Review: Susin Nielsen – No Fixed Address

No Fixed Address
Susin Nielsen

Felix and his mom Astrid live in a van. It’s a pretty cool van at the beginning, but as months go past, Felix gets more and more uncomfortable. He doesn’t get to shower every day, and school seems like the only place he’s warm and safe. Felix has a chance to go on a TV trivia show though and win the answer to their problems.

I didn’t feel convinced that Felix was 13. I felt that maybe he was a bit younger? I feel like by 13 I was a bit more put together, but maybe that’s because I’m a girl and we develop slightly faster than boys. I loved his relationships with his friends! And I liked how the novel was a mix of past and present tense – initially I felt a bit hesitant of it, but in the end it made sense.

I liked how it was just a slippery slope from a month’s holiday in a van through to spending a couple of months in it. It wasn’t ‘bam’ they’re homeless. I also liked how Felix described his mother’s depression slumps. To me, I don’t think her medication was doing a great job though.

This asks the reader to consider hard questions – what makes a good parent? Is foster care the right solution to problematic homes? Is stealing ever ok? Also it wants the reader to think about what they might feel like in that situation. Also, there were a couple of times where Felix made a statement to the police, yet it wasn’t followed up on.

This was entertaining (and sad) at the same time. I was particularly fond of Felix’s classifications of different types of lie. It was a very comfortable and undemanding holiday read.that I’d absolutely recommend for middle grade readers. 4 stars for its target age group.

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