Monday, April 10, 2017

Soupy Leaves Home by Cecil Castellucci, Jose Pimienta

She's a young girl living a normal life at home with her parents.  Then her mother dies.  Her father is full of anger and grief and he takes it out on her.  When he hits her hard enough to give her a black eye, she asks her grandmother if she can move in with her.  The answer is no.  Grandma thinks she must have done something to make him angry.  Being rejected by her family and not wanting to be hit anymore, she leaves home...

Dark Horse Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 2nd.

This story is set in the era where hobos were common.  Many men rode the rails from one part of the country to follow the good weather or go where the jobs were.  We lived next to railroad tracks at home and they would knock on our back door and ask for food.  Mom would give them a bologna sandwich and an apple and let them sit on the back porch to eat it.  Once the railroad was gone, so were the hobos.

Pearl cuts her hair, wears boy's clothes and calls herself Soupy.  She's lucky enough to meet up with another roamer who introduces her to hobo life.  She spends a lot of time hungry and has to be cautious about where she goes and who she talks to.  But she learns to be stronger, more self-assured, and willing to stand up for herself.

She lives through a court hearing to clear a innocent man, spends her hobo friend's final days with him, shares what he had left with his family and she finally makes it home.  But things aren't like they were before.  She's able to take care of herself and she knows it.

I liked the graphics, the hobo tale is quite authentic, and while there is sadness the story ends in a good way.  Hobos have always fascinated me.  Just because they traveled around the country and rode trains didn't mean they were stupid.  They just had feet that wouldn't stay in one spot.

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