Going Places by Kathryn Berla

"Let's take a drive in a car, he said. Where do you want to go?"

It is senior year, and Hudson has resolved to do things a little bit differently. He only needs a couple more credits to complete his diploma, so he doesn't see the need to be at school all day. If he were home schooled, he posits, he would have enough time to work on the graphic novel that he's been dying to start. Plus, graphic novelists don't necessarily need a formal education anyway. He shoots an email to his mom outlining all the positive effects of his plan, and with a few conditions of her own, she agrees!

Part of the agreement is for Hudson to pay monthly rent. He quickly grasps the entrepreneurial spirit by forming two business ventures. The first is a simple dog walking service. Each day, Hudson gathers the neighborhood canines and walks them. His other big idea is a little bit more obscure. He creates a service for elderly people that has him constantly on call. If any of his clients need him for any reason, he will be at their service 24/7. What seems like an easy way to make some extra cash soon becomes more of a burden. One of his clients, an elderly man who lives alone, keeps beckoning him through mysterious calls in the middle of the night.

Beyond his businesses, Hudson faces other challenges. His father was killed in the war when Hudson was just a young boy. He struggles to meet the promises that his father saw in him and longs for the days when he could turn to his dad for comfort and advice. Writing a graphic novel is turning out to be more trying than he expected. Striving for originality and deeper meaning in his work, Hudson ends up abandoning most of his attempts to start the novel.

In Going Places, author Kathryn Berla tackles the subjects of growing up, the creative process, love, and loss through a charming coming of age story. With yesterday being the 15th anniversary of the United State's occupation of Iraq, reading about Hudson losing his dad was even more difficult to stomach. There is an entire generation of young people who are facing this reality, and it was nice to see a young adult novel take on that topic. The best young adult novels are able to bridge the gaps between generations and appeal to the young and old alike, and this novel certainly does that. While I feel like Going Places could have benefited from a single element to drive the entire plot, the pieces that Berla presents managed to capture my imagination.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.

(2018, 12)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 and is filed under ,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

4 Responses to “Going Places by Kathryn Berla”

  1. I completely love that this addressed these young fatherless (sometimes motherless) child. We often forget how their sacrifices changed the lives of many. This sounds like a wonderful coming of age story Ethan

    1. It is truly something that I feel like we don't think about, but it has impacted so many families.

  2. I am so excited to see another review for this book, because I loved it!!! Ok, and now I'm getting a little misty reading about yesterday being the anniversary and thinking about all the young people who have lost their parents to war. Great review!


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