Echo Park Castaways

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
459 0
Echo Park Castaways
Age Range
8+
Release Date
July 02, 2019
ISBN
0062427695
Buy This Book
      
Nevaeh, Vic, and Mara are veterans of the Los Angeles foster care system. For over a year they’ve been staying with Mrs. K in Echo Park. Vic spends most of his time living in a dream world, Mara barely speaks, and Nevaeh is forced to act as a back-up parent. Though their situation isn’t ideal, it’s still their best home yet.

Then Child Protective Services places Quentin in the house, and everything is turned upside down. Nevaeh really can’t handle watching over anyone else, especially a boy on the autism spectrum. Meanwhile, Quentin is having trouble adjusting and attempts to run away.

So when Vic realizes Quentin just wants to see his mom again, he plans an “epic quest” to reunite them. It could result in the foster siblings getting sent to different group homes. But isn’t family always worth the risk?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Foster care, adventure, and being a big sister.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Neveah has been in the foster care system her whole life, and has seen less than optimal placements. That's why she's glad to be with Mrs. K. The house is fairly organized, there is always food, and no one is mean to her. Mrs. K., however, has struggled since the death of her husband and is not very interested in being involved with the children, so a lot of the care of the younger Mara and Vic falls on her shoulders. She's okay with that-- if she can help Mrs. K. out, her place is secure, and she can make it through the four years of high school and get into college on a scholarship for foster children and become a doctor. When a new child, Quentin, is added to the mix, things start to get complicated. It's difficult enough that Vic deals with his grief by pretending to be a spy, and that Mara rarely speaks, and is more fluent in Spanish, but Quentin is on the autism spectrum and has a lot of different behavioral issues than Neveah has seen. When Vic promises Quentin that they will go find his mother, who is ill and in the hospital, Neveah panics when all three younger children are gone, and follows their trail from Echo Park to Torrance, California (about twenty miles) on a variety of buses and trains. She catches up with them eventually, but the trip in general does not go smoothly. The children find out some secrets, narrowly escape tragedy, and bond in a way that makes them more of a family. They also finally get through to Mrs. K., who realizes that she must move beyond her own difficulties to care for the children.
Good Points
I love Neveah's attitude about life! Things are great, but they could be worse, and if she works hard enough, things will get better! I wish more middle grade characters embraced this philosophy! Vic's spy interests seem a bit quirky, but are well described, Mara's silence is understandable, and Quention's depiction is realistic for a child on the spectrum with few life experiences. Their adventure to Torrance is also portrayed realistically, with enough challenges to make it interesting, but with no horrible consequences. I enjoyed this one a lot.

There are many different types of experience in foster care, and it's good to have a variety of books like Linda Mullaly Hunt's One for the Murphy's, Galante's Strays Like Us, and Lewis' Scarlet Ibis. There were portions of this that seemed odd to me (Nevaeh describes the people who foster children as either very religious, in it for the money, or old, and she describes a placement where children were forced to make dog beds after school each day before being fed. I'm sure there are horrible foster parents out there, and since Hennessy works with children in foster care in LA, so I will assume she knows more about children in the program than I do. In reality, there are probably some foster care situations that are even worse than the ones Nevaeh mentions.

This book will circulate with readers who like problem novels. This author's other book, The Other Boy does well, and I'm looking forward to seeing what book is next!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Smoke and Mirrors: The Heartstone
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Corbin, a powerful shapeshifting young mage, was just beginning to...
Better Together
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Freaky Friday meets The Parent Trap in New York Times...
Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
With over 30 million copies in print, Anna Dewdney's New...
City (Wheels at Work)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Delivering, collecting, transporting and recycling! Lift the flap to see...
A Season of Flowers
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Michael Garland (Daddy Played the Blues) displays his impressive illustration...
You Are Fantastic!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Hello!Lucky, the creators of My Mom Is Magical! and...
Early One Morning
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Join a little boy searching the farm for his breakfast...
Little Sap: The Magical Story of a Little Forest Family
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
A little tree, guided by her family circle and forest...
The Little Things: A Story about Acts of Kindness
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
One girl’s simple act of kindness causes ripples in her...
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this sequel to The Kinder Poison—which People magazine proclaimed...
The City Beautiful
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical...
The Shape of Thunder
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a...
Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award-winning writer that...
The Republic of Birds
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young witch must save her sister from evil birds...
Fearless
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Better Nate than Ever meets Love Sugar Magic in this...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"It was a test, you fool,” she sneered, “to see...

