Clean Getaway


It isn’t far into their Clean Getaway that William (aka Scoob) begins to worry. Although he loves his G’ma, and there’s a sense of desperado in the pair riding off without letting his Dad know, G’ma is behaving out of character. For a start, she’s arrived in a camper van that she informs him is her new home. Where’s the home that he loved with the rope swing in the front yard? Furthermore she’s handed Scoob her precious Treasure Box, the one that was strictly ‘off-limits’.

Thereafter there are her tears, and the fact that this journey feels like something of a vigil for Jimmy, the grandfather who Scoob never knew. All he knows is that his father refuses to discuss Jimmy, and the high standards he sets for Scoob are to do with Jimmy dying in prison. Suddenly, Scoob is discovering Jimmy alongside learning of the past he shared with G’ma, before Scoob’s Dad was born.

Yet what is the motivation? Furthermore, why is G’ma changing the camper van registration plates and not acknowledging Dad’s constant text messages? What is going on?

Clean Getaway is a road trip, family narrative and national history. Also, subtly, Nic Stone reminds us just how unreliable our memories and stories might be. Why was Scoob suspended from school? Has anyone sought to discover the real reasons? Thereafter, what really happened to Jimmy?

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Clean Getaway

Nic Stone

(Knights Of…)

William aka as Scoob, is delighted when his grandmother springs him from suspension, with a Clean Getaway. Although he’s a little concerned that there’s no note left for Dad, or time to grab his phone, his grandmother’s defiance is thrilling! Yet, G’ma has another surprise, for she’s traded her home for a camper van. What’s more it seem as though she’s on some sort of a road journey of her past, one about which Scoob is unaware. G’ma’s Treasure Box was always ‘off limits’ to him during visits, for example. Suddenly, not only are the contents revealed, but he’s responsible for them in some way!
There’s ‘an old radio, guidebooks to places Scoob’s never heard of before, newspaper clippings, weathered road maps… a small photo album, and a little green book called… Travellers’ Green Book’. It directs the reader ‘for vacation without aggravation’. What does this even mean? What does it have to do with Scoob ending up with G’ma?
The camper van begins a confusing journey without explanation or destination, it seems, though its Civil Rights’ history begins to impact on Scoob. Furthermore, the haphazard nature of the travels and G’ma’s increasingly bizarre behaviour, become worrying. Why doesn’t she return Dad’s calls? Why do the camper van’s registration plates change? What is wrong with G’ma? Has she ever been the person he thought he knew?
Clean Getaway is a mystery, history lesson, relationship novel and story of equality and fairness. It is also a loving story of family and the truths we hold, or come to believe. It is reminiscent of favourite Bookwagon titles such as The Faraway Truth and The Parker Inheritance. Nic Stone’s first Middle grade fiction title is really gripping and meaningful. Bookwagon is proud to recommend it. .


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