Review: Mobile Library (David Whitehouse)

Genre: General Fiction

Rating: ★★★★


Bobby Nusku is nearly alone in the world. He spends his nights meticulously archiving the traces his long-absent mother left behind. He spends his days plotting with his only friend, Sunny, trying to contrive ways to protect himself from neighborhood bullies and an abusive father. But the stories they tell and the realities they live are painfully far apart, and when Sunny is forced to move away, Bobby fears he has no one else to turn to. 

Then Bobby encounters two outcasts like himself: Rosa, a girl with a red tricycle who collects names in her notebook and whose disability invites the scorn of the same bullies that haunt Bobby; and Val, her mother, a lonely divorcee who cleans the town’s mobile library for work. They connect deeply, filling the gaps in each other’s lives, but the bond between the older woman and young boy also draws the town’s suspicion and outrage, as rumors begin to fly about the nature of their relationship. Val loses her job, Bobby is beaten severely by his father, and, with worse sure to follow, they abscond with Rosa in their sixteen-wheel bookmobile, embarking on a picaresque adventure that comes to rival those in the classic books that fill their library on wheels.


I truly loved this book in all honesty. Some say it’s a tad bit dull but it was just great for me. Despite the story being told from a vantage point of an early teen coming from a troubled family and being bullied his whole life, this is categorized as general fiction instead of YA. The writing is good in a sense that you do feel like you’re taking an adventure with Bobby Nusku and his awkward group of book-loving misfit.

The best part of this book for me were the book quotes! Lots and lots of them that had me reaching for my sticky notes multiple times. I’d recommend this for people who loves novels about the wonders of books and all the great things you can find in them!


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