Hello everyone, and welcome back to another installment of Adventures in Quaranteen! This is my new blog series in which I offer a few recommendations for my favorite young adult adventure novels. Each week has a different theme – and this week, it's the classic, all-American road trip. Is a coming-of-age story really complete without a long drive in a run-down car across the United States? (Hint: no.) I'm a die-hard, unabashed road trip fanatic – and for that reason, instead of recommending the usual three books, I'm going to recommend five. Because road trips are great, and YA lit is great, and YA lit about road trips is best of all.
Don't forget – the library's doors may still be closed to the public, but we are still open online! All of the books I'm about to recommend you are available online, for free, with the library's digital collection. If you don't have a library card, you can apply for an e-card.
HIt the Road
Mosquitoland , David Arnold
"I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange."
After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.
So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, Mosquitoland is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.
The American Dream?: A Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaurs... , Shing Yin Khor
As a child growing up in Malaysia, Shing Yin Khor had two very different ideas of what "America" meant. The first looked a lot like Hollywood, full of beautiful people and sunlight and freeways. The second looked more like The Grapes of Wrath―a nightmare landscape filled with impoverished people, broken-down cars, barren landscapes, and broken dreams. The American Dream?: A Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaur Statues, Muffler Men, and the Perfect Breakfast Burrito chronicles Shing's solo journey (small adventure-dog included) along the iconic Route 66, beginning in Santa Monica and ending up Chicago. What begins as a road trip ends up as something more like a pilgrimage in search of an American landscape that seems forever shifting and forever out of place.
Let's Get Lost , Adi Alsaid
Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.
Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named Leila. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.
Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth—sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.
American Road Trip , Patrick Flores-Scott
With a strong, loving family, an incredibly loyal best friend, and a budding romance with the girl of his dreams, life shows promise for seventeen-year-old Teodoro "T" Avila. But he takes some hard hits the summer before his senior year when his nearly perfect brother Manny returns from a tour in Iraq with a devastating case of PTSD.
In a desperate effort to save Manny from himself and pull their family back together, T's fiery sister Xochitl hoodwinks her brothers into a road trip with many stops along the road to visit loved ones from their past.
The Lost and Found , Katrina Leno
Frannie and Louis met in an online support group when they were both younger. They have never met face-to-face. They don’t even know each other’s real names. All they know is that they both have a mysterious tendency to lose things. Well, not lose them, exactly. Things just seem to…disappear.
They each receive news in the mail that sets them off on a road trip to Austin, Texas, looking for answers—and each other. Along the way, each one begins to find, as if by magic, important things the other has lost. And by the time they finally meet in person, they realize that the things you lose might be things you weren’t meant to have at all, and that you never know what you might find if you just take a chance.
The Lost & Found is a big-hearted novel about connections (missed and found), family (the kind you’re born with and the kind you make for yourself), and unexpected journeys (on the road, and of the heart), from an author who Publishers Weekly called "a fierce new presence".