Middle of Nowhere
by Caroline Adderson
Groundwood, 2012. 214 pgs. Fiction
When Curtis and Artie's mom doesn't come home from work one night--and then doesn't ever come home, Curtis is not surprised. She left him once before, and he wound up in a foster family with a big-league jerk of a temporary brother. But this time he thought things were different: his mom had a job at the Pay-N-Save, was going to school, seemed to be devoted to Curtis and Artie. Curtis knows they will be split up and back in foster care if he lets anyone know, so the two live on their own for awhile until the credit card is maxed out. Luckily, old Mrs. Burt across the street needs someone to pick up groceries for her, and she likes to cook, so she helps the boys out with money and food. But when the police show up at their old apartment, and Mrs. Burt fears being put in a nursing home, the three of them take it on the lam and move out into the woods where Mrs. Burt has a very old cabin. What the three learn about themselves and each other that summer and into the cold weather makes everyone face up to the things they need to do. The ending, happier than one might ever have supposed, seems a bit too convenient, but is still very heartening. A good story about how hard things may be made better by honesty, love, kindness, and hard work.