From the award-winning novelist hailed by The New York Times as “a writer to watch,” a deeply moving, tragicomic adventure about a troubled adolescent boy who escapes his small town in a stolen library-on-wheels in search of freedom, friendship, and family.
Bobby Nusku is nearly alone in the world. He spends his nights meticulously archiving the traces his long-absent mother left behind. He spends his days plotting with his only friend, Sunny, trying to contrive ways to protect himself from neighborhood bullies and an abusive father. But the stories they tell and the realities they live are painfully far apart, and when Sunny is forced to move away, Bobby fears he has no one else to turn to.
Then Bobby encounters two outcasts like himself: Rosa, a girl with a red tricycle who collects names in her notebook and whose disability invites the scorn of the same bullies that haunt Bobby; and Val, her mother, a lonely divorcee who cleans the town’s mobile library for work. They connect deeply, filling the gaps in each other’s lives, but the bond between the older woman and young boy also draws the town’s suspicion and outrage, as rumors begin to fly about the nature of their relationship. Val loses her job, Bobby is beaten severely by his father, and, with worse sure to follow, they abscond with Rosa in their sixteen-wheel bookmobile, embarking on a picaresque adventure that comes to rival those in the classic books that fill their library on wheels.
“Brilliant...beautifully crafted...replete with pathos and humor” (Huffington Post), Mobile Library is a fable about the intrinsic human desire to be loved and understood—and about one boy’s realization that the kinds of adventures found in books can happen in real life. It is the ingenious second novel by a writer whose prose has been hailed as “outlandishly clever” (The New York Times) and “deceptively effortless” (The Boston Globe).