Can’t Get There From Here by Todd Strasser

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of Pages:  198

RAC Book:  Yes

2008 Iowa Award Winner

Maybe lives on the street with several other teens.  They have all been forced into a life on the street and survive by panhandling and digging through dumpsters.  Every time they are approached by someone who wants to help them get off the street they ignore the help and choose to stay in their position.  Due to the extreme circumstances and bitter cold they start dying one by one. 

Tears is a twelve year old girl who was kicked out of her house when she reported that her stepfather was abusing her and her mother failed to believe her.  Maybe begins to see how living on the streets is not a choice after all, but the final solution when the other choices have been exhausted.  She decides to make sure that Tears does not face the same fate as many of the other teens.

This book tries to show teens what it’s like to live on the street with the cold, panhandling, disease, and the way people mistreat the homeless.  Although many of them have had terrible people take advantage of them in their lives and feel like they can take care of themselves, it still seems unbelievable that these teens would choose to freeze under a bridge instead of going to a shelter when the opportunity arises.  The lives of these homeless and abused teens are so far from what many students know that I’m not sure they will be able to really understand these characters.

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33 Responses to “Can’t Get There From Here by Todd Strasser”


  1. 1 Brittany Carpenter June 13, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    im tottaly in love with this story ive read it about 4 times and never get sick of it you find different things each time you read it that you didnt know before.

    • 2 kasie lovedemcatz May 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      It was a great book i have read it like 5 times, this book made me feel different some how,…

  2. 3 nancy eli September 18, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    i loved this book its definitly a great impact, i thought totally diffrent after reading this.

    give a boy a gun was EVEN BETTER!!

  3. 5 Rachel October 5, 2008 at 1:36 am

    When Rainbow died, I almost started to cry! She was such a great character!!!! 😦

  4. 7 Jordan October 9, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    I want To read this book so bad!!! I’ve been trying to find it forever….!!

  5. 8 sasha October 14, 2008 at 1:49 am

    this book was very good its make u think differently on being spoiled when other kids out there are struggling and other people sit back and have choices on what house to live in and what they eat and wear.

  6. 9 Stime October 15, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I recently got this book from a library,
    Just for something to read..
    After the first three pages,
    I was glued to it,
    and read it like 4564564 more times.
    Good book is good~

  7. 10 Jane November 18, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    This book is truly amazing. It’s message is intense and I cried at the end. It makes you think about how homelessness is a real issue. People and Kids die because of it. It makes stop when you see a begger on the street and give because after reading this book you know what some are going through.

  8. 11 alejandra gutierrez January 31, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    you know im 12 years old and i finshed this book today and im going to start reading it agian on monday. this book was the first book i have ever finshed and it was FANTASTIC. i love how its about kids my age because sometimes i know what they feel its so amazing its incriable.i think kids my age whould love this book

    -ally 🙂

  9. 12 somebody March 26, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    when i raed this book in school i wanted to cry .I was also confused about what happened to maybe at the end ,and was maybe gay by thinking that rianbow was beauteful?i hope mr.strasser can write a second can’t get there from here about what ever happened to maybe.

  10. 13 Anonymous April 7, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    i am doing a school project on this book it was such a great book and heart changing but i really need to know how old maybe was and was jewel a girl or a boy

  11. 15 Anonymous August 14, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this book!!
    It is so amazing i couldn’t stop reading it.
    I would stay up late and read it cause it is so addicting

  12. 16 Jasmine September 28, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    I LOVED THIS BOOK!

  13. 17 Brooklyn October 14, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    this book was remarkable. I liked it because teens my age can relate to it.

  14. 18 smiley November 19, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    DAM DiS BOOK iS MAhD GWED PPL Y’ALL ShOUlD READ IT!!!

  15. 20 itzla November 19, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    any way im still reading it buh i got confused dha part bout jewel is he G-A-Y??? love dis book i could almost feel wat is happin tew dem!! i lyk how they come up with idea to get ppl to give dem money!! dis meh 1st book i read from front tew back cuz dha oder book i read were boring i jush skim thru them!! y’all ppl who havent read dis book are lyk miss out!!its make yuh think differently on being spoiled when other kids out there are struggling n other people sit back n have choices on what house to live in and what they eat and wear. I cried at the end. It makes you think about how homelessness is a real issue. People and Kids die because of it. It makes stop when you see a begger on the street and give because after reading this book you know what some are going through.I cried at the end. It makes you think about how homelessness is a real issue. People and Kids die because of it. It makes stop when you see a begger on the street and give because after reading this book you know what some are going through. dam i would stay up late and read it cause it is so addicting!! LOVE THIS BOOK!! ITZ GREAT!! READ IT -itzla =]

  16. 21 LeeAnn November 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    This book is remarkable! I’m doing my book report on it for English class. This book is so inspirational. I love it so much!

  17. 22 Kiri November 30, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Maybe was about 15 years old? Around 15 or 16 years old, I’m pretty sure.

    Jewel was a BOY.
    I assume he enjoyed dressing up and looking fine. I don’t believe he was gay, or rather, I think he liked women, but he just enjoyed putting on makeup and acting gay. Does that make sense?

    This book is amazing,I’m surprised there’s so little info about it on the internet. It makes promoting this book difficult.

  18. 23 Stephanie Baker December 17, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I found this book to be very amaizing it real had strong points and got its main point across, i feel that many young kids/teenagers should read this maybe it will help them to open there eyes and see what they have is much more than what other teenagers have.

  19. 24 Brandie Ortiz February 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    this book was absolutely heart warming. the way maybe cared for rainbow was so intense. the whole book was intense. i loved it. it deffinitely gave my a new perspective on things.

  20. 25 shawntae June 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    omg i loved this book i read it when i was in the 7th grade now im in the 9th but its a really great book…..

  21. 26 DeVena October 25, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    This book is very emotional and creative.I love this book.I can read this book over and over again.

  22. 27 Montana February 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I have read this book about 100 times and I still love it.

  23. 28 edith April 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    My school is doing and all school read and the teachers chose this book i am excited about reading this book because it may have young people have a different perspective on life rather than complaining about everything. Our generation is so ungrateful and unappreciative about things that is doesnt make any since. I advise every young person to read this book its very motivational.

    • 29 Anonymous April 20, 2011 at 12:28 am

      My school (in Ohio) is doing it for an all-school read as well. I must say that I wasn’t too keen on it based on the first four chapters, but it’s definitely gotten better and I’ve just finished chapter fourteen!

  24. 30 Anonymous May 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I LOVE THIS BOOK THIS REAL AND REAL LISE SITURATIONS

  25. 31 RAYSHAWN May 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I LOVE THIS BOOK ITS TRUE IN HAVE A VALIDPOINT OF REAL LIFE SITUATIONS IN REALLY MAKE FOR IN FOCUS IN ON REAL LIFE SO YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TO GO THRU THIS

  26. 32 Anonymous November 1, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I louv this book..it makes u think different wen u finish reading this..people should read this book..u understand how homeless people live..it get excitiing wen u read it ur like addicted to it..luv this book this is the first awesome book i have read!!

  27. 33 Kassii Marie Hyland December 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    This book was amazing. I used to live on the streets. Although my experience wasn’t as brutal as Maybe’s, and none of my “tribe” died, it reminded me a lot of those days. Homelessness may sound like fun before you’re actually homeless because you think you can do whatever you want and be wherever you want, but after the first day, you realize its not all its cracked up to be. I personally fell in love with this book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone.


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