Zettie and her Mama left their warm and comfortable home in Jamaica for an uncertain life in the United Sates. With Papa gone, Mama can't find a steady job that will sustain them and so they are forced to live in their car. But Mama's unwavering love, support, and gutsy determination give Zettie the confidence that, together, she and her mother can meet all challenges.Monica Gunning's moving and authentic story about homelessness in an American city was developed with the help of the Homeless Children's Network in San Francisco. Elaine Pedlar's strong and lively illustrations bring the story to life in vibrant chalk pastel.
K-Gr. 3. The kids at school call her Junk Car Zettie. After Papa died in Jamaica, Zettie and Mama came to America, where they now live in the city in the backseat of their car, while Mama tries to go to school and also earn money to pay rent for a room. This picture-book brings close the harsh realities of being homeless, scavenging for food, washing in the park rest room, being harassed by police. The illustrations are in an intensely emotional modernist style with exaggerated facial expressions and body language. The strong, black-outlined figures are scary at times, but then so is the nightmarish reality of being without shelter. At the end of the book, Gunning asks kids to get involved in helping the homeless, and many children will want to talk about the idea with adults close to them.