Tween Hobo: Off the Rails Review

Tween Hobo: Off the Rails by Tween Hobo, Alena Smith

Tween Hobo: Off the Rails

Publication date: June 17th 2014

Publisher: Gallery Books

Number of pages: 240

Series: ?

Genre: YA/MG Contemporary

Source: From the publisher via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.


 Goodreads synopsis:

A hilarious and irreverent illustrated book based on the popular Twitter feed (@tweenhobo), featuring a young spunky girl who packs up her glitter pens and sneaks out of math class one Monday afternoon to traverse the railroads in search of freedom, adventure, and her own personal obsession: Justin Bieber tickets.

Get ready to laugh and learn with the littlest hobo. She’s only twelve years old, but a “hard twelve.” You’ll meet her friends: Stumptown Jim (a hero who tried his best to homeschool her on the road); Tin Cap Earl (who’s always up for shooting a “Call Me Maybe” parody video in a graveyard); Toothpick Frank (who loves Pinterest); Salt Chunk Annie (a “woman of the night,” whatever that means) and Hot Johnny Two-Cakes (who Tween Hobo swears she does NOT have a crush on).

Find out how she survives, thanks in part to the kindness of park rangers. You’ll hear her take on major cultural events (“I go off a fiscal cliff every time I go near a Claire’s.”). And you’ll enjoy beautiful hand-rendered illustrations that bring out the beauty in her words—just like how eyeliner makes a hobo’s look really pop.

Often snarky and frequently ridiculous, this imaginative journal-like book includes maps, jokes, laughs, doodles, tips, hobo symbols (“House with a triangle on top means PIZZA PARTY!!!), games, stories, and more. So grab your iPhone and wrap it in a handkerchief, tie it to a stick, and let’s roll.



I’d say #good pretty much sums this up.

Oh wow. Ok. I haven’t actually been able to stop thinking in hashtags after reading this book. No joke.

Tween Hobo was a really light and entertaining read about an eleven year old girl who goes by Tween Hobo. Yup, Tween Hobo. She has a Twitter feed where she leaves updates in her own, quirky way. The Tweets were definitely the best bit.

However, Tween Hobo wasn’t just Tweets alone. There were different styles involved, such as one part is told in third person and it’s also told in first person too.

Tween Hobo has such a funny way of speaking and thinking. She’s so innocent and attacks problems with the ferocity of an eleven year old girl – with glitter pens. Scary. She’s definitely very confident and doesn’t seem to be apprehensive of anyone in the slightest, which makes a cool and fairly welcome change to what I typically read.

However, she annoyed me a lot.

What I didn’t like is the effort that her parents put in to find her. They did not put in nearly enough effort and when they did they where like: where are you/want me to pick you up? Not your average worried parents behaviour.

I really liked the characters. They were very different and all had quirky names that were fairly…unique.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading middle grade fiction. It was a fun, entertaining read that’s pretty much a light between the darkness of the dark serious dystopian books out lately.

 2.5/5 comets
Minor indent. Could have been a bigger hit.

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