Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel

 
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Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
May 11, 2004
ISBN
0525472215
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Evangeline hates living in the dingy Florida motel with the pink Cadillac butt sticking out of the wall. With Pa absorbed in his drinking, she spends her days wishing that her mother was still alive to make the motel a real home. Then Evangeline meets Farrell, the one person who understands her. After a teacher threatens to expose their poor living conditions, the two friends decide to run away. But when Evangeline stumbles across her mother's letters, she finds the courage she needs to seek her true home. This uniquely touching novel will inspire readers of all ages.

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This story rings true
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Everyone, sometimes secretly and sometimes not, likes to read about familiar places and familiar things. Reading Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel brought me back to when I was young and we had just moved to Florida. We lived for the summer in a motel much like Evangeline's while we searched for a house. Backwoods Florida has hundreds of these little places: small, dusty, paint peeling off the walls, the smell of mildew assaulting you whenever you open the door. But they still have charm for all of that.

Evangeline is having a hard time seeing the charm since her mother died. Her dad doesn't keep the place up like he could (in fact, he spends more time drinking with his buddy than anything else). She doesn't have any friends at school until Farrell comes to live next door with her Pa's drinking buddy. It's an uneasy friendship at first, since neither of them seems to know exactly how to behave.

A new teacher at school is a pleasant surprise for Evangeline. Instead of the dreaded Mrs. Thornton, she has the young and pretty Miss Rose. But Miss Rose is planning on scheduling home visits and that scares both Evangeline and Farrell. They know that their home life isn't all it's cracked up to be and Evangeline in particular is both embarrassed and ashamed.

Things come to a head when Evangeline and Farrell both fear that Social Services are coming to take them away. (There are quite a few other things going on in this story, but I don't want to give away every detail) In the end, they both discover that family is what you make of it.

This is a nicely written story about the importance of friendship, family, and being true to yourself. I recommend this book for readers aged 10 and up.
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