My review of Mobile Library first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers. I am posting it here today with their permission. I also had the delightful opportunity to interview David Whitehouse. You can check out that interview here if you missed it last week in Shelf. This is a book for everyone who loves and appreciates story!
First line: "Lips, sticky, not how his mother kissed."
In an exciting and heart-warming adventure befitting the greatest of literary heroes, David Whitehouse (Bed) explores the meaning of family and the value of love.
Bobby Nusku, like many fairy tale characters, lives in a dark world. His mother is gone; his father neglects him. At school he's an outcast, bullied by his classmates. And his only true friend, Sunny, moves away, leaving Bobby completely alone--until one day when a ray of light pedals into Bobby's life on an oversized tricycle. Rosa, the tricycle's driver, has a disability that makes her a target for bullies as well.
Bobby and Rosa form an immediate bond. When Bobby meets Rosa's mother Val, who cleans the town's mobile library, his luck seems to be turning. He finds the warmth, love and safety missing from his biological family and begins to thrive in their presence.
But the utopia is short-lived. When the town puts the bookmobile out of commission, forcing Val to look for work elsewhere, and Bobby's father beats him for spending time with his new friends, Val decides to run away in the library-on-wheels. This unlikely group of misfits, joined on the road by an ex-soldier, gradually melds into a family. Now they have to elude the authorities if they're going to live happily ever after.
Whitehouse wields language like a sword, fencing to defend story. He lunges with suspenseful pacing, advances on references to literary works and guards with rich character development. As a result Mobile Library prevails in engaging and entertaining readers, and story lives to fight another day.
Mobile Library is available in hardcover (ISBN: 9781476749433) from Scribner. There is also an audiobook download, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, available from Simon & Schuster Audio.