Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Shelter in Our Car Hardcover – January 16, 2004
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-After her father died, eight-year-old Zettie and her mother left Jamaica in search of education and a better life in America. They now live in an old car. Zettie's daily routine includes waking up to blaring sirens and flashing lights, washing in cold water in a park rest room, being bullied by boys at school, and feeling hungry and resentful. Spending time with a friend who is also homeless, and a reassuring encounter with a concerned policeman bring comfort at crucial moments, but the girl's life is not an easy one. Not since Maurice Sendak's We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy (HarperCollins, 1993) has a picture book dealing with homelessness maintained such emotional intensity. The illustrations call to mind images by Georges Rouault. Pedlar's figures are defined with thick black lines; exaggerated features and the expressionistic use of color accentuate the family's suffering. In the end, Mama's successful day helping at a Health Fair and the promise of a job lead to a bed and shower in a motel-and hope. Children will be moved by Zettie's plight and relieved that there are options.
Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
K-Gr. 3. The kids at school call her Junk Car Zettie. After Papa died in Jamaica, Zettie and Mama came to America, where they now live in the city in the backseat of their car, while Mama tries to go to school and also earn money to pay rent for a room. This picture-book brings close the harsh realities of being homeless, scavenging for food, washing in the park rest room, being harassed by police. The illustrations are in an intensely emotional modernist style with exaggerated facial expressions and body language. The strong, black-outlined figures are scary at times, but then so is the nightmarish reality of being without shelter. At the end of the book, Gunning asks kids to get involved in helping the homeless, and many children will want to talk about the idea with adults close to them. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The two main characters in this book, Zettie and her Mama, have to do many undignified things just to survive, like washing in the bathroom at the park, and being told to move their car after they have gone to sleep. They also have to trust some others who live on the street and even the police, this too can lead to danger. Mama takes care of Zettie as best as she can and constantly tells and shows her love for her. The story is heart-wrenching and an eye opener to maybe those that do not have to live a life of indignities.
The illustrations are done with chalk as cartoon-ish chunky characters. The colors are mainly muted and darker which adds to the overall sadness of the book.
However, in the end there is hope for these two which packages the book in a nice tidy bow but for those living a life on the streets, hope can be as little as finding your next meal.
The book is targeted to 6+ and much discussion can take place with the reading and rereading of this book. Think about it and read this winner of a book. 5 stars!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ with yours. ~Naila Moon
Especially from a child's perspective, this can be really devastating. Not knowing when you will eat or where you will sleep. Always on the run with no routine or steadiness can be a terrible feeling.
This book is also written with real feeling. I felt myself getting chocked up as I was reading this.
My only issue with this book, is the illustrations. I found them to be very scary. On the one hand I wanted to get through the text, but the illustrations scared me. The faces were all disfigured and strange.
Most recent customer reviews
As far as street kids go, Zettie seems unjaded and sweet-hearted.
Great illustrations -- especially the faces!Read more