Latest Member Reviews

A Time of Fear: America in the Era of Red Scares and Cold War
 
4.3
"Starting with Vladimir Lenin's evolution in the early 1900s, Marrin gives a really complete overview of Communism and the reaction..."
El Deafo: Superpowered Edition
 
5.0
"This graphic novel memoir chronicles the author's experiences with hearing loss. After a childhood bout with meningitis at age 4,..."
City (Wheels at Work)
 
4.0
"WHEELS AT WORK: CITY is a simple but fun lift-the-flap book about vehicles little ones will see around the city...."
A Season of Flowers
 
4.3
"A SEASON OF FLOWERS is a lovely board book told from the perspective of flowers that appear from the spring..."
Curious About Insects
 
5.0
"CURIOUS ABOUT INSECTS is a great non-fiction board book that lays out some basic facts about insects. Each page has..."
Whose Big Rig?
 
4.7
"WHOSE BIG RIG? is a delightful board book that takes children through the vehicles involved in building a light rail,..."
Spi-ku: A Clutter of Short Verse on Eight Legs
 
4.3
"From the creative team that brought us Amphibian Acrobats and Superlative Birds, we now have this poetic treatment about every..."
Treemendous: Diary of a Not Yet Mighty Oak
 
5.0
"A small acorn chronicles her life in diary format from her start to her twentieth year. We see how an..."
Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott
 
4.3
"Bornin 1943, twins Judith and Joyce Scott were close. They played with dolls and tea sets, and had adventures outside...."
Just Pretend
 
4.3
"In this graphic memoir, we see Tori as she is going into 7th grade. She and her friend spend a..."
Everything You Need to Know When You Are 10
 
4.3
"This starts with a list of things every ten year old needs, like a library card, a calendar, and a..."
What's Up, Fire Truck? (A Pop Magic Book): Folds into a 3-D Truck!
 
3.7
"WHAT'S UP, FIRE TRUCK? is an innovative book design that includes lots of lift-the-flap pages and then folds into a..."
The Stuff Between the Stars
 
5.0
"The Stuff Between the Stars by Sandra Nickel is a beautifully illustrated biography of Vera Rubin, the woman astronomer credited..."
Flip Flap Snap: Farm
 
5.0
"Flip Flap Snap: Farm by Joanna McInerney, artwork by Carmen Saldaña, will immediately engage young readers. While lifting the flaps..."
Flip Flap Snap: Dinosaurs
 
5.0
"Flip Flap Snap: Dinosaurs by Joanna McInerney, artwork by Carmen Saldaña, is an adorable book for young readers. While lifting..."
Colors of Habitats
 
4.0
"COLORS OF HABITATS is a beautifully illustrated oversized book of inspiration for artists. The book walks through different habitats from..."
I Am the Shark
 
4.7
"I AM THE SHARK is a fun and educational picture book about self-confidence. A great white shark is introducing the..."
The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II
 
5.0
"My Name Ollis Bator from Tx USA. After 12years of marriage, me and my husband have been into one quarrel..."
The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II
 
4.0
"‘The Missing: The True Story of My Family in WWII’ by Michael Rosen shares the story of a family who..."
The Light of Days Young Readers’ Edition: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos
 
5.0
"What worked: This is one gut-wrenching, powerful collection of stories of young Jewish women Resistance fighters in Hitler's Ghettos. While..."