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…
I was lucky enough to win a copy of No Fixed Address at YALC, and I’m so glad I did as I gave 4.5 stars to this awesome and cute and touching middle grade story.
I loved Felix’s story and how the author really brought home the realities of his situation – not just being “between places”, but his relationship with his mum (and hers with the truth!), as well as what a kids goes through to fit in. I’ve actually had discussions with people about how hard it is on kids when their parents can’t afford everything their friends have – and this obviously takes that much further. I really felt for Felix, especially on his hunger and hygiene issues.
I also really felt for his mum. She may not be the worlds best mum, but she tries (most of the time) and clearly has mental issues that need more help than she had. Nothing serious, just enough to make life harder. I can’t imagine being in that situation, and I think she was doing what she could. Even if Felix makes excellent points about food banks!
The game show element was fun too, though I think I’d have liked to see a bit more of it I think! Especially some more of what happened after.
And I love the ending, so perfect 🙂
Buy No Fixed Address from Amazon UK (affiliate link)