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Clean Getaway
Cover of Clean Getaway
Clean Getaway
by Nic Stone
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a timely middle-grade road-trip story through landmarks of the Civil Rights movement and the map they lay for contemporary race relations.
How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either.
Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and most important, the way home.
What Not to Bring:
A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G'ma starts acting stranger than usual.
Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with this New York Times bestseller and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem—his G'ma included.
"Truly a delight." -Christopher Paul Curtis, author of Newbery Medal winner Bud, Not Buddy
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a timely middle-grade road-trip story through landmarks of the Civil Rights movement and the map they lay for contemporary race relations.
How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either.
Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and most important, the way home.
What Not to Bring:
A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G'ma starts acting stranger than usual.
Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with this New York Times bestseller and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem—his G'ma included.
"Truly a delight." -Christopher Paul Curtis, author of Newbery Medal winner Bud, Not Buddy
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.0
  • Lexile:
    780
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    1

    Quite a Ways to Go

    It might sound silly, but to William "Scoob" Lamar, the Welcome to Alabama the Beautiful sign looks . . . well, beautiful. Not as beautiful as his best friend Shenice Lockwood in her yellow sundress, but beautiful enough to make Scoob tip his head back, close his eyes, and sigh into the breeze blowing through the open passenger-side window of G'ma's Winnebago.

    Exhale Dad's lockdown. Inhale the sweet fragrance of freedom. Which smells like pine mixed with a little bit of truck exhaust.

    "You all right over there, Scoob-a-doob?" G'ma says from the driver's seat. She's propped up on the gingham-covered foam wedge she uses to see over the steering wheel, pale, polka-dotted little hands perfectly positioned at ten and two. She's only four feet, eleven inches tall, G'ma is.

    Hearing his full nickname makes Scoob cringe. G'ma gave it to him when he was five years old and obsessed with an old cartoon he used to watch at her house about a dog who liked to solve mysteries. G'ma thought it was just too adorable! that he couldn't pronounce Scooby-Doo. And because Shenice was G'ma's neighbor, she picked up on the nickname and started using it at school. So it stuck.

    Well, the Scoob part did. Which is fine. Kinda cool, even.

    Scoob-a-doob, though?

    "G'ma," he says, "you mind if we stick to Scoob? The rest is a little . . . babyish. No offense," he adds.

    "Oh, none taken!" G'ma says. "My apologies, Mr. Scoob."

    "I mean . . . you can drop the mister, too," Scoob goes on.

    This makes G'ma laugh.

    Which makes Scoob smile. He'd never tell anybody, but there's really no sound in the world he loves more than his grandmother's barking laughter. Dad's not a fan; says it "grates" on him because it's the one reminder of G'ma's past smoking days "and potential future lung cancer," but it reminds Scoob of elementary school days playing card games she taught him that he wasn't supposed to know the rules for—like Texas Hold'em and blackjack. Even now, it blows Scoob's mind that a harsh, booming sound like that could come out of a person as little as G'ma.

    "I mean it, though," she says. "You feeling all right? I'm not driving too fast, am I?" She kicks him a wrinkly wink.

    Now Scoob's the one laughing. He looks up from the brand-new road map she handed him once they were both settled and seat-belted: according to the speedometer, the brand-new Winnebago he and G'ma are in has a max speed of 120 miles per hour, but G'ma has yet to push the needle to 60. "Definitely not too fast, G'ma. Though I do wonder if there's a minimum-speed-limit law you're breaking."

    "Oh you hush," she says. "Speaking of which, you never said if you liked my new sweet ride or not. That's what you kids call it these days, right? A sweet ride?" She says it in a way that makes her sound like a smarmy used-car salesman with oil-slicked hair.

    Scoob chuckles and shakes his head. Then he peeks over his shoulder into the back.

    Truthfully, when G'ma popped up out of the blue and asked if Scoob wanted to "go on a little adventure," he was too geeked at the thought of a loophole in his punishment to give much thought to anything else, their destination included. Especially when she said he'd "probably miss a couple days of school." (Bonus!) He finished item three—empty the dishwasher—on the to-do list Dad left for him on the kitchen whiteboard every day, and grabbed his suitcase. Then, after scribbling Dad a quick note about being with G'ma "for the night," Scoob hightailed it out of the house as fast as his off-brand-sneaker-clad feet would carry him. Even left his phone at home....

