Skip to main content

Can't Get There from Here

Review

Can't Get There from Here

Maybe thinks she is out of choices. A young teen with a skin coloration problem living on the streets of New York, Maybe watches as, one by one, the friends she hangs with die from disease, abuse and illness. Raw and relentless, Todd Strasser brings readers right into this survival story.

Other teens on the street with Maybe include Maggot, Rainbow, Jewel and then Tears, a 12-year-old runaway. Their life consists of "spanging" (begging for spare change), trying to earn money by cleaning windshields, and finding food and shelter. Getting clean is a luxury, and Rainbow and Maybe are sexually harassed when they try to clean up in a public library washroom.

A night in a youth shelter shows Maybe that a warm bed comes at the price of rules, but may just be worth it. Another night in a posh club where men try to own and sell her friends makes her think that there might be a better path for young Tears.

Hope comes in the form of a librarian with the same skin disorder as Maybe. She makes some calls for Tears and gives the girls food and much-needed encouragement. Then the rest of the gang begins to disperse to both good and bad places. Soon, Maybe begins to want life rather than the death she sees all around her.

An excellent book with no easy answers, CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE is unforgettable.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on March 23, 2004

Can't Get There from Here
by Todd Strasser

  • Publication Date: March 23, 2004
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0689841698
  • ISBN-13: 9780689841699