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Dirty Kids: Chasing Freedom with America's Nomads
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Dirty Kids: Chasing Freedom with America's Nomads

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Dirty, dreadlocked, and digging in dumpsters, homeless teen travelers live a life of wild, unfettered freedom--some by choice, but many by necessity--in cities and towns around the world.
At age twenty-two, writer Chris Urquhart left a life of middle-class comfort to document the lives of these young nomads for a magazine feature. Captivated, she followed them for three mo
Published September 12th 2017 by Greystone Books
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Ron S
A look at Rainbow Gathering and Burning Man culture, and to a lesser extent, homeless travelers in general. The author's own serious mental health issues are omnipresent and detailed, part of a sometimes maddening avalanche of contradictions and complaints made throughout. The book consists of research undertaken between 2009-2012, mostly at Rainbow Gatherings. Urquhart engages in what might be called micro-participatory journalism: she attends events for a brief time, then flies back home to do ...more
Melanie  Hilliard
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
My rating: a strong 3.75 stars with the caveat that this reads more like long form journalism than a cohesive narrative.

I'd be lying if I said I haven't fantasized about dropping out and hitting the road, to be free of the trappings of capitalism and the modern day drudgery of office work. Urquhart has a similar sensibility and hits the road to experience it. Her experience shows that this lifestyle is not be romanticized. It is not for the faint of heart and often leads people, especially wome
Virginia Van
At the age of 22 \ Chris Urquhart, raised in a middle-class Canadian family, set out to document the life of the "Dirty Kids", homeless teen travelers who survive by dumpster diving and squatting as they lead a nomadic existence travelling around the USA. Urquhart reports that their freedom, and their alternate culture of sharing and generosity, comes at a cost, with mental health issues, substance abuse, and fears of violence. An interesting insight into the lives of marginalized youth and thei ...more
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lush, cruel, frenetic, and tangible, Chris's writing immediately transports the average Babylonian (read: city slicker) to life on the road. This isn't the tame road that Kerouac drank his way down: This is the road at its best and worst, alive and thrumming, filthy and stinking and mean and relentless. Dirty Kids is a look into how mental health, socioeconomic status, gender, belonging, and love all intersect in how people find and make their homes.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is a nonfiction account of nomadic youth in America, written by a Canadian who immersed herself in the traveling lifestyle for several years not quite a decade ago. It was interesting and a little heart-breaking.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant complex book that is really a must read for anyone curious of the “travelling” culture! Razor sharp and poignant and overall just one of those books you have no idea if you will like and are then are blown away!
Heather Sprouse
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
seriously one of the best and most relevant ethnographies I've read.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: im-a-human, mind-bend
great insights into a subculture that permeates every corner of America---
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Really enjoyed this book about travels among America's nomads and street people. It was a memoir, and the author was very open and honest about her mental health issues. Well written.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: misc
Great read.
A journalistic insight into the nomad/traveller/rainbow family, in America.
One of these books that draws you in, and you really don't want it to end, but you can't put it down.
Alex Nikolova
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking and electrifying! If you ever fantasized about leaving behind the confines of society Dirty Kids will take you on a emotional journey and make you grateful for your clean sheets! I loved the documentarian nature of the book and found my self wanting to know more about all the characters.

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