Fishkill Carmel fends for herself, with her fists if need be—until a thwarted lunch theft introduces her to strange, sunny Duck-Duck, and a chance for a new start.
Born in the backseat of a moving car, Carmel Fishkill was unceremoniously pushed into a world that refuses to offer her security, stability, love. At age thirteen-going-on-fifty, she beings to fight back. Carmel Fishkill becomes Fishkill Carmel, who deflects her tormentors with a strong left hook and conceals her secrets from teachers and social workers. But Fishkill's fierce defenses falter once she meets eccentric optimist Duck-Duck Farina, and soon they, along with Duck-Duck's mother, Molly, form a tentative family, even as Fishkill struggles to understand her place in it. This fragile new beginning is threatened by the reappearance of Fishkill's unstable mother—and by unfathomable tragedy. Poet Ruth Lehrer's young adult debut is a stunning, revelatory look at what defines and sustains "family." And, just as it does for Fishkill, meeting Duck-Duck Farina and her mother will leave readers forever changed.