Mosquitoland by David Arnold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mim runs away to see her mother after finding out she is sick and may be dying. On her journey she meets Carl, the Greyhound bus driver; Arlene, an older lady, whose personal quest Mim completes; Ahab, Arlene's nephew and his pale whale of a boyfriend; Walt, an abandoned young man who loves Mountain Dew and Rubik cubes; and Beck, a knight in navy nylon. Each of these people teach Mim something new about herself and the world. Throughout the story we get Mim's letters to Isabel, explaining her "reasons" for her actions. Mim's father is afraid, so afraid, that Mim will turn out like his crazy sister, that he has gone to great lengths to ensure Mim is not crazy, possibly making her crazy in the meantime. Mom and Dad are divorced, with Dad quickly remarried, so step-mother is seen as the enemy.
The writing is good, very visual, and quite compelling. I read this with a student so we could discuss it, and had a hard time putting it down. Definitely worth looking at for Gateway.
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