Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber

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At fifteen, Iris is a hobo of sorts—no home, no family, no plan. Her mother died when she was six, and her selfish father hires her out as a companion to a country doctor’s elderly mother. Iris, stuck in the middle of 1920s rural Missouri, discovers that "hobo" is short for "homeward bound," and cultivates an eccentric cast of folks into family, creating the home she never had. But when she learns that a neighboring tenant farmer may have had more than his hands on his pregnant daughter, Iris must intervene to save the girl and her unborn baby.

The many facets of what makes a family are illuminated with warmth and charm in this beautifully crafted tale.

About Barbara Stuber

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Barbara Stuber is the author of the novels Girl in Reverse and Crossing the Tracks, which was a finalist for the American Library Association William C. Morris Debut Award, a YALSA Best Fiction for YA and a Kirkus Best Book for Teens. When not writing, she is a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Visit Barbara online at
Published June 18, 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. 276 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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When he sends her to Missouri to be a paid companion to an elderly woman during the summer of 1926, Iris suspects that her father is just getting rid of her so he can concentrate on Celeste, his fiancée, who’s working with him to open a new shoe store in Kansas City.

Jun 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Crossing the Tracks

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Hobo “really means ‘homeward bound,’ ” Mrs. Nesbitt says, and Iris is not the only wanderer in a rural 1920s community that Stuber describes as filled with “life’s rich pageant…whether anyone speaks openly about it or not.” Loneliness, tragic deaths, illness and abuse surround her.

Nov 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Crossing the Tracks

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