Summary: Clean Getaway
William “Scoob” Lamar is hoping to make a clean getaway with his white G-ma. Especially because his dad is mad at him after an unpleasant school incident and subsequent suspension. At first he’s happy to be spending time with this G-ma, but soon, he realizes that this isn’t quite the trip he expected.
As Scoob and G-ma travel through the US South, G-ma lets him into family history: his grandfather’s life, G-ma’s misdeeds and what life was like when Black people needed the Green Book to move through the US.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. It’s been on my TBR for ages. I mean, look at that cover. This was one of those books with surprising twists and turns. I also love the way it includes history without necessarily alternating between past and present. Instead G-ma tells us a lot of the past stuff — and boy is she a good storyteller!
Although Scoob is huge on the cover of this book, there isn’t so much about his day to day in the story. Still, Nic Stone manages to show us enough that we have a good idea the kind of kid Scoob is. I was thrilled to hear of a companion novel, Fast Pitch — coming this fall — about Scoob’s crush Shenice. Hopefully, we’ll see more Scoob too.
One narrative arc that tugged at my heartstrings is that of Scoob and his father. Scoob’s mother’s rocky past means that she’s not in his life and he’s being raised single-handedly by his ever responsible, seemingly stoic dad. The two butt heads a lot but I like the way the story resolves the issues in their relationships. G-ma is definitely a more laid back, albeit also more scandalous in general.
Overall: Clean Getaway
Clean Getaway, Nic Stone’s middle grade debut is a fast-paced, clever story full of twists and a sense of adventure. This book also provides insightful details about segregation in the US South, especially with the Green Book and the limits on Black people’s freedom of movement. Anyone who enjoys middle grade books about boys, grandparent stories, mysteries, road trip books, and historical fiction will love this one.