Being Henry David

Seventeen-year-old “Hank” has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything—who he is, where he came from, why he’s running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David—or “Hank”—and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of—Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.

Cal Armistead’s remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.

A Tinfoil Sky

Mel and her mother, Cecily, know what it’s like to live rough, whether it’s on the streets or in the apartment of an abusive man. When Cecily announces that they’ve had enough and that they are going to go home to her mother’s, Mel dreams of security, a comfortable bed, and a grandmother’s love seem to be about to come true. But some mistakes cannot be easily forgiven or erased. Her grandmother is not what Mel expects, and though the local library offers sanctuary, a real home seems beyond her grasp. Mel’s determination to rise above what fate has dealt is about to change that. Cyndi Sand-Eveland’s work with homeless youth gives her characters an authenticity no reader will forget. Ultimately, a story of hope and acceptance, A Tinfoil Sky is a powerful novel.

Cat Found

A heartwarming tale about the importance of caring for strays. In Billy’s small town, stray cats are running wild, and there’s growing pressure to get rid of them. The school bullies don’t even hesitate to throw rocks at the poor creatures! So when Billy finds a wounded, starving kitten and sneaks her home, he has to be extra-careful to keep her hidden while he nurses her back to health. However precious little Conga is to him, he knows his dad would take her away if he discovered her, safe and warm in Billy’s bedroom. Can Billy and his friends confront the cat abusers, convince the town of the importance of caring for abandoned animals, and find a safe haven for strays?

Mr. Stink

Mr. Stink stank. He also stunk. And if it was correct English to say he stinked, then he stinked as well. . . .Ó Chloe sees Mr. Stink every day, but sheÕs never spoken to him. Which isnÕt surprising, because heÕs a tramp, and he stinks. But there’s more to Mr. Stink than meets the eye (or nose) and before she knows it, Chloe has an unusual new friend hiding in her garden shed. As Chloe struggles to keep Mr. Stink a secret, and her dad tries to hide a secret of his own, the stage is set for an epic family confrontation. But there’s one other person with an extraordinary secret Mr. Stink himself.

Theories of Relativity

Sixteen-year-old Dylan Wallace is living on the streets not through any choice of his own, unlike some of the teenagers he meets in the same situation. He’s been cut loose by his unstable mother, and lost most contact with his two younger brothers. He has nothing but his backpack stuffed with a few precious belongings and the homeless kids he meets. At least he has his theories. No one can take those away from him. Like how every fourth person throws him spare change; how no one does anything for anyone without a price; and how he just might be able to find a place in this complicated world.