15 Oct 2013

"No Place" by Todd Strasser

"No Place" is Todd Strasser's latest book for young readers. The novel deals with the theme: "homelessness". This theme is current and thus very appealing to everyone.


"When Dan and his family go from middle class to homeless, issues of injustice rise to the forefront in this relatable, timely novel from Todd Strasser.

It seems like Dan has it all. He’s a baseball star who hangs with the popular crowd and dates the hottest girl in school. Then his family loses their home.

Forced to move into the town’s Tent City, Dan feels his world shifting. His friends try to pretend that everything’s cool, but they’re not the ones living among the homeless. As Dan struggles to adjust to his new life, he gets involved with the people who are fighting for better conditions and services for the residents of Tent City. But someone wants Tent City gone, and will stop at nothing until it’s destroyed..."

Dan Halprin, a 17-year-old popular pitcher, is the protagonist from whose perspective the story is narrated. At the beginning, he is a very immature teenager, but in the course of the novel he changes. Other characters also change.

I am fine with not liking every single character.
Unlike other book characters, these do not only have good character trades. Bad ones are described, too!
Therefore, the characters seem much more realistic.
As in all books by Todd Strasser that I have already read, I am absolutely impressed by the characters!
The reader gets to know as much about them as he or she needs  to, not more, not less.

In addition, there is not any boring passage!
Even the beginning is exciting!
The story begins in medias res, but of course, there is a flashback afterwards.
Although the book is full of suspense, I did not like the amount of ups and downs of the suspense curve.

Sadly, the translated german version of the novel is full of little mistakes. The names are constantly written differently, e.g. an old lady sometimes is named Diana and sometimes Diane. Simply annoying!
It would be so much better to read "No Place" in the original language.
(I think, whenever it is possible, reading books in the original language might always be better! Because sometimes word jokes are missing or not very funny in the translated version. Eventhough it is not like that in "No Place"...)

However, "No Place" is beautifully written!
I have always enjoyed the intelligence of Todd Strasser's writing. He made me think more abot homelessness.

I really like "No Place" because of the interesting & important theme, the convincing characters & the great style of writing. Everyone should try reading a book by Todd Strasser if he or she had not read one already.

★ ★ ★ ★