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“Closer to Nowhere” by Ellen Hopkins

--Staff Picks Kids

Closer to Nowhere

Ellen Hopkins
Published: 2020
Age Range: 4th Grade and Up
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Novel in Verse
Awards: Nerdy Book Club Award for Poetry and Novels in Verse 2020

Amanda read Closer to Nowhere and this is what she thought…

Hannah and Cal discover they are more alike than they realized as they work together to save the family they care about. It is told from alternating perspectives. Ellen Hopkins is my all time favorite author, so naturally I had to read this. The book was filled with ups and downs, as are many of Hopkins’ novels. Cal is a funny kid where Hannah is more serious, so you get a full range of personalities and coordinating emotions.

My favorite character is Hannah. She went through a full transformation going from resenting Cal and his presence, to working with Cal and accepting him as part of the family. The main themes of this novel are finding your place, learning to trust, and finding the good in the bad. Closer to Nowhere does a really good job at shaping Hannah and Cal’s relationship right from the start. This helps the reader feel like they know the characters, which in turn helps you better understand their journeys. My final thoughts are: Ellen Hopkins is amazing and needs to write even more middle grade books!

Who would you recommend this book to?

This book is a great title for anyone who likes realistic fiction. There is some light heaviness, in terms of topics discussed, but it is more to help shape characters than to make you feel sad.