About the Author-
  • Nic Stone is an Atlanta native and a Spelman College graduate. After working extensively in teen mentoring and living in Israel for several years, she returned to the United States to write full-time. Nic's debut novel for young adults, Dear Martin, was a New York Times bestseller and William C. Morris Award finalist. She is also the author of the teen titles Odd One Out, a novel about discovering oneself and who it is okay to love, which was an NPR Best Book of the Year and a Rainbow Book List Top Ten selection, and Jackpot, a love-ish story that takes a searing look at economic inequality.
    Clean Getaway, Nic's first middle-grade novel, deals with coming to grips with the pain of the past and facing the humanity of our heroes. Nic lives in Atlanta with her adorable little family.
    nicstone.info
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    October 1, 2019
    Using the Negro Travelers' Green Book and her hidden past as a road map, a grandma takes her grandson on a cross country journey. When G'ma pulls up to William "Scoob" Lamar's house in a brand-new Winnebago and invites him on an adventure, Scoob leaves a note for his dad and jumps in. Despite not knowing where they are going, or why G'ma has traded in her Mini Cooper and house for the RV, Scoob is a willing wingman because he wants to save spring break and escape his strict single dad for a few days. Readers will appreciate the bond between Scoob and G'ma; Stone balances fun with emotion for a compelling read. After they cross from Georgia to Alabama and G'ma keeps avoiding Dad's calls, Scoob begins to get suspicious. When G'ma lets him see the contents of her once off-limits treasure box, which includes a 1963 edition of the Travelers' Green Book, Scoob understands this trip means much more than even he imagined. The complex role race plays in their family and on this trip--Scoob is mixed-race and presents black, and G'ma is white--is explored in a meaningful way that provides details about a period in time as well as present-day realities. Rich in history, Stone's middle-grade debut entertains and informs young readers. The subdued ending may frustrate, but the journey, punctuated by Anyabwile's grayscale cartoons, is well worth it. A road trip to remember. (Fiction. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 21, 2019
    Part history lesson, part road trip, this notable middle grade debut by Stone (Jackpot) stars William “Scoob” Lamar, a biracial, black-presenting 12-year-old, as he heads off on a road trip with his beloved grandmother, G’ma, who is white. He mostly goes to escape a punishment from his father, but as the two make their way through the South, Scoob learns more about the grandfather whom he never met, the interracial
    couple’s 1963 road trip, which G’ma aims to complete, and the ways in which the world has changed and remained the same. As they make their way toward Juarez, Mexico, Scoob begins to suspect that G’ma might be up to something more suspicious than recreating a vacation and becomes torn between contacting another adult and protecting his grandmother. This dual tour through pre– and post–civil rights movement America confronts the country’s difficult past, including how fraught with danger travel was to the average black citizen, while raising questions about what progress should look like. A heartwarming, family-centered adventure that will leave readers guessing until the end. Ages 8–12. Agent: Rena Rossner, the Deborah Harris Agency.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2019

    Gr 3-6- William Lamar is an 11-year-old black boy whose anger gets the better of him during an altercation with a school bully. Unfortunately for him, a teacher didn't witness the bully's behavior, so William is the one who gets in trouble. William is grounded and subjected to long-winded lectures about his responsibilities as a black boy. His previous involvement in a school cheating scandal doesn't help matters. William knows that people view his actions differently because he's black, but no one seems to want to listen to his side of the story. When his grandmother asks him to go on a road trip with her, William can't wait to leave the solitary confines of his house to hit the road. William and his grandmother use the Green Book, an old-school guide that black people, and interracial couples like his grandparents, used for safe travel in the civil rights days. As they travel deeper into the South, William learns more about his family and the painful secrets that inspired his grandmother's desire to take this journey. Stone has crafted a history lesson in road-trip form. The novel's pace and length make it an ideal choice for reluctant readers. VERDICT This lighthearted adventure story explores racial inequality and the complex nature of interracial relationships. This title is a good addition for school libraries seeking unconventional approaches to history.-Desiree Thomas, Worthington Library, OH

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from October 15, 2019
    Grades 5-8 *Starred Review* Stone's (Odd One Out, 2018) heartwarming, character-centered, and humorous middle-grade debut is a sure-fire winner in this timely story about a boy retracing the South's segregationist past with his grandmother. Black middle-schooler and computer whiz William "Scoob" Lamar is looking forward to being grounded for the entirety of spring break when his grandmother, an octogenarian white woman, whisks him away in a brand-new Winnebago on a trip to retrace her history. The ways in which G'ma's days of old dovetail with the American civil rights movement do more than teach Scoob about the injustices of Jim Crow and the fight for equality; each stop provides clues to deciphering the mystery surrounding his grandfather's life in prison and estrangement from Scoob's father. Adding Scoob's wry conversational observations about the odyssey to maps and a Green Book, an essential travel guide for African Americans designed to help them find accommodations willing to admit them and avoid towns known for terrorizing Black people, contributes levity and realism to what could have been a topic too emotionally heavy for middle-grade readers. Instead, it explores an integral part of America's past through the lens of one family's journey to mutual understanding and eventual generational acceptance. An absolute firecracker of a book and a must-have for children's collections.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • The Wall Street Journal "A road novel that serves in part as a primer on important scenes and themes of the civil-rights movement... [A] poignant caper."
  • Angie Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give "Absolutely incredible, honest, gut-wrenching. A must read!"
  • Jodi Picoult "Painfully timely and deeply moving."
  • Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestselling coauthor of All American Boys "Raw and gripping."
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    Random House Children's Books
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