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By Blake Nelson
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Curriculum Subjects: Adventure: Mysteries, Personal Development: Responsibility, Teen Life: Personal Development
Grade: 6 & up
Robert “‘Cali” Callahan is a teen runaway, living on the streets of Venice Beach, California. He’s got a pretty sweet life: a treehouse to sleep in, a gang of surf bros, a regular basketball game…even a girl who’s maybe-sorta interested in him.
What he doesn’t have is a plan.
All that changes when a local cop refers Cali to a private investigator who is lookingfor a missing teenager.
After all, Cali knows everyone in Venice. But the streets are filled with people who don’t want to be found, and when he’s hired to find the beautiful Reese Abernathy, who would do anything to stay hidden, Cali must decide where his loyalties truly lie.
“Nelson’s spare style and nuanced portrayal of street kids is strongly reminiscent of the classic work of S.E. Hinton. The gritty beach setting, compelling cast of sensitively drawn secondary characters and spot-on dialogue elevate the story beyond that of a typical genre mystery.” —Kirkus
“Readers will anxiously follow Robert’s adolescent journey of growth in this coming-of-age novel filled with exhilarating chases and heart pounding moments.” –SLJ
“Nelson vividly captures the energy of the beach community, both in his depiction of the physical setting and his creation of the eclectic cast of characters that populates it. ” —The Horn Book