Title: No Fixed Address
Author: Susin Nielsen
Publication date: September 11, 2018
Genre: Realistic fiction
Recommended for: Ages 11 and up
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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 showers at the community centre, and he doesn’t have enough to eat. When his friends Dylan and Winnie ask to visit his house, 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.
This book was such a leisurely, cute read! It taught me a lot about hidden homelessness and makes me realize how common it actually is. Felix acts like any other middle schooler, but his personal life made me so sad. It helped me realize the devastating effects of borderline poverty. The friendships in this book were adorable, and it taught me, despite any hardships we might face, the power of friendship and community make all the difference. The way Nielsen ties the beginning to the end is meaningful and crafty. The plot reminded me a lot like Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, so if you enjoyed that, definitely give No Fixed Address a try!