It's a Little Haywire by Elle Strauss
Title: It's a Little Haywire
Author: Elle Strauss
Owen True is eleven and eleven twelfths and has been “exiled” to the small crazy town of Hayward, WA, aka Haywire, while his mother is on her honeymoon. All he has to whittle away the time is the company of Gramps, his black lab Daisy, and his Haywire friends, Mason and Mikala Sweet. They don’t look so hot this year, in fact the whole town has gone to pot since the mill shut down.
Owen has his first encounter with a real life homeless man who ends up needing Owen’s help in more ways than one. But how does a rich city kid help the small town’s suffering citizens?
And what is Owen to make of the fog train and its scary, otherworldy occupants that appears out of thin air on the old tracks behind Gramps’ house? Do they have the answer Owen is looking for?
I don't usually review MG books but I have reviewed for this author before and loved her book Clockwise. And I just adored this short read about Owen True and his friends in Hayward...or ‘Haywire’ as Owen likes to call it.
Owen is not looking forward to his month long visit with his grandpa in the very small town of Hayward. He feels as if his parents are abandoning him here. There is absolutely nothing to do and even his once local friends don't seem to want to see him. Things seem to have changed for this small town after the mill closed and not for the best. There is even homeless men living out of a cardboard boxes and old tents behind the grocery store. Even worse is Owen is now seeing ghost trains that scare the beejeezies out of him. What is going on in this town? And how will Owen’s visit affect the town of Hayward?
It’s a Little Haywire was so heartwarming and is great, quick read for any age. I loved the storyline and thought the author did a fabulous job delivering it. Strauss’ characters are absolutely precious, especially Mikala. Your heart just breaks for her and her family. And Owen was a funny little toot, with a heart of gold. Just because you are young doesn’t mean you can’t help a community in need!
Such a wonderful little read, that brought a tear to my eye at the end. I could see the author continuing the story with Mikala and Owen, there is so much potential with those two. Thank you Elle Strauss for writing a story I would be honored to let my daughters read!