Finding Stinko
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Finding Stinko

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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  42 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Newboy hasn’t spoken in three years. One morning he opened his mouth and nothing came out. He doesn’t know why he stopped talking, but what he does know is that he’s through with the state child-care system. In twelve years he’s lived in eleven foster homes, and the Knoxes are the worst of the bunch. Now, with no voice, no family, and no exact plan, Newboy is running away...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Grandma Bev for TeensReadToo.com

A destitute teen mother abandons her infant in an apartment building, leaving a note with him, printed in childish block letters. "His name is Newboy. He is one week old. Please take care of him. I can't."

By the time Newboy is twelve years old he has stopped talking, and after a series of uncaring foster homes, he is sent to the worst one yet. Medical examinations and testing do not reveal a cause for his silence, but for Newboy, life is just easier t...more
Michelle
Fabulous! Well-written, intelligent and very moving.
Krista Stevens
Recommended by JAAL - Newboy runs away from his latest abusive foster home and tries to survive on the streets. He meets other street kids and tries to elude capture by the foster adults who are searching for him. Due to psychological stress (I am guessing), Newboy stops talking but when he finds a ventriloquist dummy in a dumpster, he speaks through him.

Overall, too many loose ends (what does happen to Penny?), adults are all broken/bad, and it's just too hard to accept everything that happens....more
Kelly
Newbo, abandoned by his mother, grows up in the system. When the timing is good, he escapes from a pair of no good foster parents, lands in a dumpster and finds Stinko, a ventriloquist's dummy. Newboy doesn't talk for himself; Stinko talks for him. Newboy and Stinko find some street kids to team up with and start a new life -- while the old foster parents are searching for him (and the money he brings).

I have no idea why this bizarre little story was in the children's section.
Lindi
Very interesting story of an abandoned boy, stuck in foster care. Newboy stopped talking several years ago and has given up on anyone helping him -- with reason. Foster care has certainly not been helpful to him.

Once he finds an old ventriloquist's dummy and starts accepting help from others, he also finds his voice. I loved how de Guzman ends the book. It's a story about finding his voice, not about getting safe or finding a home. Nicely done.
Dodie
Newboy, abandoned as a baby and now on his 11th foster family in so many years, has had it. He runs away from the Knox family and heads to the city to be on his own. He stopped speaking when he was nine years old, and not until he finds an old, beat up ventriloquist’s dummy in a dumpster is Newboy able to find his voice again. Readers will be rooting for him to completely break away from the foster care system and make it on his own.
Vicki
Compelling and face paced story of a boy who, after being abandoned at birth, grows up in the foster care system. At the age of 12 he runs away from the most brutal of the homes and takes to the streets. This is a very grim story, with seemingly no hope or respite from despair. The ending could have redeemed it as a kids read, but it is just too dark.
Janet
Excellent kids book about surviving on the streets, friendship, and loyalty. The story moves fast, with lots of excitement mixed with quieter scenes. I'd recommend this to teens as well as preteens. Not for the little guys -- there is a beating and some scary scenes.
Caroline
A mute runaway ward of the state finds a ventriloquist's dummy and ducks into life on the streets. Quick and gritty. Midnight Cowboy for the PG set. I've got the guitar riff from Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin" running through my head since polishing it off.
Kelly
Newboy, a mute, escapes life in a bad foster home and ends up on the streets. When he finds Stinko, he finds his voice. This is a nicely crafted shorter story that left me wishing for more.
Sylvia
A boy from fostercare strikes out on his own and finds his voice back thru his friends and a dummy puppet.
Candace
I learned that street life is tough for a kid, but foster home life is worse than that.
Melanie
One of my FAVORITES!
Barb Ullman
Fast-paced urban adventure
Sara Foster
For Battle of the Books.
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65878

I grew up seeing hypocrisy pretty much everywhere I looked. I still see it. I believe it must be conquered. I think love, hope, romance and our imaginations are the best way to do it. Most of all I believe that kids get the short end of the stick. We pay lip service to the idea that they are the future, but we short change them. Kids don't have the vote. They don't have lobbyists because they don'...more
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