1. Booklist, April 1 issue, STARRED REVIEW

    Gr. 8-12. Teenage Chloe has gotten a new start. With the help of her grandparents, she has left her violent childhood behind. But when her stepfather and abusive mother reappear, she must start again, this time by going on the run. Accompanied by her grandparents’ pregnant Hispanic maid, Silvia, who is also seeking a new life, Chloe embarks on an adventure through slums and suburbs, revealing that people, places, and experiences aren’t always what they seem. Set in a thoroughly modern context, this inventive, affectionate homage to Mark Twain’s classic about Huck Finn clearly illustrates that prejudice still affects human understanding, behavior, and language. Like Huck’s journey, Chloe’s is both a multilayered story of personal growth and an entertaining, provocative satire that explores society, culture, and humankind’s occasionally ironic notions of freedom and progress. And like Huck, Chloe is awakened to injustice and hypocrisy before she finds hope in human connections and good hearts. Olshan’s creative prose shines in Chloe’s sharp, intimate, funny narrative, which is filled with vivid observations, philosophical musings, and insights into the world and people around her. Teens who have read Twain’s book will appreciate Olshan’s direct references and parallels; those who haven’t will like the action and the heroine’s resourcefulness. The book’s satire and cynicism may create controversy and strike some readers as harsh, but the novel effectively raises awareness of contemporary social concerns, and, like the classic, is certain to invite both thought and discussion.

    —Shelle Rosenfeld

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