In a quick-moving chain of events, Mim's parents divorce, her father remarries, and Mim is moved nearly 1000 miles south from her mother. After overhearing that her mother is ill, and being convinced that her step-mother is keeping them apart, Mim makes a snap decision to take a Greyhound to Cleveland and help her mom. Mosquitoland follows Mim's journey, both physically and emotionally, as she makes friends, faces tough decisions, and learns a good deal about herself.
Arnold's debut novel is smooth and polished, with a plot that flows well and nicely defined characters. It is also funny, and heartbreaking. With a few exceptions, Mim finds herself in situations that are realistic, and the choices she makes are also believable--even the bad ones.
On a side note, as a former special educator, I am in awe with Arnold's beautiful treatment of , and discussions about, atypical children. I hope this lesson will be embraced by all who read it.
Mosquitoland is memorable, touching, and an overall good novel.
(I previously read Arnold's Kids of Appetite and found it amazing.)