Review of Clean Getaway

Clean Getaway
by Nic Stone; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile
Intermediate    Crown    229 pp.
1/20    978-1-9848-9297-3    $16.99
Library ed.  978-1-9848-9298-0    $19.99
e-book ed.  978-1-9848-9299-7    $9.99

When G’ma asks Scoob to go on “a little adventure” during spring break, he doesn’t hesitate to say yes (especially since he’s been grounded for fighting at school). Once inside her “sweet ride” — the new RV she bought after selling her house — Scoob isn’t so sure he made the right choice. First, there are the people on the road who look at them funny because he is Black and she is white. Then there’s G’ma’s treasure box, which contains old maps, postcards, newspaper clippings, and a copy of Travelers’ Green Book: For Vacation Without Aggravation, 1963. Next, Scoob catches his grandmother changing license plates and refusing to answer Dad’s calls. Finally, there’s G’ma talking in her sleep about “fixing it.” But what is “it”? Scoob isn’t so sure he knows who his grandmother is anymore. Young readers will enjoy the mystery and suspense created by G’ma’s unusual behavior and the family secrets that are revealed. Occasional maps and illustrations appear throughout, highlighting important moments in each chapter. This middle-grade debut by Stone (Dear Martin, rev. 11/17; Jackpot, rev. 11/19) is an entertaining and unexpected intergenerational caper.

From the May/June 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Nicholl Denice Montgomery

Nicholl Denice Montgomery is currently working on a PhD at Boston College in the curriculum and instruction department. Previously, she worked as an English teacher with Boston Public Schools.

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