Clean Getaway

A rip-roaring story overflowing with heart, Nic Stone’s debut middle-grade novel uses a traditional road trip narrative as a vehicle to explore complicated ideas about race and colourism in America.

The story begins when William (a.k.a Scoob) embarks on an intergenerational adventure during Spring Break with his G’ma in her newly acquired R.V. Scoob’s initial relief at escaping his dad’s punishment after an incident at school sours over time as his G’ma begins to act strangely and dodges his questions about where they’re going and the purpose of the trip.

As the truth is slowly revealed, Scoob learns the story of his G’ma’s past and comes to appreciate some of the challenges faced by interracial couples in the American South during the 1960’s. Scoob uses his Gma’s experiences and the contents of the Green Book as a foil to navigate questions about his own identity and come to terms with the double-standard he’s held to at home and in school purely because of the colour of his skin.

Stone’s pacy writing and well-drawn settings allow us to see how deep the roots of prejudice go and the lasting effects they can have on both a familial and a societal level. Despite the heaviness of themes, Scoob and Gma’s warm and often funny dynamic keeps the tone light, and the mystery threaded throughout is guaranteed to make the pages turn themselves. This is a pitch-perfect gem of a book with universal appeal that transcends its America-focused narrative. 8-10, 10-12.

Book Cover - Clean Getaway
Author
Reviewer
Publication Date
July 2021
Format
Paperback
Pages
240
ISBN
9781913311025