PARKED, by Danielle Svetcov , Dial Books, Feb. 4, 2020, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 10-14)
I wasn’t initially sure how I’d feel about Danielle Svetcov’s Parked, but wow, was I captivated.
Parked is the story of two intersecting characters.
Jeanne Ann spends her life in between the covers of books. When not at school, Jeanne Ann is at the library, which is more of a home than her actual home. That all changes when her chef mom packs them up and moves them across the country. Now, Jeanne Ann finds herself living inside an orange van on the streets of San Francisco.
Cal is an artist. But like many artists, he’s misunderstood. When he gets in trouble for a statement piece of artwork, his mom decides he needs some “adjustments.” When Jeanne Ann’s van parks across the street from his humongous street, Cal decides he’s just the person to save her.
As the two form an unlikely friendship, a bunch of eccentric characters simultaneously thwart and raise them up.
Parked is told through alternating chapters, each in first person. By doing this, author Danielle Svetcov adds a personal touch that wouldn’t be there if told a different way. You are transported into Jeanne Ann and Cal’s worlds, discovering their true selves and not what the world sees.
Parked is honest, raw and uplifting. At 400 pages, it’s a longer middle grade novel that’s more suited to older, more mature middle readers and young adults. That said, the book just flows. I did not want to put it down, and continued to think about it for days after completion.
There’s a tendency in this country to think about the homeless crisis as an adult laziness issue. But it’s actually a family issue. And it’s definitely not as clear-cut as people would like to believe it. Parked takes a lot of those misconceptions and gives real problems a very real voice.
Parked comes out Feb. 4 in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook formats.
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