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Witty, compassionate and beautifully written.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020
Susin Nielsen’s new novel features unforgettable central characters, and is beautifully written; her ear for dialogue – young teen to teen, young teen to parent, young teen to emergency services – pitch perfect. Despite being a story of homelessness and poverty, it will leave readers cheered and thoroughly reassured about the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Twelve-year old Felix lives with his mother Astrid, only rarely seeing his dad. Astrid has a flexible attitude to truth and Felix has developed a chart to measure the lies she tells as they navigate their lives. These range from ‘the invisible lie’, through the ‘no-one gets hurt’ to the biggest, the ‘someone might lose an eye’ lie. As they struggle to cope living in a (stolen) camper van, Astrid uses her panoply of lies to the full and Felix reluctantly goes along with it, ready to support his mother even when it’s really difficult. Nielsen gives him good friends, and a talent for memorising facts, both of which help to set up a better future for him. Both painful and funny, this is a book that will have readers alternatively shouting at its central characters, and cheering them on.
A Piece of Passion from the Editors, Charlie Sheppard & Chloe Sackur; ‘No Fixed Address is about Felix, a boy whose mum loses her job and moves them into a camper van while they look for a new home. The novel explores the pitfalls of the poverty trap, such as the difficulties in finding a job or new house to rent without already having a home. It is both a heartfelt exploration about the reality of living below the poverty line and a timely wake-up call. The gap between the rich and poor has been growing ever wider in the past decade, leading to an upsurge in the ‘hidden homeless’. We don’t think anyone can read No Fixed Address and not feel angry and moved that young people are the worst affected by job losses and homelessness, with their education, health and development impacted. But what works so well is that Susin Nielsen has taken this important issue and spun it into a hugely enjoyable, funny, involving story about a bright boy who has the potential to change his family’s life.’
Felix Knutsson is nearly thirteen, lives with his mother and pet gerbil Horatio, and is brilliant at memorising facts and trivia. So far, pretty normal. But Felix and his mom Astrid have a secret: they are living in a van. Astrid promises it's only for a while until she finds a new job, and begs Felix not to breathe a word about it. So when Felix starts at a new school, he does his very best to hide the fact that most of his clothes are in storage, he only showers weekly at the community centre, and that he doesn't have enough to eat. When his friends Dylan and Winnie ask to visit, Felix always has an excuse. But Felix has a plan to turn his and Astrid's lives around: he's going to go on his favourite game show Who, What, Where, When and win the cash prize. All he needs is a little luck and a lot of brain power . . . Susin Nielsen deftly combines humour, heartbreak, and hope in this moving story about people who slip through the cracks in society, and about the power of friendship and community to make all the difference.
Beautifully wrought, compassionate and entertaining...A book worth giving a home to -- Nicolette Jones - Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week
Susin Nielsen is fantastic at creating believable teenage voices -- Alex O'Connell - The Times, 'Children's Books of the Year'
Relatable, moving and funny. Susin Nielsen is simply wonderful -- Sarah Crossan Funny, charming and full of heart, this is a really special book. I defy you not to root for Felix Fredrik Knutsson! -- Lisa Williamson A timely, funny and compassionate book with an endearing protagonist. - Sunday Independent Dublin - Best Books of 2018
Susin Nielsen is an amazing writer. No Fixed Address is my book of the year -- Hilary McKay Felix's deeply engrossing and fully immersive first-person narrative of homelessness is both illuminating and heartbreaking - Kirkus, starred review
Readers will be cheering for Felix as he learns to finally let others help him. A well-written work of realism that will be a mirror to some and a window for others. -- starred review - School Library Journal
|Publication date:||20th February 2020|
|Publisher:||Andersen Press Ltd|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 13+ readers|
|Genres:||Family / Home Stories, General Fiction, Personal Social Health Economic|
|Recommendations:||Reviewed by Children|
Susin Nielsen got her start feeding cast and crew on the popular television series, Degrassi Junior High. They hated her food, but they saw a spark in her writing. Nielsen went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit TV show. Since then, Nielsen has written for many Canadian TV series. Nielsen's first two young adult novels, Word Nerd and Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom, received critical acclaim and multiple Young Readers' Choice Awards. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen won the prestigious Governor General's Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association's Children's Book of the Year and ...More About Susin Nielsen