recommend this book to people of all ages who will be able to really engage in it. This story is an eye-opener and it will educate people that there is more to homelessness. This book gives the reader a message about people being in difficult situations and that we may not have the same things but should be there for one and other.