Car Guts by Melody Bremen

Twelve-year-old Beatrice Tanner is homeless. Her mom’s in a psych ward and her dad’s in jail. But the social worker finds her dad’s brother living in a remote Texas town and he’s agreed to take her in. He’s nothing like her father, they say. Meet Uncle Kyle. A mechanic in a cowboy hat. He grunts. Sometimes, he says, “Yep.” Mostly, he’s under a car. Is this her life for the next six years? There’s a big dilapidated barn out back. Beatrice hears strange, moaning sounds and sees flashes of light coming from inside. Uncle Kyle tells her to stay out of there. She doesn’t. Beatrice uncovers a magical world, one of fantastical creatures and portals that lead to far-off places. A world where good guys wear cowboy hats and powerful enemies paint their homes mustard and lavender. Beatrice discovers that going home means gathering the courage to let go of the past and fight for the future.

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