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 begins to fight back. Carmel Fishkill becomes Fishkill Carmel, who deflects her tormenters 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.